I am sure I know what is on everyone’s mind: the recent restructuring that occurred on campus. This has hit the hearts of many people because there were 15 people who were laid off; the shock and pain spread throughout campus. I have written many times before about how much I enjoy the community on campus and the sense of belonging that students feel. It is truly unique that there is this kind of community on a college campus. On the other hand, when tough decisions need to be made, the impact is that much harder. That is certainly the case now.
Moving forward, however, we need to keep in mind the larger picture. As an economics major, it comes naturally to understand business related decisions and why sometimes tough decisions need to be made. The current restructuring was made in order to allow Assumption to adapt to the changing demands of the higher education market. With enrollment currently declining, our total revenue is also decreasing. We currently have the same total number of students as we did in 2000. Therefore, the Cabinet of the College needed to rethink the current structure of the College and find ways to streamline the employees and make sure that we are running efficiently.
I absolutely understand this is hard to hear and watch happen. Layoffs are very tough to make. But it is equally important to understand the reasons behind such decisions so we can move forward even stronger. With that said, I would now like to transition into how we can build our community and show that we are in fact a very strong college with an incredible student body and impeccable faculty. I would like to talk about the five guiding principles of the College.
As you probably know, the Augustinians of the Assumption founded Assumption College in 1904. Our mission has been the same since. Assumption strives for success in its graduates. Upon graduation, we are known for our critical intelligence, thoughtful citizenship and compassionate service.
Our Catholic identity helps separate Assumption from other institutions, and supports the values and teachings of Catholicism. The bell tower we have outside the Chapel of the Holy Spirit rings throughout the day, and the five guiding principles here at the College do the same. As you may or may not be aware of, these five principles guide us intellectually, spiritually and compassionately on a daily basis. These five principles are: Community, Contemplation, Longing for God, Vocation and Mission to Serve.
Community helps students foster friendships with one another, to become better family members, thoughtful citizens and stewards of the earth. Contemplation allows us to open our minds, and perhaps grow in the spirit of gratitude and generosity. Our third principle, Longing for God, encourages the development of a more fully formed conscience and live a virtuous life. Vocation helps students identify what God is calling for us to do, and make thoughtful life choices. The fifth and final principle, Mission to Serve, encourages us to take action and realize that we do have a generous heart and compassion for others.
In the Student Government Association, we are very fortunate to have Patrick Giroux, President of the Class of 2016, to be one of two students selected to intern at the Student Affairs Office. Giroux is the Marketing and Brand Communication Intern, and serves on the committee that is spearheading the growth and marketing of these principles to help students relate and connect to them. He added that the committee’s main goal is to help the faculty, staff and student body become aware of the principles. Students will begin to see programming and marketing efforts detailing the five guiding principles throughout the end of the semester, and especially next fall. Our objective is for all students to be able to recite the five principles, and understand that the guiding principles are part of them and the meaning of their Assumption education.