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Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Procrastination for a Cause

My school is kicking and screaming. It does that a lot. If Antioch is any stereotypical personality type, it is a drama queen. But this time, things are actually big and important.

Two things are converging to create this drama. First of all, there's the annual budget crisis. There's been a deficit every year I've been here. This one seems to be the worst, with at least eight firings coming. Given that the school has a staff of about 150, eight is a big number. There are various rumours of potential student protests, including mutterings of a strike.

Adding to the tension and uncomfortableness about Antioch's future is the Renewal Plan. In order to combat, well, everything wrong with the school, especially the budget problems, the Board of Trustees put together a commission to reshape Antioch. And they did, coming up with a plan that involves serious change all across the institution. Most people are scared of it.

Now, my plan for this term was to keep my nose out of the internal politics, get my senior project done, and get the heck out. But it's not so easy. I find myself taking the role of Respected Student Commentator. I'm an older student, I've edited the school newspaper and have contacts from that, I've served on a few committees, and I don't seem to scare faculty and staff the way some students do. So I find myself a willing participant in conversations about the budget. Especially about the Renewall plan, as I seem to be the only student who supports it strongly.

I just got back to my room from a conversation about the budget problems. A former Community Manager (student council president, with actual power here) saw me walking and called me over to recommend me as a potential writer for a website to provide Antiochians, specifically alums, with news on campus. What can I say? I feel like I do have ideas that deserve to be listened to, that maybe other people haven't thought about. I care about the school. It's not like it's not on my mind. Indeed, it's on my mind quite a bit more than my senior project. And that's worrying.
- Rowan Kaiser, 10:29 PM
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