Setting an example

Setting an example

People love to hate on college students. We’re lazy, we’re whiny and all we care about is getting drunk on the weekends. Of course, these stereotypes are not true of the entire college population, but it always hurts our credibility as college students when someone proves these statements to be true. 

Recently, a chapter of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity at Grand Valley State University was shut down for violating a number of Fraternity Loss Prevention Policies regarding alcohol and drugs during the fall 2016 semester. Even though we know this is not an accurate reflection of Greek life at GVSU as a whole, these kinds of actions do not bode well for others involved. 

This idea does not apply only to Greek life. As student leaders, we’re all responsible for representing our organizations and the GVSU student body in a way that demands respect. Though it may seem that our influence only goes as far as the Allendale Campus, the truth is that our reach is much larger than that. Not only are we representing GVSU, but we are setting an example for college students across the nation. 

When you agree to pay thousands of dollars to attend GVSU, you’re not just paying for classes: You’re investing in the reputation embedded in our university. But that reputation didn’t come when the university was built. It was created and built upon by the students at GVSU. We have to continue this by ensuring we act in a manner that shows everyone how great our university is. Yes, it sounds corny, but it’s true. 

Students should act in a way that would make T. Haas proud to point at them and say, ‘That’s a Laker.’ If your actions wouldn’t be T. Haas-approved, maybe you should rethink what you’re about to do. We go to a great school, and we should treat it as such.

We know that everyone makes mistakes. Not every one of our choices is going to be a winner, but with a little extra thought and consideration, we can more easily avoid negative consequences. Remember, part of being a member of a group or organization means that you have to think beyond how a decision will affect you personally. 

So, before you drink your weekend away or get involved in potentially hazardous activities, remember to be responsible and think about how you’re representing GVSU. Have fun, be safe and spread that positive Laker effect.