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Dear Eckerd First-Years, 

 

Welcome to the new era of Eckerd College, one which has not operated at its full potential in years. Welcome to a new era of intentional change, to a place whose future is not yet determined, because it is you, as first-year students, who have the power and responsibility to set the tone for what this community will be for the future students. 

In this pivotal year, you are the only students here who will witness the full potential of the Eckerd College experience. It is because of this, you have the power to create the Eckerd you want to be your home during the next four years, and a place to return to beyond that. 

You not only have the power to cultivate the campus community into what you want to see, but the responsibility to do so. Eckerd is a place where learning goes beyond the classroom, but seeps into the day to day interactions you have with your peers. 

The responsibility of learning outside of the classroom extends to saying hello on sidewalks, attending protests, talking to the housekeeping staff and many more seemingly menial interactions. This is the Eckerd culture you get to determine the fate of by choosing to participate or not. 

As a senior and the ECOS President this year, it is my responsibility to support you in achieving the campus you want to see. It is the responsibility of the seniors, who have had a glimpse of what Eckerd was, to guide you in what it has been and now could be. 

In my time here, coming in as a “COVID kid” in 2020 and graduating this year, it is important to me to experience one full year of Eckerd’s potential in classrooms, events and student cultivated initiatives. I am committed to making this year the Eckerd you want, but I need your commitment to do the same. 

This commitment is one ingrained in your day to day life — a commitment to caring for this community, getting involved in clubs, speaking out about the changes you want to see, attending events, participating in class and much more. 

While it may seem like there is not enough time, or it would be easier to be a passive spectator for the next four years, your experience will not be revolutionized in the same way it could if you don’t get involved. 

If getting involved feels distracting to your education, my experience within the classroom has only improved by getting involved, meeting new people and inviting new experiences and perspectives. You have the power to cultivate this new era of Eckerd within the classroom through listening to others voices, participating in class discussions and getting to know your mentors and professors. 

When I graduate in May, I hope I can say that I have done all I can to give you the resources you need to redefine Eckerd College as an institution. All so that when you graduate, you can look back onto your four-year academic home with pride and say, “I did that.”

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