Staff Editorial: A hurt reputation, and only one solution

It's fairly obvious, at this point, that Geneseo may have hit a new low publicity-wise. With the highly-contentious blackface controversy recently the lead story on local TV news stations and in newspapers, as well as the Oct. 1 stabbing and Halloween drug bust that also made local news, it's clear that in the western N.Y. area, and likely beyond, the college has taken a hit.

But what does this mean for the individual student, a member of the most populous body of people at the college, and by far the one who's most concerned with utilizing the college's name for the sake of securing a stable livelihood? The fact of the matter is, it means a good deal. Where one attends college sends, perhaps without warrant, a tremendously strong message about that person's ideals, goals and motivations. Geneseo's reputation as the premier undergraduate college in the SUNY system has long proved a boon to graduates in their quests for employment or for furthering their education. But will that still be the case? It's a question, unfortunately, that needs asking.

The issue, then, of how to address the severity of the detriment that the college-wide reputation hit has taken on students, must be taken up by us at the individual level. And while there's no easy answer to this issue, we all must realize that it's an issue of personal initiative to display to outsiders that the Geneseo student, along with the college, is well-deserving of the highest level of respect. By moving beyond the indiscretion of a few and focusing on personally exhibiting responsibility, applying ourselves to complete the tasks at hand to the best of our ability and engaging ourselves in our respective communities in a meaningful way, we can collectively offer the people around us the image of a college that truly produces engaged citizens rather than one that is simply marred by imprudence and internal strife.

We do not believe, of course, that the absence of any sort of conflict is necessarily indicative of a healthy community, or that a graduate's chances of landing a job are now nil because of all that's happened. But the reality is as long as a Geneseo diploma or ID card is in our possession, our actions reflect on the college that produced us, and we maintain a responsibility towards it in that we're always reflective of the college, whether we like it or not.

Let's each and every one of us remind the world why Geneseo achieved its strong reputation in the first place.