There is no denying that Southern University has its own unique culture that, similar to its band, is often imitated but never duplicated. Numerous schools aspire to have what Southern has—a supportive and proud student and alumnus population, an active party life, students with specific self-expression, students who inspire and create their own pathways, and more. However, should Southern want more for its own campus culture?
While academics are a focus for some students, it is not a focus for all students. Some students’ main priorities are parties and looking good for Pretty Wednesday—a tradition started at Southern where students dress in some of their best apparel. But what about classes and graduating as soon as possible? While SU is a fun place to receive an education, the ultimate goal is to grow an individual through education. So, how does SU change its culture so that more students reach this goal?
For starters, students have to start holding other students accountable. If someone is your friend, it is your duty to help them reach their full potential. For example, if you see your friend out at a party and you know they haven’t done the assignment due that night, you have to hold them accountable. The same way students message each other to connect at the football game is the same way they should connect to meet in the library to study.
Accountability shouldn’t just stop with students, though. It should continue with faculty and staff as well. Students are too used to being disappointed by faculty and staff members, and a significant role in this comes from a lack of accountability within the different departments on campus. Students should not be used to having their documents misplaced, not receiving help when requested, and more. A lot of common problems on campus should not be common problems. At what point is someone in numerous departments going to say, “we have to make this better, not tomorrow, but today,” and then put action into making that happen? That’s departmental accountability.
Without accountability from faculty, staff, and students, campus culture can never change for the better. If none of these groups show they care more, campus culture, while not all bad, will remain not all good. Southern is a place rich in culture with strong familial ties, and the university seems to be on its way to the top. If the community comes together to hold each other accountable, we’re only going to achieve continued success faster.