The Rocky Difference, editorial by Riley Howard

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In an earlier issue, I stated that the goal of The Summit was to become the voice of the campus. Through the hard work of The Summit staff and a number of student contributors, I am proud to say that the student run newspaper has taken huge steps towards this goal.

The Summit truly has become a relevant medium for student expression. I believe the discussions that can be started by the paper are a crucial element of the Rocky Mountain College community. Since the end of my time as Editor of The Summit is drawing near, and the hiring process for next year’s staff has just begun, I’d like to talk about how students can continue to make their voices heard.

“That’s the Rocky Difference.” I’ve heard this phrase hundreds of times during my time at Rocky. The phrase began as a marketing tool for the college, but quickly became a joke to students who were unsatisfied with certain aspects of the college. For example, students might attribute a lack of available parking, poor quality of on campus food, or out-dated facilities in the Fortin Center to The Rocky Difference.

Throughout the school year, The Summit has encouraged students to do more than just complain among themselves. Student writers have been encouraged to not only report on the positive things that are happening around campus, but also on the things that should be improved.

To some, the expression and exposure of these views and its effect on the decisions of potential students or donors may seem counter-intuitive to the goals of the college. Although it may not advertise it, Rocky Mountain College is a business. On top of that, it’s a private institution, which means that in order to make necessary improvements it must receive a majority of funding through tuition and donations.

From this perspective, the ends may justify the means when faced with a decision between profit or truth. This is where a student run newspaper comes in.

If the college is a business, then the students are its customers. It’s the students and the families of the students that invest tens of thousands of dollars in Rocky Mountain College for the opportunity of a higher education. Students are the ones who use the facilities, eat the food, and attend the classes. It’s the students who will receive a diploma from the College and who will hopefully become proud alumni. Consequently, the students should always have an active voice on campus, and I believe they do, but it’s up to the students to make that voice heard.

So, next time you complain about something at Rocky, take it a step further. Do some research, and at the very least engage in conversation around campus. If you feel strongly about it, write an article. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Rather than paint an unrealistic picture of the College, let us learn from the past, make the most of the present, and work towards a better future. Who knows? That might make a difference at Rocky worth talking about.

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