Civic Engagement on Lincoln’s Campus

In February of this year, my campus, The Lincoln University, was vandalized when some unknown person spray painted the word “nigger” on one of the entrance signs. Within seconds of its discovery, pictures surfaced on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram of the defaced sign. Students, some who loved the university and others who could care less, quickly became defensive of the university and cited this as an example of continuing racism in the United States.

The university chapel held a joint service with the Oxford Church soon after to show solidarity with the community. And, as far as I’m concerned, that was all that was done. When there was an opportunity for more to be done, the chance was not taken. A friend of mine suggested that the university should hold a Community Day, which would allow the people in the surrounding community a chance to see what the students do on campus and the amazing things that Lincoln student can and will accomplish. I suggested that the university go one step further and start initiating monthly or weekly service projects in the community, by involving campus organizations.

By all means, I am not saying that the vandalism of the sign was the fault of the university. Now am I saying that we need to prove a point to whoever wrote that degrading word on the sign. But I am saying that we should become closer to our community because of this incident. For, in fact, if it was someone in the community who committed this act of vandalism, then maybe they would learn that Lincoln University is more than just a school full of “niggers”. Maybe next time this happened, the community would come together and support the school, instead of us standing alone. For example, if UC Berkeley were to be vandalized, the whole community would step up and offer their support for the school as it tried to track down who committed the crime. But if this were to happen to Lincoln again, would the community stand by us?

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