Introducing: The Diplomat Papers
Disclaimer: In the past, The College Reporter has maintained a policy of refusing to publish anonymous articles, as we believe writers should openly support their own opinions. However, in this instance, a member of our community wanted to follow the historical precedence set by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay with The Federalist Papers in a critique of our campus structures. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Erin Moyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Federalist papers begin with Alexander Hamilton writing, “AFTER an unequivocal experience of the inefficiency of the subsisting federal government, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United States of America.” We are currently at that point in our campus history. The College Houses are approaching the 10th year of their experiment, and we have come to the 228th anniversary of the founding of Franklin College.
During the past 10 years, there have been dramatic cultural and social shifts on campus. The College Houses were inaugurated, the dorms that are home to the houses have been renovated, and numerous buildings have been added to the campus infrastructure. The prioritization of the College Houses above other edifices of cultural integration in numerous ways has been deleterious to a pro-social campus environment.
The Houses have and continue to provide a verbose mechanism for campus integration for incoming first-years and transfer students. The House system has made it possible for students to latch onto a strong identity within the campus and provide adequate support for first years.
This article is the first in a series modeled upon the Federalist papers, which were published anonymously under the pseudonym Publius. The goal of the following articles is to rally support for greater centralization of student activities for the purpose of propagating campus unity instead of house alliance and reliance.
While it may be possible for one to have loyalty and enthusiasm in supporting one’s house, it seems that support for the Houses has trumped school spirit for “Dear Ol’ F&M.”
The central tenet of the forthcoming argument is that the campus for the past few years has embodied the Pre-Constitution era of the United States, under the Articles of Confederacy, where States rights ruled. In the F&M sense, we are in this phase currently, a great deal of funding, effort, and focus are placed on the House system. The merits of the House system has been mentioned above, but the campus is in sore need to adapt the current system to achieve a variety of goals.
One of the most important goals of reformation of the campus is a reinvigoration of campus wide programming that fulfills a need in the gaps of campus social life that are left by a focus and onus placed on the House system. This may be possible by bringing back campus traditions to provide more gravitas to those events that already exist.
A second important goal for this is to improve lackluster and divided campus spirit. There are many groups that rancorously support themselves, and others that are similar in nature to them but do not participate in other parts of campus life — centralization may resolve this issue
Ultimately, reformation ought to result in greater centralization of programming and more power towards organization that represent and serve the entire campus body, rather than divided factions of it.