UVU has been a university for almost a year and a half now, yet it seems that the general attitude towards our school from the community has not changed much. We are in the shadows of the two biggest schools in Utah and far younger than any of the other universities.
These facts may lead some to say that UVU will always remain a second rate school and never leave behind its’ old nickname, Utah Valley High School.
I find it hard to argue against those ideas, especially while walking the halls on campus and feeling as if I were meandering through a Zack Efron flick. Or when student laptop screens in class display the newest Facebook game and my least favorite, the always-present back row peanut gallery.
The issue of our university’s reputation hinges on more than just the student body, it relies on the faculty and staff, graduates, success of alumni, services offered, etc.
But while we are attending classes, we do have a level of control over how the university is perceived.
The students, by paying tuition, managing schoolwork, a social life (sometimes even a job and family), come to symbolize UVU to everyone, even those in other countries; there are plenty of international students who will return home and bring their experience of this place with them.
It is, of course, better to make their experiences more enjoyable and worthwhile by maintaining the decorum that a university ought to have.
With this idea of being an ambassador to our own and other communities, we should take pride in the education we are receiving and the institution we are receiving it from. If
we fail to do so and relegate ourselves to second hand students from a below par school, we’re only perpetuating any negative views towards this campus.
The more we take our experience here seriously, both as an institution and as a piece of our lives, so will the community and the Utah System of Higher Education. This sort of attitude will secure a place in the future as a first rate university, not just in the state, but nationwide as well.
Though some of us might only be taking classes here for a short period of time, this does not change the responsibility to make it a better place for future attendees. Leaving an imprint that will positively affect those who come after us and all those we meet, will improve not only how it is viewed, but by and large, how you as a graduate will be treated in the future. If we want the world to take us seriously, our actions must allow them to do so.
Humor and fun certainly have their place at UVU, but a college can be categorized, indexed and valued by the general tone experienced across a campus.
So the question you should be asking yourself is, under what light do you really want your college education viewed? Act accordingly.