Don’t forget to care

Eliezer Roque Cisneros


Easily, my favorite aspect of Union is the caring staff. If anything adds to the family atmosphere of this campus, it’s got to be the way the faculty cares more about who I become than what I become. This characteristic is important and I think without this dynamic Union would lose another equally-important reality on this campus: the students care about the staff.

When Union students forget to appreciate the emotional investment made by the staff and faculty who help Union stand on its two feet, the family aspect spreads a little thin.

It’s easy to appreciate the personal dedication many of the professors and staff pour into their students here. With a smaller campus it sounds natural when we happily affirm, “Union is a family!”

Not every professor will connect with every student and some students couldn’t give two cents about the staff at Union. And that’s perfectly fine because not everyone is friendly-feely. For the most part, however, I’ve noticed the level of comradery that can take place, even outside of the classroom between teacher and pupil.

Although not as often as I wish, I enjoy visiting with one of my professors I had from first semester of freshman year, and he’s not even in my division. We connected because of our passion for schemes and tropes in writing, as well as our love of playing guitar.

Many people can identify Dr. Fitts as he makes his way to class with his trusty guitar hanging next to him, but I can say I understand Dr. Fitts at a deeper level than other students because of the relationship we share. I imagine this dynamic changes from student to student and teacher to teacher, but I’m certain the dynamic exists.

Now, many students seem to take severe pleasure in saying terrible things about certain faculty and staff. I’m sure you’ve heard. It’s to criticize anyone we disagree with.

I’m not defending anyone; I’m drawing attention to an attitude opposite to the family Union likes to brag about. I like my college, and I like my family. I worry sometimes we forget the latter.

When Unionites welcome preview day students with the promise of a family atmosphere, they mostly say it from personal experience. Yet, for every time snide criticism scoffs from the privacy of dorm rooms and anonymity of some social media outlets, we drive a dagger through our own claim to being family.

If students on this campus feel the family spirit is dying, but don’t feel remorse in biting at the reputation of some, I can point to who’s the one really killing it.

Extend this past the confines of this campus. Someday, the students of Union will join church families. What will it look like when they expect to build relationships with the church leadership?

There’s no argument between the line here, the reality is that stark. Until students learn to care for their leaders and teachers, they have no place to call them hypocrites. Students want staff and faculty who care and appreciate the student body, but does the student body care for and appreciate the faculty and staff?

Eliezer Roque Cisneros is a junior theology major.