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More stories from Rian Fantozzi

End of the Year
June 6, 2019
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June 5, 2019

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“To Juniata College dear, In praise we raise our song.”

Such reads the opening line of our alma mater. Juniata College is home to a wealth of opportunities for students. Our alumni have gone on to become listed in the short lists of both Nobel Prize winners and top ten winningest NFL coaches.

We have many reasons to be proud of Juniata College dear. It is with this pride that we must critique ourselves. The process of critique is never a comfortable one. There is such a desire to  keep a veneer of positivity over all actions of our institution. Lauding each minor vote in Student Government with applause. Celebrating our wins in fund-raising while cutting student wages. No faculty member, administrator, alumni, or student should suffer backlash for critical views of Juniata College. Looking at the status quo with a critical eye is patriotic. Questioning changes is patriotic. Being an active participant instead of kowtowing to each initiative is patriotic. Critical patriotism is the ability to think critically about the attachment and express concern when values are undermined. Juniata needs critical patriotism.

Critical patriotism is not celebrating the wins. It is not looking to the past with dreamy eyes. Critical patriotism exists in the here and now. It is building progressive systems, cutting the decadent. Most importantly, critical patriotism is proactive.

Change is needed on campus. How much and where are questions that we must answer as a community. This discussion must happen in public forums. The only question that doesn’t need to be asked is when — we know the answer to that one already.

Students must realize that they have a controlling stake in the future of Juniata. If the change Juniata needs is going to come about, it must be student-based and student-led.

This is how we build a Juniata that we are truly proud of  — both now: “And when our day is almost done …  E’en then with fleeting breath we’ll praise, The J.C. that we love.”