​Don’t love something that can’t love you back

Madelyn Schorr

We have all been on a tour of the Capstone, where we follow around a woman in a red dress or a man in a suit and get sold on the University. We hear about the amazing facilities, honors program and faculty that make the University great on a daily basis. We get wooed by the scholarship money and winning sports teams. If you go Greek, you get swept up in the madness that is sorority rush and pledgeship. We don’t get sold on the University’s willingness to brush issues of racial injustice, sexual assault and a student suicide epidemic under the rug. If you are like me, you come for the Blount Undergraduate Initiative, the University’s only redeeming factor. The community and scholarship found in Blount is something I could never dream of when I stepped onto the campus of a large, state school in the South. The classes are the most challenging I’ve taken at the University, the conversations I’ve had inside and outside the classroom are the most eye-opening, and the people in Blount are the truly the brightest minds on campus. In all of my hate of the University, I cannot hate the program that has given me so much.

For some students, the tour never ends. They get the experience the University promises. For these students, college is about the hands they shake, not the grades they make. They are given awards, honors and recognition; but no matter how high the pedestal they are on is – it is never enough. The titles they have are far more important than the character they possess. They have used the University as much as the University has used them.

I don’t mean to generalize; some of the students are deserving of their success. Their hard work and long nights shouldn’t be lumped in with my bitterness.

However, I was promised one UA and got another. Four years later, I am about to walk across the stage and wonder if the UA I got was worth it. Should I have transferred and started all over somewhere new? If I tried harder and pulled more all-nighters would I have finally had the UA experience I saw in the brochures? In the end, these questions don’t matter because I was given the experience I had over the past four years.

The student body is not a monolith. We represent contradicting and divergent interests based on the labels we are given and the labels we put on ourselves. These interests do not line up with the values and mission the University possesses, and this is why we will never see the progress our campus needs. Don’t get me wrong, I love my professors, they have taught me more than I would have expected. I love my friends, they are some of the most compassionate and kind people I have met, and I am truly thankful for their friendship. I am incredibly grateful for the experiences I have had at the University. Although it was challenging and hurtful at times, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without going to the University. But the Capstone is an illusion sold during campus tours, not something you experience after you accept your attendance. I don’t love the University because it doesn’t love me back.

Madelyn Schorr is a senior majoring in art and anthropology. She has been a regular columnist for The Crimson White since January 2015. She has served on the Executive Board of the Blount Undergraduate Initiative for four years, as senior advisor to the SGA President, and as Regional Coordinator of the Roosevelt Networks. She will be moving to Washington, D.C. after graduation to work in development.