The Summit: The Voice of the Campus

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By: Riley Howard – September 12, 2016

As this year’s editor-in-chief, it is my pleasure to release the first issue of The Summit. I’d like to thank the Summit staff and student contributors for their hard work. I look forward to building on the past successes of the paper and also making a few important changes. My vision for the Summit is to be a paper by the people of Rocky, for the people of Rocky. This year the main goal of the Summit is to project the voice of the campus.

Photo courtesy of Dave Shumway

Photo courtesy of Dave Shumway

During my time as a student, I have read the Summit regularly and found many of the articles both interesting and informative. However, I always felt the mix of articles didn’t always cover the interests of the Rocky community as a whole. That is why I applied for the job as editor.

Many of you might know me as the bookstore guy. While I sometimes detest that title, my on-campus job at the bookstore has allowed me an inside perspective of Rocky. It has given me the opportunity to become acquainted with most of the students and faculty. Three years of conversations at the register have given me an appreciation for the diversity of the student body and of the issues that bring us together.

The Summit has the potential to be a vehicle for change. It will continue to cover events on campus and around the community, but more importantly it will give students a medium to voice their opinions and a means to shed light on issues on campus, in the Billings community, in the United States, and around the world. Especially at a campus level, a single article can start the conversation to improve policies and procedures.

Many of you have heard the phrase, “That’s the Rocky difference.” While this slogan started as a marketing tool for the Admissions Department, over the last few years it has acquired an entirely different meaning. For example, I over-heard a student in the library say, “The school’s with stops working at the most inconvenient times.” Another student replied, “Well, that’s the Rocky difference.” I have heard the phrase used in this way countless times throughout my stay at the college.

During the last three years, I have experienced the “Rocky difference” in its original meaning. I have been privileged to receive an education from excellent professors. I’ve made lifelong friends. I’ve benefited from a top notch staff and facilities on campus.

I know that there is definitely room for improvement, and these improvements won’t be made unless we as students let our voices be heard. Instead of simply joking or complaining about problems, we can ask the questions that will result in conversations of change. Are there enough food options in the Sub? Why do the heater and air conditioning not work in Tech Hall? Why doesn’t the wi always work?

These are small problems, but they do affect our lives every day. I hope that we can start with these smaller problems and move up to bigger issues as they arise. We can create change on campus, but I can’t do it alone. I can offer one student’s perspective. Each of you has a perspective and a voice that is just as valuable. My goal at The Summit is to make sure every voice is heard.

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