Few truly major in changing the world

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Mercer’s website suggests that this university churns out students with a mission to better the world (or something else along the lines of that cliché phrase). The marketing campaign is certainly catchy. After all, who doesn’t want to be a bear with humanitarian instincts? Unfortunately, Mercer has a long way to go before it can live up to its claims.

Apart from a small percentage of students, there seems to be an atmosphere of apathy at this school. For example, the Princeton Review lists Mercer to be one of the top 20 most conservative campuses in the nation, yet the Libertarian and Republican clubs are often empty or completely inactive.

Perhaps students simply identify with the religious rather than the religious right; I can only speculate at this point. Regardless, any who wish to change the world should note that involvement in governmental affairs is a good place to start.

Another great example of apathy is the level of disconnect students have with Macon. As if it wasn’t obvious enough, the city is one of the 10 poorest in the nation. Students, especially freshmen, avoid downtown except for the occasional club outing. They complain Macon is disgusting and dangerous, yet students do nothing to improve the city’s situation. They close their eyes and plug their ears, staying on campus except for the occasional trip to Kroger or Zaxby’s. Gandhi nailed this one on the head when he said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Many students have a rigid mindset; they think Macon is a pit stop for four years, and once they are out of vocational school they will never return. I know I will be leaving Georgia after my time at Mercer is done, but I also recognize everything Mercer has given me. I’ve grown as a person and developed an intricate understanding of the world. I want to give back to the school and city that shaped me over the past couple years.

If Mercer wants to live up to its mantra, it needs to focus on not only building up the Corridor, but also helping the poorer parts of town. I admit it would be silly to think that Mercer can simply brainwash students into a humanitarian mindset; many people do not have the mental capacity or upbringing to care about anything other than themselves and their jobs.

However, I think Mercer can take students with that potential and push them in the right direction via an expanded Service Scholars program or additional requirements for the Presidential Scholarship.

Macon is our city. Mercer is part of it. If there is any place to start changing the world, this city is it.

Angry e-mails from Mercer’s marketing department can be sent to opinions@mercercluster.com

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