Header Image: Kimmel Bogrette Architecture
The Collegian has a long history calling out the students of La Salle on their lack of school spirit and general lack of interest in student organizations. We did not want to carry on this tradition, but the state that many student organizations are in right now is heartbreaking. This semester, the Collegian is actually more robust than it has been in a long time in terms of our editorial staff, but writer participation is trending low. Beyond this though, nearly every organization on campus is in a rebuilding period, and some are on the verge of fizzling out.
We would say that this is because of the incoming classes being lost after spending time in Zoom university, but unfortunately, the La Salle student body’s lack of interest in student organizations is not a direct result of the pandemic, but rather a consistent part of La Salle’s students throughout history. We wouldn’t make this claim if we did not see it firsthand.
In a 1999 piece from the editorial board, the Collegian staff at the time led with “La Salle students have frequently been characterized as apathetic by faculty, professors and other students,” and we regret to say that the last 22 years have brought us right back to this conclusion. As with all our editorials, we want students to send in letters to the editor and explain why we’re wrong.
We want people to prove us wrong. Get involved.
In a September 1985 issue of the Collegian, assistant news editor Chris Johnson wrote, “During the college years, participation in activities leads to the development of social and leadership skills as well as learning to cooperate with faculty, administrators and other students…” and goes on to explain that it can be difficult for La Salle students to deal with social and education based stressors “but if they are willing to involve themselves in organizations… college life will be much easier.”
Now more than ever, especially as we approach the mid-semester slump, there are infinitely more stressors weighing on us, and student organizations can be an excellent outlet to recover some mental energy and resist stressors. While the university does provide outlets for counseling and stress relief, almost always they require significant mental input to actually enroll in or attend, which might in itself be a stressor. On the opposite side, student organizations are often communal gatherings that encourage stress relief through creativity and participation in a more personal and simple manner.
In 2019, the editorial board said in a biting statement to the community “[Our problem] is not digital media that edges us out, but the apathy of the greater student body.” The Collegian was pretty slim at that time, and the board was no doubt using the editorial staff at the time as an example of the effects of this apathy, but now we can look toward other student organizations through this lens and see skeleton crews.
Groups like Improv 101 and WEXP which in previous years had large casts are down to fewer than five members, La Salle TV shows are often produced with a crew no larger than five people including the station manager, some clubs and cultural organizations struggle to meet regularly as they cannot even fill up a Zoom meeting with enough participants to make breakout rooms but still students make no effort to get involved.
We understand it can be difficult to find information regarding student organizations without a formal in-person activities fair, but professors, fellow students and the endless social media pages connected to La Salle can no doubt push people in the right direction toward certain groups. Ask around, take a look and find a group.
Like we said, please prove us wrong and get out there, get involved and find your passion here on campus.
— The Editorial Board