As Tech students return to campus this fall, they return to a much different campus than the one they left. The center of campus is beginning to reopen, the Clough Commons is ready for classes and the doors to Junior’s have closed. This raises the question: how will these changes affect life on campus? More, on a campus with as many beloved traditions as Tech, should traditions evolve to match these changes? Or should we hold to them as fiercely as we have in the past?
The Clough Commons will act as a common building at the heart of campus, both in a physical and intellectual sense. Students from different majors now share a common place in the middle of campus where interdisciplinary studies and collaboration can flourish. But, in order for this to change campus, campus leaders will have to provide programmatic backing for these physical changes. Clough Commons presents an opportunity to fundamentally change campus, but it will require effort for these changes to take place.
It is impossible to deny that as campus changes, its traditions will as well. Take the Technique’s “99 Things to do Before You Graduate.” In the past year, fifteen items on the list needed to be modified or removed to stay relevant to campus. While this could be viewed as a failure to maintain parts of Tech’s history, it is important to remember that traditions are living things. They spring up, they grow, they change and, sometimes, they die.
What campus leaders must do is evaluate which traditions to hold, which need to change and which are no longer relevant on campus.
More, it’s important to see that new traditions grow out of the old. Junior’s has closed, but what will replace it? And what new traditions will surround the Clough Commons? Surely, students will devise new traditions, but campus leaders should strive to see that the old traditions find a home there, too.