No matter what school you attend, these are unprecedented times in higher education. The pandemic has made everything more difficult — for students, faculty and administrators. There are even more serious sources of stress for the Canisius community.
Students face it as they look to an uncertain future for their institution, as they say goodbye to beloved faculty and staff members, and worry about the future of their program even if the institution survives.
Faculty face similar, yet different stresses as in some cases they begin the long goodbye from the students and perhaps the careers that they love, and in other cases faculty members whose jobs are currently stable watch an institution struggling for its very identity.
It is felt by alumni, who feel helpless as their alma mater appears regularly in the press not for the accomplishments of its faculty and students but for the turmoil it is experiencing. Administrators and members of the Board of Trustees feel the weight of the moral and fiduciary responsibility to the institution they love.
A group of alumni, former faculty members, current students and current faculty and staff have come together to work toward finding collective solutions to some of the problems facing the College. We are looking for current students who would be willing to give a little of their time to insure that the voices of students are heard. You can learn more about the group at canisius2070.org.
There are times, perhaps just once a generation, when we are called to action, to play an important role in shaping what our shared future would be. One such time was in the late 1960s. While celebrating the Mass of the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the academic year in 1968, English professor Robert J. Barth, SJ who would later become Dean at Boston College, had this to say to students at Canisius:
“It seems to me a sign of great hope that there is unrest, that there is anxiety on campus about the great issues of our age — racial injustice, poverty, war, middle class complacency, weakness in our democratic political system. I do not fear unrest at Canisius College. I fear, far more, student rest, the apathy that rots the exercise and growth of freedom.”
Sadly, many of the social and political issues that confounded us then vex us still today. The maxim “think globally, act locally,” combined with the words of Fr. Barth should serve as a call to action to help shepherd the college toward a bicentennial that can no longer be assumed. Please join us and make your voices, and the voices of your classmates heard.
Please go to http://canisius2070.org/, scroll to the bottom and get involved!