Letter: College is transformative if students participate

ASOSU Vice President Aiden Tariku (LEFT) and ASOSU President Justin Bennett (RIGHT)

Justin Bennett, ASOSU President Aiden Tariku

Hello Beaver Nation,

We—your associated student body President and Vice President—want to take this opportunity to welcome you to your new home. Whether you’re studying engineering or English or education, each of you has something incredible to offer to this university and to the community that you will help create here.

The beauty of Oregon State University, and the power of our student population, comes from the experiences you now bring with you. Each of us, as members of this community, contribute different ideologies, religions, perspectives, economic standings, cultural backgrounds and varied disciplines—to name only a few. But, regardless of our differences, we are all inherently linked by our shared values of accountability, diversity, integrity, respect and social responsibility. As Beavers, we look out for one another and we support one another.

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Of course, the value of these missions, and the value of these words, does not lie simply in their composition, but rather in the actions we take to make them happen. To be a Beaver is to help one another; it is to recognize diversity and celebrate it. It also means acting in integrity in everything we do and holding each other accountable as we share in these moments. With all the opportunities open to you, there is an equal amount of responsibility you must accept.

We won’t lie to you, OSU challenges each and every one of us every single day. If you’re not being challenged, you’re not doing something right. To wonder why and to ask questions—we would argue that these are the only things you haveto do during your time at OSU. Everything else will stem from that.

Learn to dwell in and discover from discomfort. Learn to engage in critical thinking. Seek self-reflection.

We promise that college is, and will be, one of the most transformative experiences of your life. But this only happens with your participation. Don’t passively travel through your time here. Ground yourself and learn to grow.

OSU will give you the tools to do all of this. It is up to you to pick them up.