Two years ago, the men’s basketball team stumbled to a disappointing record of 7-23; the team’s biggest stars had graduated, and no one new had yet stepped up to replace them. Now, the Bison are back in the Patriot League Championship, and the future looks bright for a team loaded with standout underclassmen.
Last year, The Bucknellian shrank to 12 pages as staff members disappeared and writers grew apathetic. The remaining editors were worried that the paper might be dying. But since then, a group of motivated first-years has has re-invigorated the paper, erasing doubts and raising hope for years to come.
Now Addison O’Donnell ’14, in creating Campus Productions, is attempting to enact a similar turnaround for the University’s musicals scene. A musical theatre club has actually already existed at the University for some time now, but its activity has been inconsistent and has left a void in the University’s theater offerings, which include many other productions but few musicals. O’Donnell hopes to be the one to fill that void.
We recognize the immense difficulties that must be involved in such an ambitious project, and we applaud O’Donnell for his initiative and effort. We also congratulate all of the students working to create common-interest communities for the Small Houses Program. The amount of planning and organization that must go into creating such communities is substantial, but students have worked tirelessly to put together programs that will genuinely serve the University community—for example, the University’s first gender-neutral housing.
All of these examples demonstrate that dedicated students really can make a big difference in their campus community—a fact especially important considering the short life-cycle of many student organizations. All student organizations must deal with the issue of member turnover. Students are usually only at the University for four years; groups are forced to give up their more experienced members upon graduation, and may or may not be able to find fresh members to replace them. Talent and interest fluctuate from year to year, but a few consecutive bad years can easily plunge a previously successful organization into a cycle of futility.
Still, students should take heart from the success stories around them and realize that even if disaster has struck their favorite organizations, they can still do something about it. As long as students retain hope, they can potentially turn things around. We hope that O’Donnell will be successful in his endeavors; we hope that The Counterweight, just now publishing its first issue of the semester with a depleted staff, can succeed in returning to its former glory; and we wish the best for anyone else attempting to revitalize an organization or start a new one.
It only takes a few dedicated students to inspire others and turn things around; the results of engaging in action rather than remaining apathetic can be momentous.