As part of an annual tradition in its issue before Thanksgiving, the Wheel gives thanks to the positive aspects of Emory’s campus we often take for granted. Here is a list of things we’re thankful for:
Emory’s Partnership with Georgia Tech: From the most recent news of collaborations surrounding the new Library Services Center on Briarcliff campus and winning grants for research on concussion-caused brain impairment to our dual-degree programs in engineering and liberal arts, Emory’s long-standing and constantly growing partnership with Georgia Tech is something for which we are thankful. The combination of two top-tier institutions sharing their research, resources and strengths with each other continues to create opportunities, where University President James W. Wagner says that “one plus one is greater than two.” We are confident that this partnership will benefit the schools and society for years to come.
Wonderful Wednesdays: Wonderful Wednesdays make getting through the week more bearable. Seeing the festivities and happy students dancing to upbeat music brings life to the often monotonous routine we fall into every week. Through this event, students, especially freshmen, get to learn about clubs and organizations from all across campus. Whether you get a free shot glass from Residence Life and Housing or get to play with puppies in order to de-stress, Wonderful Wednesday is something central to Emory’s school spirit and history. We are thankful for the weekly fun, food, friends and free stuff that only Wonderful Wednesday can provide.
Sexual Assault Prevention: We are also thankful for a campus that is actively looking for ways to prevent sexual assault. A recent article in Rolling Stone showcased institutional, horrific problems within the University of Virginia and its response to sexual assault cases, exhibiting sexual assault survivors who felt alienated from their college administration. While Emory is also imperfect in this respect, we are thankful to be at a University with faculty, students and some administrators that have demonstrated a clear advocacy for sexual violence prevention on our campus. Programs like the Respect Program and Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (SAPA), administrative tools like the new Standing Committee for the Prevention of Sexual Violence and the many individual student and faculty advocates show that our University is moving to a view of no-tolerance towards sexual assault and towards a true community of care.
The Interfraternity Council (IFC): The IFC has taken a greater active role this school year in implementing and affecting positive changes in the Greek community on campus. With their self-imposed ban on social activities as part of “tangible and proactive steps to mend the flaws in [the] social culture at Emory,” we are thankful the IFC is standing up to make a positive change.
Guest Speakers: Emory consistently draws remarkable guest speakers and makes a point to make these lectures and events accessible to us students. Last week alone, Emory hosted Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chief of Staff Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming. The guests that Emory brings to the table have ranged from public officials to iconic artists, featuring individuals who are outstanding in specialized fields, and thus may appeal to students studying a particular topic. Emory’s consistently impressive array of guest speakers spreads a wealth of knowledge across universities and expands the community’s intellectual horizons.
Library Resources: We owe a great deal to the substantial amount of resources made available to students, faculty, and affiliates. The Robert W. Woodruff Library in particular is ranked amongst the top university libraries in the country, with plentiful resources including the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library (MARBL), the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS), Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and the Marian K. Heilbrun Music and Media Library, the reference librarians that are always available to help, the free Lynda tutorials, the huge online databases, the large collection of books, microfilm/microfiche, the government documents and so much more. Emory is No. 5 among universities with the highest licensing revenue per dollars spent on research, based on an analysis of Association of University Technology, which would not be possible without these resources we have.
Creative Opportunities: We’re thankful for the creative outlets that are available for students throughout the community. Students are able to exercise their creative side through publications like student radio WMRE and its music and culture zine, Frequency, the literary Lullwater Review, creative anthology The pulse and humor magazine the Spoke allow students to express themselves outside of the bounds of the classroom. These are great opportunities for students to have their work published and shared across campus. Even for the less creatively inclined, these publications are a chance to read and engage with the work of their peers.
Sports at Emory: We are thankful for our student athletes at Emory. They may not always get the perks and glory of their Division I counterparts, but Emory’s athletes nonetheless work hard enough to consistently compete on the national level, all while going to class and doing homework like the rest of us. They put a tremendous amount of extra sweat and tears into making us proud to be Emory students. We are also thankful for the athletic department as a whole, especially the coaches and administrators, for fostering programs that are able to compete at such a high level. Additionally, we appreciate the University for nurturing such a wide array of club and intramural sports, as well as the students who put their time into running those club teams. Likewise, we’re thankful for the Play Emory program. Between varsity, club and intramural sports and Play Emory, there is a way for almost everyone to stay healthy and fit, while doing things they love.
Erika H. James: We are grateful for new leadership in the Goizueta Business School with Dean Erika H. James. Not only has she has accomplished much in her first couple months, she has also worked actively with the Goizueta community to assess the state of the business school. James met with students and faculty in a town hall setting to learn about challenges the school faces and ways to overcome them. In only her first few months, James was named to Ebony magazine’s “Power 100” list of “the most influential and intriguing men and women in Black America.” We look forward to where James will lead the business school over her tenure.
Ebola Treatment: We are thankful for the University’s swift and adept management of the four cases of the Ebola virus that were brought to our campus. In caring for these patients, Emory University Hospital proved itself to be one of the few facilities in the world that could contain the virus and successfully treat it without putting health care workers and other individuals at risk. The international attention brought with these patients showcased our school as one of considerable humanitarian ethics and medical expertise.
Committed Professors: We’re thankful for professors and instructors who go beyond the classroom and make it a part of their job description to help their students succeed even after their course ends. Professors are the foundation of educational institutions, and we’re thankful that Emory hosts some of the most dedicated professors, who ensure that their students’ learning experiences are applicable to the outside world. Additionally, we’re thankful for professors who not only teach their students the topic at hand but teach lessons that students can take and use to make their personal lives and the lives of others more fruitful. Without these kinds of professors – who dedicate their personal time to helping students learn and become better members of society – classroom experiences would be dull and uninformative. We’re thankful for those professors who transcend the bare-minimum.
Emory Employees: We are especially thankful for the hard work of the non-faculty employees at Emory whom we depend on whether we are conscious of it or not. We thank the exceptional shuttle service, without which we would be at the mercy of exorbitant parking rates or own feet to get around. We are thankful for the food service staff members who provide us with the means to remain focused on our academic work. We thank the custodial staff for maintaining a clean, beautiful environment. Finally, we appreciate the Emory Police and the security guards on campus who provide safety for many. Many Emory community members may take these services for granted, but the contributions of the Emory staff and employees enable us to thrive on this campus.
Many others on our campus deserve recognition and thanks. If you feel some aspect of Emory life has been left off this list, please write to Editorials Editor Rhett Henry with your contributions and reasoning. Happy Thanksgiving, and we hope everyone has a safe and satisfying break.