One at a time, incremental steps are moving us toward the Johnson/Lyndon unification. The administration and faculty are getting ready, but are we — the students — ready?
Views on the unification have been a mixed bag since the beginning, with the staff and faculty tending toward more positive opinions and students leaning more toward confusion and skepticism. As we get closer to Northern Vermont University, however, I think it is becoming more important to make sure that we are informed and to look for the positive aspects of the coming change.
The most oft-touted benefit of the unification is the increased learning opportunities for students. Although such a statement is fairly vague, evidence suggests that such a thing may indeed be true.
Students of NVU will have the option to choose any of the majors offered by either school, or even combine them in double majors or additional minors. The idea of traveling between campuses for classes isn’t particularly inviting, but we’re currently limited to a single set of majors so it will definitely be an increased learning opportunity.
Another perk that gets tossed around a lot is the idea of combined resources. Again, a vague concept, but it’s generally true that larger universities have more resource options, so I expect that this also holds a few grains of truth that students will appreciate come unification.
While the unification isn’t going to happen during the college careers of some current students — in fact, I’m part of the last class that will graduate from JSC, rather than from NVU — it will still affect us. After all, the school on our diplomas will, technically, no longer exist.
In spirit, though, the school will remain. The new name won’t bulldoze the buildings or uproot the trees, and the people who make college here great (or not) will still exist. Changes to the atmosphere of the school will likely occur quite slowly, as such things always do.
This all isn’t to say that the subject shouldn’t be approached with a healthy dose of curious skepticism, because I often find that such an attitude is the best way to make sure you properly understand the situation, but it is equally important to keep an open mind and make sure that you’re getting all of the information. Listening only to the people who simply heard about a big change and decided it was going to be bad can easily begin a cycle of rumors and negativity that has no actual basis.
A lot of the promises that have been made so far are, admittedly, pretty ambiguous. Finding concrete facts can be difficult. Luckily, each new press release and step taken brings us all a little closer to understanding just what our school will become.
Even though the unification has passed the board of trustees and is definitely happening, the success of it will still depend on everyone involved. It’s important to keep asking questions, and to speak up if you have concerns or suggestions. JSC is a small campus: nothing and no one is inaccessible to those who decide to go looking.
— Cayla Fronhofer, Editor-in-Chief