– February 12th, 2013 by Parker Pearlstein –
Community Building at Colby-Sawyer
During my time at Colby-Sawyer College I have wondered about how the community within the school allows for a healthy learning environment, how is it that we are able to cultivate this feeling in a way that makes our school special. To get an outside opinion for this editorial I spoke with President Tom Galligan. When I asked what community meant to him he said, “Community means an inter-related group with a sense of commonality or belonging, where people recognize there interdependence on one another as well as an appreciation for the well-being of the every other individual. That said, because of my personality, I believe a community is healthiest when it values the difference within itself, when it values dialogue, disagreement, as well as having fun and doing things in many different ways.” In such a tight knit community we live, love, and learn together in ways that many other schools do not get the opportunity to do. Sometimes the community may feel small; it may stifle our abilities at times due to its distracting but much of the time, as many of us lack the ability to see, this is the reason why we grow. It is the wings on our back that allows us to open up to the world’s new and different ways. We have the ability to cultivate friendships with not just the people who share majors with us but everyone. Teachers, students, and faculty allow for this experience to be different.
We however as a whole seem to sometimes get lost and forget why we are here. College seems as if it is forced on many of us, and in many ways society has made it a necessary part of our lives. Except Colby-Sawyer College has the ability to separate itself from the rest of the colleges. The community around us gives us the ability to reach out to many people with different backgrounds, with many different opinions, and many different histories, forever changing our own path. However, all of this being said if, as a community, we don’t become aware of the nature of ourselves we will never be able to utilize it. We need to start discussing our thoughts and applying them across our education. Conversing about why we are here and what we want to be doing. The more topics like these that are on our minds the more we are not only helping ourselves but we are also helping others around us. I have had many friends over my time here that I can say have positively changed the course I plan on heading in my future. Without being open to the idea that the future is not always planned but sometimes just appears in front of you it could have never happened. As a community we need to come together in a way that can help add to this process because if we are aware of the surroundings we can help those surrounding us.