Categorized | Viewpoints

A growing culture of complaint: either pitch in or stop bitchin’

Mariah Joyce

I have noticed a worrying trend on the Wooster campus: too often, we as students complain about the status quo without actually making any attempt to engage and improve the situation.

This trend was brought into stark focus for me several weeks ago when a YikYak post sarcastically congratulated The Wooster Voice for publishing “an entire issue without reporting something demonstrably false or reelingly offensive,” but I believe it can be observed in other places around the Wooster campus as well.

In the case of the YikYak post, the orginal poster (OP) anonymously aired a vague frustration with the publication rather than bringing specific issues to the attention of the publication staff, where they might actually have been addressed.

The OP seemed to have identified a problem on the Wooster campus that they thought could be improved, but rather than attempting to get involved and improve it, thereby making this campus a better place for all of us, they simply sent their complaint out into the void.

Although this YikYak post is admittedly what sparked the idea for this opinion piece, I do not believe it is the only example of complaint without contribution on our campus. We complain about Res Life, we complain about Lowry food, we complain about SGA and Campus Council, and we spent almost the entirety of Fall semester complaining about the new Party Monitor Policy.

Let me be clear: I am in no way suggesting that students should not feel free to voice their frustrations or quarrels with any of the above institutions, policies or things. There is no such thing as a perfect organization: Campus Council, The Wooster Voice, SGA, Residence Life -— they all have flaws. However, the only way we can improve those organizations is to collectively identify those flaws and work to address them. Together. And simply repeating the same old tired lines about how stupid or unfair or offensive something is does not do anything to improve the situation.

This is your college. These organizations belong to you. If you don’t like what they’re doing, get involved and try to steer them in new directions. If you have specific issues you would like to raise, reach out and talk to the leadership of the organization, instead of whining to your friends (or posting on an anonymous forum about it). Unless your friends represent the organizations in question, your complaints are wasting both your breath and everyone’s time.

Often, I have heard people complain that the institutions at this College don’t represent their views or opinions. I think that’s unfortunate. Our institutions only grow stronger if more of the student body feels represented by them. I also think there is a painfully easy solution: get involved.

Articulate your opinions to those that actually have the power to enact change. Talk to Campus Council representatives. Run for SGA or Campus Council. Go to Fireside Chats. Write a Viewpoint. I don’t care what you do, but for the love of God, do something. And until you do something to make a meaningful contribution to this community, I’m really not all that interested in your opinion.

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