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The Griffin Editorial 12/2/22

What we are thankful for

At this time of year, the word thankful is a resident in many conversations amid students. We are thankful for the holiday break, that classes are almost done and time at home with someone to cook or do our laundry for us. When staring down the study guides and textbooks in the harsh lights of the library, it may be hard to see what we are thankful for within the walls of Canisius — the things some will be experiencing for the last time this winter as they prepare for graduation in the spring.

Thankfully (pun intended) there are many things at Canisius to be thankful for.

What first comes to mind is the support system in the Griff Center located in the basement of Old Main. Only steps from the market or tunnels that lead to the comfort of a dorm room, the people sequestered in the small office space can easily be overlooked. They’re still there, though. One email or knock on the door has your success coach or another advisor at your service, willing to help out however possible. Even the most challenging of cases will be met with a smile, a shoulder to cry on and a gesture of support. The people in that department more than deserve our thanks.

A recent trip down memory lane also reminds one to be thankful for the dining hall and the other food options around campus. Cooking for yourself involves grocery shopping, dishes and planning. Odds are that once you leave college, there will not be an opportunity to walk into a building three times a day and always have multiple hot food options at your disposal. Customizable meals at every point in the day are not something that should be taken for granted, because providing those for yourself is no picnic.

Along with the edible options on campus, there are also numerous places to engage in activities beneficial to overall health. The Counseling Center houses many compassionate professionals who are willing to listen and help anyone work through problems or deal with the stress that any size course load can bring. Their push for mental health awareness makes students feel heard and supported. To supplement, Palisano and the KAC provide affordable and accessible options for physical activity. Academic fatigue is real, especially as the seasons change and the weather becomes colder and darker more often, so it is important to be thankful for the resources provided to keep our whole persona as healthy as possible.

Walking the halls under the Student Center takes you on a journey into the heart of Canisius: the student groups and extracurricular activities. Colors, photos and the sound of laughter echoing from the club rooms provide comfort to a passerby and remind them that they are not alone, and there are a plethora of ways to express themselves on campus. The Griffin headquarters alone has half a dozen comfy seating options, as well as a drawer full of treats and the occasional plant friend. —MB

Continued kudos to clubs

Speaking of clubs, more than two months ago, we at The Griffin wrote in this column, “First-year students are getting involved. Apathy is abating even among upperclassmen. … We are grateful for the activity of our fellow student leaders and feel compelled to note it now before we all again revert to social hermits.” We also cited the constant presence of complaints about student apathy throughout Canisius’s history.

Though we’ve seen an absurd number of fruit flies around campus, we’d rather have those than social hermits. The flies only make the presence of students more impressive. And they are a bonding experience! Hopefully, as they die over winter break, even more students will come out of hiding to replace them in the club rooms.

We’ve been clowned for supposed misuse of statistics in this column before, so we’ll stick for now to just referencing the phenomenon of “regression to the mean.” Given the long history of apathy among Canisius students, we expected the burst of activity to start the semester to revert back to the average apathy by, well, right about now. It hasn’t happened, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the students who have gone the extra mile to put on events.

We especially note the leadership of the present sophomore class, both here at The Griffin, at USA and in other clubs. The present senior and junior classes are performing admirably, but it is nonetheless impressive to see the second-youngest class on campus possessing a seemingly equal share of club e-board positions as their elders do. Student life is in good hands.

The only problem we see with the increased club activity after Covid-19 is that some students join too many things, to the potential increase of their stress levels and the decreased functioning of each of their clubs. But this is good practice for our future.

Digging in the archives, it seems that Canisius students used to join just a club or two and dedicate themselves wholly to those activities. But these students then went into a work world where they were more likely to stick at a single workplace (or at least a single field) for much of their career.

The world of full-time work we are rapidly approaching is so much messier than it used to be — many people have side businesses on top of a day-time job, or they bounce from job to job annually. Just as there are apparently endless clubs to choose from at Canisius, there have never been so many different types of jobs in the workforce. It’s disorganized. It’s not perfect. But it’s as good a preparation for life as classes are. —PH

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