COLUMN: Answer-seeking students can combat side-effects of campus short-term memory


Central Michigan University's campus has a cycle — students come, they wonder and leave, making it difficult for students to combat campus short-term memory. 

In 2011, CMU faculty and administration had a series of altercations involving nationally evolving educational standards and lack of economic funding, dividing campus. 

Boiled down to its roots, the deterioration of campus relation was due to ineffective communication between faculty and administration.  

Now, six years later, the current student body has no recollection of what happened. 

On March 2, 2018, CMU had to process and digest an on-campus case of domestic violence. While the shooting is still painfully fresh in our minds, incoming students will not have any knowledge of the horrific event a few years from now. 

The kidnappings, suicides and murders that have occurred on campus are all susceptible to campus's short-term memory.

Because of this type of forgetfulness, will these circumstances become a problem again? 

This type of short-term memory is reflected in society. After dilemmas start to slowly fade from memory, it seems society must take a punch to the face before dilemmas are purged. 

In a recent tweet, renowned author Stephen King addressed the “kids” in society. 

“The NRA and their sweethearts are beginning to relax, beginning to tell each other that ‘this will blow over, like it always does.’ Keep turning the screws,” King said.  

This simple message from King on the issue of gun violence can be directly translated to what happens on campus.  

When it comes to social and other issues, the conversations tend to become a recurring cold. “Social justice warriors” cough until their faces are red and let their noses run dry until the disorder resurfaces. 

Only college students — “kids” with the longing to seek out answers and the truth are going to truly solve the issue of this kind of short-term memory loss. It should not and cannot happen on campus. 

A recent Society of Professional Journalist FOIA audit sent out requests for records regarding sexual assault, harassment and violence. Out of all schools in the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC), CMU was the only school that denied to provide any such information

Answers are not always made available to students and student organizations. It takes students with the willingness to dig or even prod before issues are solved, but it cannot be done alone.  

In the recent SPJ audit, panelist and former editor-in-chief of Central Michigan Life Jordyn Hermani discussed how difficult it can be for students to single-handedly fight issues on CMU' s campus. 

"I could devote the rest of my time (at CMU) to fighting a certain issue and (CMU) would outlast me," said Hermani. "I am only here for four years." 

Issues like sexual assault and the fact our campus is not transparent with things directly affecting students is only one issue needing to be combated. It must be a collective effort.

Students should not have to occasionally remember before they can finally solve issues and forget. 

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