Ever since you first stepped foot on campus as a freshman, you hear about the Baylor Bubble. This is the “protection” Baylor students have when they are on or near campus from the realities of Waco. That Baylor Bubble goes beyond just the physical boundaries of Waco, though.
Often the issues we have here on campus, whether it’s mental health issues, food insecurity or attendance policies, are also issues other universities have, not just around the state of Texas but across the nation.
UT’s newspaper, the Daily Texan recently published two articles that relate to similar pieces the Baylor Lariat ran based on attendance policies and meal plans. This shows these problems are not only a concern for students at Baylor but at UT as well.
A solution to figuring out if an issue is something just Baylor is experiencing or if it’s prevalent at other universities is to read student newspapers at other institutions. You’ll get news straight from students and for students. Through this practice, you can discern if something is a systematic issue, like food insecurity, or a more Baylor-specific problem, like Chapel formatting.
When you read other papers, it also shows how different Baylor culture is from other universities. For example, not many other school papers publish stories about the Enneagram, while the Lariat has multiple stories on Enneagram numbers and what they mean. The Enneagram is usually associated with Christians, so this discrepancy could be tied to the Christian college culture we have on campus. Further more, while many public universities publish many stories and columns about sex but rarely address religion, the Lariat has the opposite tendency.
Staying tuned in to the goings-on of other universities also gives us a better understanding of some of the issues public university students have. As college students, we are all in the same boat. We all wish there were a solution to the college loan crisis, the consistent tuition hikes, not paying for outside lecture material and universities having a better understanding of student disabilities. To accomplish these goals, we need to understand how all students deal with these struggles on a daily basis outside of the Baylor Bubble.
It’s a good idea to read other student newspapers to get a feel for the student body and to find out how they’re dealing with some of the same issues that we are. They might even have solutions for problems we face here at Baylor that we could implement at our school. We are all college students, and we need to learn to step outside the Baylor Bubble so we can learn from and support students at other institutions.