When hard times come upon us, people are often asked to step up and do more than they usually do to continue to make sure everything functions smoothly.
It can be easy to ignore things that are not as they should be during Homecoming week. After all, it is a time for celebrating school pride and relieving the stress that sometimes builds up around midterms.
However, it does not give us a valid excuse to brush under the rug Eastern’s real state of affairs and how these affairs affect everyone in the campus community.
There are still many interim positions which have not been filled with permanent replacements as well as other positions left completely empty. While faculty and staff are taking on more staggering workloads to compensate there is only so much each person can do with the resources at hand. Yet, we continue to expect more and more from the dedicated few who are already overloaded from expecting professors to continuously teach more classes and pick up more positions, both inside their departments and on committees throughout the university.
What is worse is that when these important positions are given to them we do not give them the time or resources to complete whatever goals are outlined in a thorough manner. This leads to more frustration than good, and can even lead people to make errors that could easily be avoided.
With the amount of stress placed on the faculty it is not surprising students might fear what might be going on, especially since many students on this campus are taking on quite the workloads themselves. The people who are usually happy to help out in leadership positions are so overbooked there might not be enough time in the day to complete all their tasks.
It is exhausting. Honestly, it is impressive to see how far some of these people are able to push themselves, but the fact is, they should not have to.
Pushing people to the breaking point should not be something Eastern has to do just to keep the school from crumbling to the ground.
Putting on a show for students who may be considering to come here will not help in the long run. The marketing the Thorburn Group does can only be as good as what they are marketing.
We may have a close-knit community vibe, but with various departments on campus in desperate need of resources when they are so limited it almost begins to feel like we are fighting against ourselves.
Instead of working together with everyone pitching in a little more and helping out when needed, it increasingly seems to be the trend that a few people are running around desperately trying to hold everything together while others watch apathetically or leave the university altogether for more stable positions in other colleges.
For newer students, the atmosphere created by half-empty departments and a fairly empty campus can vary from uncomfortably quiet to depressing.
Trying to use Homecoming as bandaid over a bullet hole is not effective. Next Monday, we will get up with Eastern just the same as it was before Homecoming week began, albeit a little messier because of all the trash left over from the festivities.
The announcement of 14 new professors will be hired is a start, but even that does not solve he underlying problem. The problems here are complex and it will probably take a long time for Eastern to recover.
For those of us who are a part of this campus in the aftermath of the budget crisis and amidst current political turmoil we must remember to be particularly aware of the things going on around us in the campus community and perhaps do things to help support that community.
Now, let’s get back into the Homecoming spirit and show each other how much fun this community is.