Return the favor, rise up; If you stay or go, improve what was left for you

By Staff Editorial

Somehow we find ourselves approaching finals week, a revolving occasion that always seems so far away except for when it rears its head.

For about 2,000 Oakland University students, it’s our last, and it’s totally surreal.

Like a much shorter generation, the time we spend at OU fits into this little box chock full of experiences. It’s hard to gauge how significant our time here was compared to somebody else’s  maybe 20 years ago.

But at The Post, we think there’s sufficient evidence to say that these last couple of years have been pretty momentous.

These changes came because somebody before us made it possible. They built a platform for us to jump off.

We saw the ground breaking for improvements to the campus from the Human Health Building to the Grizzly Oaks disc golf course.

We partook in the highest voter turnout for student elections, electing a student body president and vice president with more votes than were cast last year total.

We suffered a 9 percent tuition increase to cover a significant change in our financial aid system.

We missed the first week of classes because of a faculty strike.

We watched as President Gary Russi was confronted with grievances and how he rose to respond to them. We’ve received more communication and inclusion from him and his office than ever. Not only as a community, but as members of the student media.

After covering his story for over a year, Micah Fialka-Feldman won his personal battle to live on campus, just in time for his last semester.

We cheered on the men’s basketball team all the way to the NCAA tournament.

To shamelessly plug ourselves, The Oakland Post dove into these stories. Because of that insane dedication to making the news something you want to read, The Post had its winningest year in statewide and national competitions.

We brought home three awards just from the Society of Professional Journalists on April 10, including second place for best all-around non-daily newspaper at a four-year university.

Last year we were third in that category. Next year, we hope to be first.

We come from a small, young school. We are not a superpower. But our reputation is increasingly gaining speed. All those important folks out there are starting to see the potential in OU’s graduates.

It’s the ones who have come before us who will give the line on our resume that says Oakland University that wow factor. It’s what they did while they were here, and what they continue to do out there.

For those graduating, it’s your turn to return the favor. To perpetuate that good name and pave a way for those who will follow behind, just as our student leaders have paved a way for students at OU.

Maybe we didn’t achieve everything we set out to do this year or last, on a personal level or as a university. But the climbs we made while we were here forecast a not too far from now future where it is very possible to surpass those goals.

For those staying on, it’s time to rise up. Take what is being left for you and continue to make this university a better place to learn, to become who you are.

Return the favor.