Take heed of ‘Learning Outcomes’
January is the time of year when The Reflector regularly begins talking about a lack of student engagement on campus. We bemoan the dearth of interest in the Students’ Association election and wonder why we don’t see more people sporting Cougar-blue in our arenas and gymnasiums. Flipping through decades of Reflector archives, we found a theme: students in general do a lot of whining about not having time to participate in non-academic, non-vocational activities — activities also known as Your Life.
Every winter we speak with students who say they have neither the time nor the inclination to study the issues that come up in the campus elections. Then, if they’re anything like our Facebook friends, they’ll post complaints about parking, unfair grades from profs and uncomfortably expensive textbooks — all of which happen to be issues that are supposed to be addressed by our student executives.
With all due respect to those people who do strive to make a difference in their communities, it’s time for the rest to make the step from complaining to doing. It’s one thing to identify your hate for the status quo, but it’s another to, as Gandhi would say, be the change we want to see in the world — and on campus.
Think about what irks you: is it that you paid $500 for a class, then $200 on top of it for a textbook and study guide but you hate the class and reading the poorly formatted jargon in the book? Trace the costs and find out whether you’re paying a fair price. Or talk to someone who studies what they love and figure out how to make it work for you.
We’re not saying that we want everyone to protest about every niggling thing in life, but it’s up to you to build a life and a city you can enjoy. Don’t accept something that doesn’t feel quite right — dig deeper, follow one of Mount Royal’s oft-repeated “Learning Outcomes” and be a critical thinker about everything you come up against in your life.