A few nights ago, after a long day of Cornell Political Union recruitment, we collapsed into a Collegetown establishment’s rickety chairs, ordered heaps of greasy food and became embroiled in a heated discussion. One of our executive board members, a sophomore with a promising future in the organization, had asked if she should study abroad, and our table was split. But our conversation wasn’t actually about studying abroad. The executive board member had really asked, “Should I commit to campus service for my entire college career? Is it worth it?”
My answer was a resounding yes, but only because she has the right attitude toward campus engagement, one too rare on a campus where “leadership” is an expectation but thoughtful, deliberate engagement is optional.