As my time at Ohio State comes to a close, I’m sorely tempted to write a touchy-feely, nostalgic, heartwarming piece reflecting on all the good times I’ve had here. But, of course, every commencement speaker and valedictorian at every high school and college across the country is writing the exact same piece, and I’ve never been one to copycat much.
I’m sure everyone enrolled at OSU could wax poetic for a couple paragraphs on all the fun they’ve had, the alcohol they’ve consumed, the parties they’ve been to. But college is more than that. Hopefully. College is about maturing, learning, expanding your horizons and racking up thousands of dollars of debt. But most of all, college is about learning to think for yourself.
That’s why I challenge everyone here at OSU to take a look around. We are not living in utopia. Just take a look at last week’s turmoil regarding Jim Tressel’s resignation. The paragon of goodness on campus, the sweater-vested man who led our football team to victory more times than I care to count (although Wikipedia tells me it’s 106). There are some things that are broken here, and they desperately need fixing.
OSU is a great university, but it is not perfect. From macro problems, like over-privileged athletes to contracts with unethical companies like Sodexo, to micro problems, like a lack of healthy and balanced kosher and vegan options at dining halls, there are areas where OSU can be improved.
As educated individuals who love our university, we all should be striving for perfection. My time here is up. For those of you who will be here in the months and years to come, I hope that you will take every opportunity to find something that could be improved here and make it better. Whether it’s raising awareness about a problem, or starting a petition or sending an email to President E. Gordon Gee, there is something that everyone can to do to make this university the best it can be.