Support thy peers

With only a few weeks of school left, I think it’s safe to say we’re in the home stretch. We’ve all been working hard for a semester or, in some cases, the entire academic year, and now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to give it one last push before we head off for the summer or for good, as is the case for seniors.

I’d like to give everyone a little lecture about supporting your fellow students, whether it’s on a group project or in an organization. Sometimes it’s easier to put others down when things take a turn for the worse, instead of giving a little extra effort to bring things up again, but a little support goes a long way.

Take my good friend Sally Sue (who only exists in my hypothetical situations). Sally Sue has been working since the fall with a group of her fellow club members on a big event. Morale was high, but a few weeks before the event, people got busy, stopped answering e-mails and altogether stopped caring. Instead of brainstorming how to fix it and bring up morale, Sally Sue condemned the event to fail completely and decided she would do nothing further.

Well, that was easy. Now Sally Sue has lots of free time and can enjoy the rest of her semester while her organization is left to figure out what to do and explain to event supporters why the shindig will cease to exist.

Meanwhile, supportive members are left to pick up the pieces and salvage what is left of their hard work. Sometimes the most unexpected people will go above and beyond their call of duty and help out, but sometimes those people are hard to find.

If you are a Sally Sue, please stop and re-evaluate your reasons for your lack of support. Is it because it’s just easier not to care? Or is there some other underlying reason, like a personal issue? We all have clashes with opposite personalities, but that is no reason to bail on your peers, who are working hard for the success of the group as a whole.

If your organization is in the process of passing the torch to a new executive board, remember to leave a good impression. The last thing you want is for an old exec board to hand over leadership with a “good riddance and good luck” type of attitude. What sort of example does that set? Support your new officers, don’t discourage them. It’s a new exec and a new year, which in turn can bring on new, exciting challenges. Set the standard for next year’s incoming board that, hopefully, will have learned the value of support from you.

Ashley Davidson is a senior majoring in journalism and studio art. She may be contacted at