For those of us who are graduating in three weeks and stumbling out into the cold, hard, jobless world, now seems like a pretty good time to reflect upon how lucky we are to have been in college for the last year. While others have been stuck in a cubicle watching their 401k evaporate, or worse, been faced with the terrifying threat of unemployment, we've remained relatively insulated.
However, the College has provided us with more than just shelter from the economic crisis this year. Over the past four years, we've spent countless hours rapt in discussion with friends over dinner, engaged in meaningful conversations with professors, and supporting classmates in extracurricular endeavors. We've walked alone across the Quad under starry winter skies, after long nights grappling with our studies in the library. We've run jubilantly across that same Quad with dear friends after a late-night, springtime party. We've written poems for the Quill and cleared trails on Common Good Day. We've challenged each other, and we've challenged ourselves—and Bowdoin has provided a space for us to do so.
Ultimately, these kinds of experiences are what make college such a unique and formative period in our lives. With no end in sight to the current economic downturn, we need to continually evaluate and reevaluate what is most important to enable the growth that takes place here. President Mills and the trustees may be the ones who sign the check for buildings like the new ice arena or the fitness center that is in the works; however, new buildings and new policies ultimately come in response to student demand. It's our responsibility to make sure that in the future, our demands and requests stay in line with what we really need for a truly educative experience.
William DeWitt Hyde's "Offer of the College" makes no mention of beautiful athletic facilities or palatial dorms. What it does proffer, however, is a myriad of suggestions to consider, regardless of the ups and downs of the economy. Hyde asks us to "cooperate with others for common ends." In these tumultuous and trying times, it's especially important for students to assert themselves as the College makes decisions that could impact the institution for a long time.
And let's not forget to make some time to enjoy these last couple of weeks of the school year. As Hyde encouraged: "lose yourself in generous enthusiasms."The editorial represents the majority view of The Bowdoin Orient's editorial board, which comprises Nick Day, Nat Herz, Will Jacob, Mary Helen Miller, and Cati Mitchell.