Our fair college on the hill is one that we claim as exceptional as we work to embody the mission statement:
“Our purpose is to inspire and educate our students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents and active citizens of a democratic society. Through an emphasis on active learning, we engage students in the liberal arts, which fosters self-determination and demonstrates the transformative power of education. We envision our students’ lives as based upon rational choice, a firm belief in human dignity and compassion unlimited by cultural, racial, sexual, religious or economic barriers, and directed toward an engagement with the central issues of our time.”
But while we dedicate our selves for four years to reach the point where we confidently call ourselves discerning moral agents history can pass us by, leaving only missed chances to participate. While we praise our beautiful college and simultaneously complain about hiking up the hill it creates a sudo-world in which we operate. Unless you take time and pay attention to the headlines on papers or care to switch from a Buzzfeed poll about One Direction to the news sections you can miss out on the greater world around us. While I am not trying to shame our ignorance to the outside world, I know I have been guilty of it, I am trying to acknowledge that we, as Denisonians, need to make time to talk about the riots and protests in Baltimore. Not just comparing them to other historical events, but take the time to examine the case and what conditions primed a city for violence.
It is my opinion, and you may not agree with this, that we as a group of adults prepping to enter this great world should be aware of the crisis and events that will shape the course of history. All it takes is the 10 minutes to read an article about what protesters are raising awareness of, such as racialized police brutality, to understand how the larger world is being affected. I know that just being aware will not stop a city from burning, but taking the opportunity to learn from how each side of the conflict is working to resolve the issue will help us develop that liberal arts education we are gaining.
So fellow in-progress autonomous thinkers, future active citizens of a democratic society, and developing discerning moral agents this is my charge to you to take the time and break out of our Denison bubble to start fulfilling the mission given to us as we were inducted into this fair college on the hill.