Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The 2008-2009 school year is fast approaching here in the Valley and with it come droves of new freshman students who are anxious to experience college life away from home and all which that life entails. Speaking for the entire Fort Valley State University Family of faculty, staff and administrators, I want to say “Welcome, we are glad you are here.” This university offers a variety of opportunities for you to learn, have fun and grow into the productive adults that we are so proud to call our own.

As you begin your educational journey, there are many opportunities and yet there are some pitfalls that you will want to avoid in order to make the most of your experiences. First and foremost, your goal and the reason that your parents have entrusted you to Fort Valley State University is to get an education; got it? Good, now having said that, this entails going to class every day from the first day to the last, meaning that on August 18th, you need to be sitting at the front of the room in the classroom where each and every one of your classes are held at the designated time they are to meet. I realize that there are only about eight to ten rows of desks in most classrooms, so when the front row fills up because you were a few minutes late getting there, go to the second row.

It is expected and encouraged that you are going to meet new friends and hopefully forge relationships that last a lifetime. Make sure that those relationships are healthy and good for you. As the Co-Chair of the Judicial Committee for Students here at FVSU, I am asking - no I am begging - you to make healthy choices. Just as young ladies who worry about their weight constantly are seen at the salad bar in the cafe while turning their noses up at pizza and French fries, I want you to likewise be seen in the company of students who, like yourself, are here to get educated. Therefore seek out like-minded individuals to study with and spend time with while walking away from (and yes even turning your nose up at) those individuals who would invite you into the world of alcohol, drugs and all-night parties. A good way to gauge whether or not the people you hang with are conductive to your educational pursuits is this: If you see campus security walking along the path towards you and either you or your companion feel the need to turn off and go the other way, YOU ARE NOT HANGING WITH A FRIEND !!!

The Judicial Committee sees far too many cases which take up an extraordinary amount of time to address the following: behavior because of drugs, behavior because of alcohol, behavior because of out-of-control associations. Notice all of these cases involve “behavior.” If your behavior is unacceptable, you will (sooner or later) end up in front of the judicial committee, crying and trying to justify your actions. And the judicial committee will fairly and impartially listen to your story and then decide what to do with you. So as you enter the new school year, strive to do well, have fun and above all…BEHAVE!

--Oreta Samples is the lead veterinary technician for the Department of Veterinary Scicences at Fort Valley State University

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