April 25, 2003

The power of scholarship

The pervasive campus attitude regarding undergraduates seems to be that the college experience is merely a stepping stone, a necessary but tedious process that facilitates our entrances into graduate schools. This is a gross devaluation of the merit of an undergraduate education. Our time at the University is valuable on its own, not just as a notch on our educational belts. Undergraduates make an impact: we do quality research, we run innovative conferences, we ask important questions. We are more than just "revenue-producing units," as a former president of the University once called us.

We extend our congratulations to the recipients of the Udall grants and hope that their initiative serves as an example for other undergraduates. Research opportunities abound for those undergraduates motivated enough to seek them out. We ought not to underestimate what the power and influence of our developing abilities contribute to the academic community and society at large. With the proper guidance, we can be a force with which one must reckon.

When confronted with the possible insignificance of your undergraduate years, remember that undergrads have cracked the Deep Throat case, undergrads are saving the environment, undergrads are taking research risks.

Surely one must appreciate the worth of a graduate education; our very institution relies on it. We must keep in mind, however, that much can be accomplished during our four years in college.