Friday, September 18, 2009

Welcome back...

By Alex McArthy

When I got my first real taste of the campus, I was one of those scared freshmen. I came from Kalamazoo, a city six hours away, and had no idea how to go about anything on campus.

Fortunately for me, a strong sense of camaraderie has been established amid students over the long history here at Saint Xavier. I quickly made friends of all ages, whom I could ask for help. Even if I did not know someone, I felt comfortable confronting them with a problem. Now, I cannot walk down the hall with out seeing a familiar face. This seems to be the case for everyone else as well. A “hi” or a smile and nod is very common amongst complete strangers walking outside the Warde Academic Center, or traversing through its maze-like halls.

This companionship and friendliness is unique. It was something I had not seen at any of my visits to other colleges. These campuses were filled with people that had their faces stuck into their phone and would not even acknowledge you existed as you passed by. Bigger campuses seem to be the worst, everyone has their group of friends, and interaction with others is not as necessary or common. Still, I have visited schools that are similar in size to SXU, and though more people know each other than a state school, they do not act as friendly towards them.

I do not know exactly why (maybe more time here will tell), but something sets our campus apart from others. We have a firm sense of school spirit on campus, but it is nothing widespread enough to cause such a majority of students, as well as faculty, to be so kind and outgoing to one another. This companionship is one that can surely be felt in fraternities, which, ironically, we do not have.

Today’s culture stresses the individual more than the community. A close bond with friends, neighbors, and relatives is not as vital as it once was because people have become more independent and don’t need to rely on others. Saint Xavier is the antithesis of this current trend in society. A sense of community centered around the Core Values, and Sisters of Mercy gives every student a common background, and interest. Maybe it is this, as well as a need to depend on other peers for help, that develops such a strong bond, even between those whom do not yet know each other.

Alex McArthy is a sophomore political science major from St. Louis, Missouri. He is an RHA National Communications Coordinator, president of the Cougar Crazies, a Public Safety supervisor and an SXU Student Ambassador. Consideration for the student bloggers is provided by Saint Xavier University.

1 comment:

  1. Alex,
    As a faculty member that really enjoyed your participation in one of my classes during your Freshman year...AND, after being here for well more than two decades, I'm delighted to read your positive assessment of the sense of community here @ SXU.
    Let's hear it for the "Mercy Tradition," and long may it thrive!


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