I was basically born at TU. On my second day alive, my dad brought me to work with him in McClure Hall to show off his newborn daughter to his co-workers.
When I was a toddler I was dressed up in a tiny Tulsa Cheerleader costume to attend home games.
In middle school I spent summer days playing RuneScape in my dad’s office and taking summer classes at the University School.
As a third generation TU attendee and with guaranteed free tuition because of my dad’s employment, TU was the only school to which I sent an application.
I was raised to love this place, with it’s bright sandstone and lush grass. As I went on UA tours, attended Preview TU and made friends at orientation I was convinced that there wasn’t a better school anywhere that I could have chosen.
I’ve grown so much over the last four years. My worldview has changed at least a couple dozen times. And my opinion of TU has changed with it.
At the worst of times, I saw TU as a crumbling institution full of people who would rather throw others under the bus than accept blame for their own missteps.
At the worst of times, TU allowed a rapist to stay on campus while expelling another student without a conduct hearing.
At the worst of times, TU enforced massive cuts to the salaries and benefits of its faculty and staff while building a new dorm, and then closed a dorm on campus because they couldn’t meet enrollment.
At the worst of times, students were depressingly apathetic to TU’s biggest problems and TU’s greatest accomplishments alike.
But none of these events affected my view of TU nearly so much as the best of times.
At the best of times, I saw students engage in silent protest over a conversion therapist.
At the best of times, my colleagues and I curled up on the couches in the Collegian office and got to know each other.
At the best of times, TU responded positively to significant student demands.
At the best of times, small class sizes and fantastic professors really were the key to learning that the University claims.
If any of you remember me when I’m gone, I hope I’ve left behind a legacy. I hope my endless rants for transparency have left an impact. I hope the Collegian continues champion improvements across campus. I hope that when other students come to TU with big expectations, their expectations are only ever exceeded.