STAFF EDITORIAL: Be the difference, but seriously, we actually mean it

“You can make a difference.” We’ve had this mantra wired in us since day one. Nickelodeon, American Girl self-help books, Nike commercials, Barack Obama’s campaign, Kermit the Frog — they’ve all contributed to Generation Y’s budding optimism. Marquette’s “Be the Difference” might as well be our unassuming mascot.

With so many “You can do it, use your voice!” messages, the essential theme may have lost its touch.

Marquette’s an active campus, but hearing this can-do message sounds cliché.

Yet as the Tribune staff looked back on the 2009-’10 year, we noticed just how powerful our voices can be.

(Warning: The following material is shameless self-promotion used for a purpose.)

For one, the Tribune’s editorial staff has achieved major goals with four of its editorials.

After a Sept. 24, 2009 editorial lamenting the Recreational Center’s $50 fitness classes, the recreational staff eliminated the hefty price tag and created $25 classes and 15-class, $15 punch cards. Now that’s change we can see.

The second floor of Raynor Library is now also open 24 hours after an Oct. 13, 2009 editorial.

The university is in talks about a campus grocery story (fingers crossed) after a Sept. 29, 2009 editorial.

And the Department of Public Safety is discussing safety concerns at 17th and Kilbourn and 16th and Kilbourn after a Dec. 1, 2009 editorial.

But it’s not just our editorials that have been creating change on campus. Marquette University Student Government caused some major waves with its Sodexo and Rec Center recommendations.

The group got the conversation moving, and now, an architectural firm has already come to assess the Rec Center. Props to MUSG for listening to student concerns, speaking up and making major headway.

Over the past year, countless student groups have also made their voices heard, such as the “Send Silence Packing” suicide awareness event organized by Marquette’s chapter of Active Minds.

Clearly, standing up and saying something can change the status quo.

And as the generation who has lived through beepers to iPhones, change is clearly our constant companion.

Don’t settle for stale mac and cheese, dated elliptical machines and unfair library hours. Submit viewpoints, rally students, talk to senators, do something to make your voice heard.

As you can see, students have made quite a difference this past year. And they’ll only continue to in years to come.

Recognize your power, and, like Nike says, “Just do it.”

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