The Cavalier Daily was a central part of my experience at the University, and I am grateful to have been a part of it. People like former Executive Editor Jacob Asch and former Opinion Editor Audrey Fahlberg were wonderful to work with and showed fantastic leadership at the paper.
One of the main reasons why I applied to join the Opinion Section as a second year was to take part in discussions and debates about issues facing the University community. The University is an incredible place, and I want to see it get even better.
Writers and students in general shouldn’t accept the status quo at the University and should always ensure the administration is keeping student needs at the forefront of their concerns. While I am sure many administrators at the University are hard-working and care about the students, creeping tuition costs and a lack of leadership on issues facing higher education as a whole leave much room for improvement. Students are paying customers and are right to expect good customer service and value.
Instead of turning this into an opinion piece on everything wrong with higher education, I’ll just say that students should approach their college experiences with a healthy dose of skepticism. Certain assumptions pervade the cultures at many colleges including the University, and administrators and professors are often fundamental in their propagation. It’s OK to disagree with your professor, and students should always be weary of administrators infringing upon their rights and acting in their own interests instead of students’.
Don’t be afraid to stick it to the man and question the assumptions of the academic establishment — and never compromise your values. That isn’t an excuse to start mudslinging and shouting matches, though. I think our national discourse, and the comment sections of opinion columns especially, could do with a little more Southern-style gentility.
Thomas Ferguson was an Opinion Columnist for The Cavalier Daily and served on the Editorial Board for the 129th term.