Tomorrow (April 11) is my birthday. For my birthday, this is what I want: for just one day out of the week next week, I want everyone at Tech to stop complaining aloud about Ma Tech, “The Shaft,” professors making random changes to their syllabi, Stinger and Trolley drivers, not stopping or walking off the buses randomly, seemingly reasonless SGA Joint Finance Committee decision or any of the hundreds of things Tech students whine about (sometimes rightfully so) on a daily basis.
Instead I would like for everyone to take that complaint, write it down on a list and at the end of the day send emails to the relevant parties for each issue you had. If we as students simply sit back and take these perceived maladministrations lying down, then posterity will forever have the same grievances against Tech as we.
This is the reasoning I supply my fellow Tech students with when confronted with the question: why do all your editorials just whine and complain about things at Tech? Can’t you ever just be happy about something that Tech does? Anyone who knows me knows that I love Tech. I’m a second generation-Tech alumnus (following my father, EE ’76 and ‘78). I haven’t missed a home football game since I was a freshman. I have Tech stickers on my car, Tech floor mats, a Tech doormat at my house and more yellow and gold T-shirts than I can handle,
I have helped friends at other schools register, work through financial aid processes and done a multitude of other seemingly mundane activities. My experience has been that no other college or university in the southeast provides as much assistance and support to their student body as Tech.
Our financial aid department is beyond equal, they have provided timely and accurate aid every time I have been there (which is a lot). The advisors in every college at Tech I have visited provided me with the answers to my questions with unparalleled speed and efficiency. Overall, the critical infrastructure of Tech (Registrar, Bursar, Advising and Financial aid) is truly leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of Georgia and beyond.
The point of all this is not for you to think Tech is perfect. Far from it; nothing is perfect. The more we as students push both the administration and our fellow students to achieve better results in every aspect of life at Tech, not only will our own experiences be enhanced, but so will those of future generations of RATs and alumni, not even counting the value it will add to your diploma post-graduation.
There are many things to still gripe about: Transportation, Dining, Housing and Student Government are just a few. Several of these have come a long way, but most could still use some work. The Stingers are improving, but I still have drivers leaving me stranded, seemingly randomly, for five minutes or more at a time while they exit the bus. I haven’t been to a dining hall in about three years, and while Woodie’s was overhauled while I was still eating there, I hear the food still oozes grease quite frequently. Lord knows we’ve all heard a ton about SGA’s JFC cutting everyone’s budgets this past fortnight.
I do not suggest that during your day of non-complaining that you be forced to think Tech is awesome. But stop and appreciate the good things at Tech, then write down the bad things and do something about it. Complacency will not make things any better.
The heads of every department—Transportation, Dining, Housing, Auxiliary Services—can all be found on their websites. You might be surprised when they actually respond to you. I personally have had some good discussions with some of these people and they seem to truly value student input (a recurring theme in the ‘Nique’s consensus pieces).
The same goes for your SGA representatives. I recently called up several representatives, some within my department and some without, to express my discontent with the JFC’s recommendations on certain publications’ budgets and was delighted to receive positive responses that were actually fulfilled during voting. All of the SGA representatives’ emails can be found with one or two clicks at www.sga.gatech.edu/people
So please, if for nothing else than as a birthday present to me, write, call, email, fax or do something to express your opinions, good, bad or neutral to those who can listen. If all else fails, the Technique is always looking for good writers.