Stop overshadowing bad news with good news

Brooke Schwartz, Administration Reporter

During the first century A.D., Emperor Augustus would provide free grain and entertainment to lower-class citizens to make them forget their hunger and displeasure; switch the grain and entertainment for a bronze panther statue, and you have Eastern today.

I am the administration reporter for The Daily Eastern News, which means I sit through all the fun meetings normal students do not want to, or do not have the time to keep up with.

These meetings have been emphasizing two conflicting themes; that Eastern is on the rise, or that Eastern has just begun to fall.

One week I have administrators excitedly talking about how Eastern is back, enrollment is up, we finally got a budget for the first time in two years and everything is on the rise.

The next week I’ll hear some faculty or staff member, who lost a lot of colleagues over the past couple of years and is doing the work of six people, share that Eastern is just starting to see the ramifications of the panic-based decisions made before and during the impasse and that Eastern is far from where it could be.

I love my school, but if we continue to glorify and praise every kernel of good news we hear while ignoring the thousands of problems starting to surface around campus, improvement is going to take longer than it should.

I understand the desire to be happy, the need to hold on to any hopeful news after the dreadful past couple of years, I do.

We should always hold on to hope, but we cannot let that hope blind us to all the work Eastern still has to do.

So stop making committees, get plans out of a cramped office and into action, start campus-wide discussions about the problems still facing Eastern instead of trying to hide them and pretend they don’t exist.

There is a dire need for us to love and care for this university exactly as it is now, not the vision we have for what it could become.

Eastern is not a $3,785 bronze panther statue. It is not shiny enrollment numbers or completely-filled dorms and offices.

Eastern is the paint that is currently peeling off dormitory walls; it is the barely-working computers and the quiet in faculty lounges as they slowly emptied out over the years.

I love my school, and if you love it too, you will stop trying to make it something it’s not and you will work off what we have right now: the good, the bad and the ugly.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].