Cultivating culture is in our hands

 Fine arts is just one avenue students can use as an outlet. | PC: Integrated Marketing Communications

Fine arts is just one avenue students can use as an outlet. | PC: Integrated Marketing Communications

Twitter blew up recently with videos and stories of a man who was violently removed from his seat on a plane because United Airlines overbooked that flight, volunteering him to be moved to another flight.

All across the world, people began boycotting United, memes taunted the employees and instantly the story became the cornerstone of jokes on late night TV.

Go ahead, Google “United Airlines drags man off plane.” People on the plane cringed, flinched and yelled as three men removed him from his seat. Here’s the problem:

Nobody protected him or volunteered his or her seat.

There was outrage all around the world after it happened, but not enough outrage as it happened. That's our story: we often watch things happen and then react after.

From the moment college begins, each person has the opportunity to influence and evolve, contribute and observe. At Union College, it can be easy to watch things unfold and then react after. Fortunately, every avenue for practicing personal passions is available.

 Rich Carlson shares a story in Campus Ministries. | PC: Integrated Marketing Communications

Rich Carlson shares a story in Campus Ministries. | PC: Integrated Marketing Communications

Campus Ministries wants to get everyone involved. Jobs will be created if someone comes in with fires blazing to fill that need. ASB has plenty of positions where a business major can learn finance, an event planner can be social vice, or a lawyer-to-be can run senate.

Union aches for students to work on campus.

Seriously, I walked into Dr. Toews office during freshman orientation and he asked if I had a job. When I said “No” he told me I could start on Monday. Working on campus, ministering, leading, etc., allows students to create and cultivate the culture they wish.

Did you catch that? Students create culture at Union College.

If we want a hostile environment where people look away when they walk past us, don’t greet each other, and have their headphones in as they walk everywhere, we can have it. If we want a community where people are divided by ethnic backgrounds, we can have that.

Or, we can create a community of people who love serving, involvement and change. If we want Union to be a place of proactivity, social justice, and quality education, we can absolutely have that. If wwwe want a space where people gather together in the name of Jesus, worship wholeheartedly and grow as disciples, we can have it.

 Students give back through service with Project Impact. | PC: Integrated Marketing Communications

Students give back through service with Project Impact. | PC: Integrated Marketing Communications

Maybe the scary thing about Union isn’t that it’s so restrictive; maybe what's so scary is that we have so much freedom.

I've seen Union College students graduate and become rockstars in their field. Maybe privilege and circumstance gave them a leg up. Or maybe they worked hard and learned a ton while in school, preparing them for life after graduation. Union gave them opportunities to grow, thrive and become.

There's something special about Union; you can become what you want with support and empowerment from the faculty and staff.

That's what makes Union, Union.

I hope what you love about Union is that you can determine what is and what could be.


Abner Campos is a senior studying theology.