On Thursday, August 31, students made their way towards Pioneer Memorial Church (PMC) to attend University Convocation, a welcome back chapel event held at the beginning of each school year. At this event, faculty, staff, and students gather together to listen as the President expresses the theme for the year. In her President’s address, Andrea Luxton described the type of environment she envisions for the student body by using three simple concepts.
First, Luxton explained that she desires “a campus that models civility”. In other words, students should communicate with each other in a respectful way; whether it be face-to-face or through social media. According to Luxton, freedom of speech comes with responsibilities and she will not tolerate any defamation of character or race on this campus. Therefore, she calls for students to refrain from discriminating, demeaning and destroying each other through the use of words.
Next, Luxton explained that she desires “a campus that lives and knows the gospel.” Here, the president is calling for students to put theory into practice. Yes, as a Christian, one may know what the Bible mandates one to do, but it is another thing to actually do what is required. As a result, Luxton calls for the students to embody the actions of Christ, such as through spreading love, honesty and truth.
Finally, Luxton expressed that she desires “a campus that engages with each other and enjoys it.” In other words, the president hopes for this campus to feel like a community. At Andrews, there are many ways that students can engage with each other, whether it be by talking to someone with different experiences or discovering other cultures. To conclude her speech, President Luxton said that she will hold the student body accountable for four things: 1). Care for oneself, 2). Care for each other, 3). Care for this place, and 4). Care for your Creator.
Shortly after leaving the service, Aliyah Bright (junior, elementary education) expressed her thoughts about University Convocation.
She said, “It was amazing to hear information coming from people you would not normally relate too. In fact, Luxton’s speech was very relatable.” Other students buzzed with excitement about the upcoming year, such as Amanda Pechero (freshman, mechanical engineering).
She stated, “I thought that it was extremely cool to see and hear the president speak. I really liked what she said and I am very grateful that she is our leader.”
Also, Jade Romelus (senior, nursing major) said, “the convocation was an exciting start to the new year with the whole student body present. The vibrant mixture of comedy presented by the Andrews University Student Association (AUSA) team and the introduction of new members to the administration left me with hope and excitement for the new school year; it left me with the hope of change”.
Overall, President Luxton’s address expresses her vision for the campus this school year and left the responsibility of bringing this vision to fruition in the hands of the Andrews University student body.