This year we have seen students at Baylor effect change in so many inspiring ways. From huge groups of students protesting for racial justice to students fighting for LGBTQ equality on campus, it’s clear how much energy people are devoting to making this school a better place.
Those efforts aren’t the only ones we’ve seen though. We’ve also seen students rise up and speak out when disabled students were going to lose a service that made campus more accessible for them. We’ve seen students help one another, both in big ways and in small ones, through a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. It has truly been an inspiring time to be at Baylor.
At the same time, though, we’ve seen push back against these movements. Sometimes that has come in the form of groups of students loudly opposing change. Sometimes that has looked like silence or inaction on behalf of the Baylor administration. Other times, it has been the circumstances of the pandemic or the general political scene that has made people feel disheartened and doubtful that things will ever get better.
In advocating for this progress, we sometimes feel like we have found ourselves playing the role of Sisyphus in the ancient Greek myth, damned to push an enormous boulder up a hill only for it to fall back down again forever and ever, no progress ever actually being made. The burnout and general nihilism people are feeling right now is real. Especially when you’re at a four-year university, it can feel like our time here is so short that true progress may never be made while we’re students.
But here at Baylor, we honor the tradition of passing along the torch to the next generation of scholars and students who will come after us. This is symbolized at the homecoming celebrations each fall, but it can also apply here in this era of activism and progress in which we find ourselves. We each have a responsibility to leave this campus better than we found it, and when our time here is done, we have the responsibility to pass that torch on.
The work is not done. It is not even close to finished. If we let this momentum die out now, it will only be that much harder to make this place the best version of itself it can be. Though it may feel as if we’re fighting in vain, may we all find the courage to push on. On the other side of this fight, we’ll find ourselves a part of a Baylor that better reflects what we want this campus to be, for all of us.