#STOPCOMPS & #PASSDEBI
December 1, 2014
Blogger: Martin Pittman
Oh where have the days gone? In my first semester of senior year I have found myself extremely nostalgic about my time in the past years. It has been a reflective period where so much of the stress and tension of the current year has made me long for the immature days of my freshman and sophomore years where I was unaware of student administrator tensions and even at times student group to student group tensions. Often times I have found myself reflective of my social justice involvement on campus around issues of sexual assault, LGBTQ issues and most recently racial interactions and dynamics on campus. This past semester my friends and I have recounted the days where all we did was have fun and study, but how in our sophomore and junior years we became the leaders of movements and initiatives around these issues on campus.
While I believe these endeavors have been some of my most meaningful and positive experiences, as a senior I also realize how they have taken away from my scholastic efforts at times. In returning to the present my friends and I have recognized, but also in some senses feared our desire and more importantly our need to step back from some of our social justice actions and activities because at the end of the day we came here to graduate and now we definitely don’t have room to let our grades decline. As a senior one would think the goal is to have fun, see friends, take cool classes, etc. but the real goal is to complete senior comps.
Senior Comprehensives are academic evaluations, which typically involves writing a 35-50pg paper, giving a presentation, taking a 3 hr. long test, or some combination of the three. The importance of this evaluation and determination to complete this work has led to the hash tag #stopcomps being circulated around oxy newsfeeds on Facebook and other forms of social media. The hash tag really acknowledges the summation of ones senior year in that the goal is to just stop comps typically by completing them. With all this said and the focus on comps taking away from our social justice activities I and other activists have undoubtedly received energy and happiness from seeing the voices of younger students emerging as it gives us solace that the student drive for equitable campuses definitely will not end with our class graduating in the spring. Recently I gained the most pride from seeing close to 100 students at the past senate meeting show support for the Diversity and Equity Board Initiative (DEBI). The number of students at the panel was powerful in that this initiative was completely created and developed by current students, and the student presence showed amazing student-to-student support, which is the key to any college experience. I have found so much help and guidance from the amazing students here its good to see that support being continued.
In closing though I relish the days of unconsciousness from freshman year, I am enthused to see my fellow seniors supporting each other to #stopcomps and younger students supporting each other to #passDEBI.