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ISSUE 120 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 4/20/2007

A note

By Executive Editors
Executive Editor

Friday, April 20, 2007

As the outgoing Executive Editors of the Manitou Messenger, this is the last editorial of our collegiate careers; alas, we must pass the torch onto the next generation of aspiring journalists.

When writing a farewell piece, there are two impulses: to write a sentimental piece about what we learned and enjoyed during our stay here, or simply to articulate a vast laundry list of things we would like to see changed after we are gone.

We would like to strike a balance between the two.

The only advice I truly took after deciding to attend St. Olaf was as follows: “Going to class is not as important as doing something important.” Obviously, there are some flaws with that advice, but what I took from it was less obvious and took a bit more time to foster.

It meant that grades aren'’t everything although they are importanthowever, college is the time when one must learn about oneself, others and how everything fits together in the world. Passing class is important, but it is just as important to explore life, try new things and step out of one’'s own comfortable surroundings –because only then do we learn what we are truly made of.

College is a gift; four years to wander around sampling prospective futures, so leave no stone unturned. However, in a place like St. Olaf it’s easy to get swept up in the Ole culture and cut off from reality. This provides for a rude awakening when we graduate that we should make efforts to be more prepared for what awaits us in real life.

But at the same time we must not ignore this community and its purpose. As St. Olaf expands itself to include a more diverse student body, we must recognize that things here on the Hill are changing. The administration, sadly, has begun to focus more on how the College appears to the outside world, rather than their prime constituents, the students. The College is here to educate students, but it feels as though the administration has focused more on rankings, prospective students, and alumni. And while some may point to the new Science Center as an example of St. Olaf’'s dedication to students, it seems that they spend more time courting alumni to fund it and tauting it to prospective students than giving the proper attention to other current student issues. Perhaps instead St. Olaf can ask alumni to fund a scholarship for students studying abroad, so as to make it a reality for even more students.

St. Olaf is no longer only for Norwegian Lutherans, but students from all backgrounds and many different countries. We need to revel in this diversity, enjoy that many people offer different, and equally valid, points of view right here on campus. Explore the wilderness of the Hill, whether that be the physical wilderness of the natural lands or the intellectual wilderness of the classroom or the spiritual wilderness of other people’s viewpoints.

With that in mind, we urge our peers to push the boundaries that have been placed comfortably before us and do more than what is simply considered “enough.”

Listen to the advice of those around you and take those words into consideration when making decisions, but do what you think is right for yourself.

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