Treat returning students with dignity
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 19, 2012 13:10
This weekend will be one of the most unique of the semester, yet will probably go unnoticed by most students at Plattsburgh State. That’s to say nothing against the students, because at first glance it would seem the weekend has nothing to do with anyone currently studying at PSUC. The posters advertising this weekend feature black and white photos which, like the people in them, can seem like part of another world entirely, a world that students preparing for midterms don’t have time to explore.
Yet students who take a closer look at those photos will realize that the world they’re looking at is not so unfamiliar. In fact, the world in those photos is the same campus that students walk through today and the people in those photos were once PSUC students with their own midterm worries.
Starting today, those students will be welcomed back to campus as part of the 2012 Homecoming weekend. The weekend will feature tours, performances and events designed to let the alumni visitors explore and rediscover the campus they once called home. Along with programs specifically reserved for alumni, there will be a number of events open for current students to join in. A full schedule of these events is available on page A2 of this issue.
However, this weekend is more than just a chance to watch a hockey game or play tug-of-war. While it might seem from the posters that this is weekend is meant only for alumni, this is a valuable opportunity for current students as well. This weekend, the PSUC campus will be filled with walking time machines, people who remember when there was a bar in the basement of Hawkins Hall, people who remember when Peter Frampton and Carlos Santana played in Memorial gymnasium and people who remember what it was like to dread a final exam and enjoy the escape of a Friday afternoon.
That’s not to say that all the visitors will be up for a random conversation about days gone by, but there will be different events held today and tomorrow where students and alumni can meet on common ground.
Few places bring people closer together than the local watering hole, and students who visit the Monopole tonight might notice a few unfamiliar faces as part of the Welcome Back Social. Don’t be afraid to shake hands, share a drink and let the visitors take to a barstool with tales of Friday nights past.
One of the only events that can bring people closer than a night out on the town is a night at a sports game. This weekend will feature seven different matches for students and alumni to cheer for together.
Finally, teams of students and alumni can gather around Hawkins Pond Saturday at 4 p.m. for the tug-of-war contest. Competitors can tug across time as current students face off against graduates to see who will win and who will get wet.
This is not just a to-do list for your weekend. This is a reminder that this is the only weekend in the academic year where the campus will be filled with so many people who have been there and done that, people who can not only talk about their time at Plattsburgh, but talk about what comes after.
You don’t have to mob them with questions, but don’t treat them like strangers. Say hello, listen to their stories, and talk with them as you would anyone else on campus. This weekend, they’re more than just faces in a black and white photo, they’re students at PSUC.