ULM Hawkeye

Our campus is not a circus for clowns

“The Greatest Campus on Earth.” The phrase is perhaps a clever way to celebrate the circus theme the University chose for this year, but this board thinks ULM missed a golden opportunity to play up a huge milestone for our institution.

People know that for big birthdays, you typically do something really special. Instead, we became a circus and made an utter mockery of a proud institution of higher learning.

We turned 80 this year, a number that people pay attention to. Not only did we turn 80, we turned 80 on the heels of an Investiture Week that brought a very large spotlight to the great things happening on our campus. Turning 80 was a chance to say to the world, “We’ve been around a long time, and look what a great school we are.”

Instead, while the world was watching, we turned our greatest campus on Earth into the greatest show under the big top. Our campus was displayed as a circus.

Rather than use the big year to highlight our many accomplishments, we decided to show that we were clowns, people doing a song-anddance routine, riding on elephants or swinging from a trapeze. We could almost be considered a mockery of ourselves.

While all that was going on, serious people on this campus probably lowered their heads in shame, hoping that when the human cannonball went off, they could be in the line of fire so the madness would stop.

Is that who we are at ULM? Are we a dirt-floor arena under a big, portable tent? Of course we aren’t, but that’s the message we sent while the world was watching.

This is a serious institution doing great things. If we are going to continue to grow and improve our stature among our peers, we cannot afford to miss opportunities like the one we missed with our 80th birthday.

This board knows the people of this university come to this campus everyday to accomplish greatness. Knowing that makes it all the more puzzling why we would not let everyone else see that when they were watching us.

We only turn 80 once, and we did not make the most of it. Hopefully when we turn 90, the University will choose to say, “Man, aren’t we awesome!” instead of “Step right up to see the show.”