Politics of Mercyhurst

Mikael Drake, Contributing writer

Politics surrounds us. It is present in family dynamics and the professional workplace.

And yes, politics are even found here at our own Mercyhurst University.

They exist in the offices here at Mercyhurst, I’m sure, as they do in offices all over the country, but they also exist on our level.

They exist in classrooms, in our dorms, and in our organizations.

Granted that our peers will eventually be the competition we face for the job market, but some of the political actions I’ve witnessed here on campus are just as disgusting as the ones we all criticize in Washington.

While clearly present in some of the student organizations on campus,politics stretch down to the most recreational of clubs, though maybe to a lesser extent.

In many cases, there are quiet conversations starting in the first months of the academic year about who will be running for what position for the following year.

We barely even start the year before people are already talking about which offices they’ll be running for.

The number of people who are two-faced is alarming.

How is one supposed to believe (maybe hope is a better word) that our elected officials aren’t making backhand deals behind closed doors when the student leadership we see every day here on
campus can be about as far from transparent as can be?!

Organizations such as those mentioned are often meant to be a nice way for a student to enjoy his or her time with friends with similar interests.

Now, however, it seems that so many are consumed with the power-hungry race for the best résumé to care about the “fun” or “relaxing” aspect.

It puts a damper on things for everyone else.

It would be different if people sought leadership roles because of their passion, but being president of Organization X appears to becoming more and more simply a résumé stuffer.

When a student has a passion for the position and activity they are in, it shows. When they’re just using it to put on a résumé, that’s even more obvious.

The negativity isn’t contained to just the institutions run by students, though.

Classrooms and academic programs are just as vulnerable to the cut-throat game that some seem to enjoy playing.

Competition for research opportunities, internships and even getting closer to professors cause some students to undermine others.

Politicians have a bad reputation sometimes.

They are (sometimes accurately) accused of manipulation, sabotage and being corrupt.

Mercyhurst is a small community, and word spreads fast.

There is no reason for us to mimic the ways that we hate seeing in our politicians. We should be the leaders we wish they were, the leaders we wish we will inherit the Earth.

Be open and transparent; don’t covet power for the sake of power. It isn’t that hard.