Celebrate Service controversy: Shedding light on the dark side of the moon

Since the beginning of time, the 13th Annual Celebrate Service Day took place amidst the threat of rain and the grumbling of Goshen-goers.

Many students were frustrated by the seemingly careless way in which Student Life restricted the tradition to first-years. Frustrated that, in the middle of such Servant Leadership rhetoric, sophomores, juniors and seniors are not obligated to serve (or just take the day off, as the case may be) but to study. Frustrated that they had to trudge to their 1 p.m. Ecology class when they could have been getting their hands blistered and cleaned gutters.

But let us, as students, have some measure of reason.  There is more than one way to poach an egg (seven by my last count), and there are at least as many sides to a story. Below I will create a list of things that could have caused the Goshen College administration to act in such a way:

(Note: The following reasons do not in any way reflect the administration’s actual viewpoints; they are merely one man’s conjectures)

Celebrate Service Day can be seen like a bat or bar mitzvah… an initiation.  As in, “Hey, let’s make all the first-years do manual labor for a day before they can be accepted as true members of the campus community.”

Using the common enemy approach, or as it is referred to more commonly in hockey circles, “the Herb Brooks approach,” administration decided that by inciting the student body against the administration itself, they would create a more conscientious, involved and motivated group.

Citing low participation in previous years from non-frosh, Ross Peterson-Veatch said, “Dude, let’s just make ‘em study.” (Note: Ross Peterson-Veatch did not in fact say this.)

The creation of controversy was intentional, as administration decided that mustaches, height and homework were quite mundane for a funnies page, so they thought they would give the good folks on page eight something better to talk about.

As was mentioned previously, this is all speculation. Unfair, inaccurate speculation.  Jair has the rest of the story. Or most of the story.  Or some. Well, I haven’t read it yet, but I’d bet a California Cobb Wrap that it’s more informative than whatever I just wrote.

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Written by Daniel Penner

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