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Editorial: Presidential celebration will put spotlight on VSU

On Oct. 27, Dr. Richard Carvajal will be formally inducted as President of Valdosta State University. In celebration, special alumni and dignitaries, along with the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, will attend a breakfast and swearing in ceremony.

This event, the culmination of a two-day celebration that includes a student carnival Thursday night, will throw VSU into a spotlight that it hasn’t seen in a while. Though we should be happy about the positive press, spotlights can reveal more than just good.

We at The Spectator are crossing our fingers that we won’t be doing this again next year. After hosting three presidents in just a year and a half, VSU is ready for (and badly needs) permanent leadership. Our revolving door of administrators has left the university on shakey ground. Without a singular, unifying vision VSU hasn’t been able to make the progress that other universities might have in the past three years.

It’s easy for students to feel like their complaints have been lost in the shuffle, and it has been easy for administrators to blame things on the instability or new administration, until now.

Now, with the spotlight on us and almost ten months under Dr. Carvajal’s belt, the blame must cease to exist.

In a recent faculty and staff email, Dr. Carvajal announced a new vision statement for VSU.

“VSU will be a catalyst for regional comprehensive progress,” Dr. Carvajal said, and laid out three goals formulated by the University Council.

These goals, increased retention, increased student participation and increased community and regional impact, are admirable and should be the objective of any upstanding university. Retention is and has been a recurring goal at all levels of VSU administration for years, and student participation at sporting events was sorely lacking before the creation of the Fire Pit.

Community outreach, in comparison, is rarely discussed.

We’re glad the University Council and Dr. Carvajal have chosen to highlight VSU’s community impact not only because it is rarely mentioned, but also because we believe community outreach leads to a well-rounded student body. If this goal is reached, VSU students will be able to apply what they’ve learned in real-world situations throughout the community.

These goals are a first step to University-wide improvement, and after the past few years VSU deserves a celebration like this. It’s important to commemorate the first step toward long-term progress. As a university, we should all be happy about the improvements that have been made over the past few months, like parking, the Blazer Safe Ride and meal exchange options. But, we can still hope for more.

As an editorial staff, we hope that this inauguration will kick start a change in VSU. We urge Dr. Carvajal, faculty and staff to keep the spotlight on VSU by reaching the goals that have been set forth by the University Council and to fulfill VSU’s vision. We hope you, Dr. Carvajal, faculty and staff will realize that reaching these goals depends on student input.

Students, we hope you realize that your voice is important. We urge all students to get involved by attending SGA meetings, voting in elections, and emailing or visiting teachers and administrators. We hope you strive to make your voice heard. You shape your own experience.

This editorial was written by a member of the editorial staff and expresses the general opinion of The Spectator.

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