I’m feeling elated.
Life consists of forward progress and backward progress. When I’m getting more and more homework, that’s backward progress. When we get in fights with administrators about things students have that are being taken away, that’s backward progress. When I’m locked away in my room, mindlessly watching TV because I just don’t want to comprehend all of the work ahead of me, that’s backward progress.
But today, a few really nice things happened. Some keys that I was waiting for came in earlier then expected. I turned in two homework assignments — one of them even on time! We picked up some cubicle walls and set one up in the office. Perry emailed to tell us that Matt’s quest for a new space for the COG servers is successful — he’s going to give us a room in Feldberg. Awesome.
One of my big goals is to professionalize the Student Union and student organizations. We continue to move into a world of decreased student autonomy and increased administrative control. This isn’t just a Brandeis phenomenom, and we’re probably a lot better off then most small colleges. But it is absolutely important to the Brandeis mission to keep student autonomy in all of it’s forms. And it’s painful when administrators and staff and even students themselves want others to step in, to run things, to control student organizations and take care of student problems. College is about learning and growing and experiencing, preparing for the world, finding one’s self. Allowing students to assume leadership roles, to make real decisions, to solve real problems, to make mistakes and fix them, is an incredibly powerful and wonderful thing.
The Union office is starting to look better. Many of my improvements in workflow and information flow have been successful. The year is over, and people are filled with promise and new ideas for next year. Another administrator today expressed commitment to reinvigorating student leadership training on this campus. We’re going to get our SAF organizations onto QuickBooks so that they can be more accoutable and manage their money better, and more transparently. And the COG reorganization looks like it will be wildly successful. We’re getting all of our servers straighened out, we’ve got a new space for them, we’re working on projects and ideas for next year. Finnegan, the wake up call service, is finally done, and just about to launch. We’re becoming a professional, powerful, useful force on campus. We’re filling a niche that ITS doesn’t have the resources or desire to fill, and we’re working cooperatively to do good things for students. As it should be.
Now if only I could turn around the Justice and WBRS, I’d feel a lot better. I think this leadership thing is really, really important. I kinda wish I could be here for another two or three years to try and guide these organizations, to make sure that things are working as they should, that strong student leaders are found and cultivated at Brandeis, instead of ignored. A lot of people have a lot of potential, and, hey, they might just find their calling in the process. I know that I have.