Editorial: Embracing the new and recalling the old

January is the month usually associated with the word “new”—a new year, a new semester, a new slate. This January, however, the University and its community came together to ensure that more had changed over winter break than just altering a digit of the year from four to five.

Some changes were aesthetic and immediately noticeable. Students were taken aback when they tried to print to their go-to library printer, but instead found themselves face to face with new devices with no name at all. Although many showed apprehension towards the new printers at first, the amount of panicked students begging for help on connecting to the printers at the Tech Desk has seemingly decreased. Individuals suddenly are forced to take the time to reflect on whether or not they really would like to print the reading they plan to skim and recycle only a few hours later, but the lengthy lines that resulted from the new system leave room for concern.

The alteration of the layout of the Bison left some concerned that crowd-favorite Bada Basil had seen a quick exit after only lasting a semester, but were relieved to find it nestled in its new home within the main area of the Bison. Finally, new washing and drying machines topped off the list of facility changes, leaving some overjoyed at the idea that the cycle times were substantially cut down and others frustrated with malfunctioning machines.

Visual changes did not merely come in the form of University facilities, however. The current issue of The Bucknellian is one with a completely fresh face. The staff as a whole came together behind this redesign in hopes of maturing and progressing with the rest of the school.

Although aesthetic changes seem to take center stage, the real facet of importance in the realm of newness are the fresh dialogues that will not only draw from the changes that have happened within the typically mundane month of January, but also maintain the importance of past events.

On Monday, Jan. 19, classes were in session during Martin Luther King, Jr. Day per usual. However, this year brought a new opportunity to students and faculty: the school’s first ever teach-in. Rather than merely acknowledging the holiday, students, faculty, and staff took the time to incorporate discussions, guest lecturers, and readings into their curriculum, relating subjects from Virology to Management to the importance of diversity as well as the oppression this day condemns. Drawing from the vigor that swept the school after the events of Ferguson, the campus came together to take a new approach to an issue that justifies constant revisiting.

The events of the day stemmed beyond just the teach-in, as the University hosted an array of talks and additional events on topics related to MLK, Jr. Day, and students reacted not with the normal indifference characteristic of the student body but rather took to the events, filling every seat at the culminating “I Can’t Breathe” panel as others sat on the floor. Although many might have been in attendance in order to collect extra credit points, engagement in the discussion leaves room for possibility that students might take the initiative to attend events like these in the future entirely on their own volition.

These changes seemingly all stemmed from the University, as the internal faculty and staff took the initiative to catalyze each. Hopefully these changes, however, inspire students to take their own initiative to keep “new” relevant.

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