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INQUIRING MINDS: Keeping college community takes guts

This campus is full of bold, action-taking students, as the Waltonian has taken note of in its last two issues. We have future Olympic athletes, national news reporters, patriotic heroes and Broadway stars.

But what has impressed the editorial staff the most about this community is the community itself. Within the first month of the semester, we have seen inspiring action in student support.

First-year Chris Slininger is called to serve in Iraq, only days after starting classes and bonding with his hall. Not only do his hall-mates throw him a last-minute worship service, but about 100 other week-long acquaintances also show up to support him.

Senior Matthew Guire is diagnosed with cancer over the summer and, due to hospital bills, cannot return for the fall semester. A core group of Guire’s friends sacrifice their time by going door-to-door, and sitting through shifts in front of the Jammin’ Java selling t-shirts; the proceeds will go toward their Guire’s treatment costs.

At a university that so strongly emphasizes community, it is encouraging to see students so readily putting it all into practice.

Though students have consulted administration, administration has not been able to do much to help the mentioned students in need because such matters do not fall under any of their job descriptions. In spite of this, Eastern’s strong Christian support was still shown. That says something about the students.

For all the times that the “Eastern Bubble” seems too difficult to escape, it is such students who help us to at least look beyond ourselves within the community, who prove this university’s mission statements to be well kept.

Eastern seeks a community “which embodies values of caring and compassion, justice and integrity, competence and affirmation…[and seeks to] treat each member of the campus community with fairness, dignity and respect, seeking a spirit of unity and harmony as we join together to achieve our common mission,” (pg 5, Eastern University 04-05 Undergraduate Catalog).

Not every student has made such a bold commitment, but plenty have already modeled it beautifully. So thank you to those of you who have taken action and embodied true community for the rest of us. We applaud you.

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