Stop Hating on Juniata (So Much)

Vidal Glassman, Student Contributor

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We need more patriotism at Juniata. Nationalism for the college. Some may even call it… school spirit. No, I don’t mean just wearing JC sweaters and slapping a bumper sticker on your truck. We need to really get into Juniata. Band together. Live and die by the eagle. We’ve got to look at Harvard and thank whoever you believe in that we aren’t there right now. Internally, be critical. Push the school, push the community to evolve and improve, but at the end of the day, we must remember that we’re all Juniatians. We’re in this together.

Now young cynical Juniatian you may ask: “Why? This place sucks!” I’d disagree with you there, but the point is that we owe it to our future selves and all the lucky kids that roll through here in the future to be fierce in our advocation for this school. It’s up to us to elevate the status of this place. Over time, having an enthusiastic, loyal and dedicated fan base of Juniatians will help to solve many of the problems we see here today. This is a long-term strategy and one that has benefits that will not manifest for years.

Among the benefits, I think will be a diversification of both faculty and students. We want diversity. Well let me tell you, the school is trying to hire diverse faculty, but it’s ultimately up to people to choose to move out to Huntingdon instead of anywhere else. That can be a hard sell, especially for faculty who are potentially making a decades long commitment. How do we do it? By showing some love. Love of the community, of the school. It’s like any relationship: you have to love yourself before you can expect someone else to love you. This school needs some self-love. I want to see a more diverse student body and faculty. I wholeheartedly believe that we students can create a welcoming, inclusive and excited community, and by doing so, create an environment that a variety of people will want to be a part of.

Maintaining good spirit helps us in the long run. Students that are proud to be Juniatians give money back to Juniata when they are successful alumni. That helps the situation of students like us in the future. In the short run, it will make us happier about being here. It makes us more valuable to the administration as potential benefactors of the school and could make them more attentive to our needs today. We are the stewards of the school’s reputation, and the better Juniata’s reputation is, the more valuable our degrees are in the long run. We risk tomorrow’s benefits if we foster a culture of hating on JC today.