Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

True progress now possible

Throughout this semester, students have heard and read endlessly about campus division, corruption, allegations, investigations, rumors and resignations.

We have plagued this page and paper with complaints and tirades about all that is wrong with our system, our leaders, and our status quo.

What no one seems to be talking about is how to move forward – how to progress as a whole and take the lessons learned as framework for a new campus vision.

No one will question that our campus culture has issues and problems that continue to stifle hopes of a more inclusive and diverse university.

We have become comfortable in allowing ourselves to be controlled by a Machine that has lost all touch with campus growth and looks only to serve its own interests.

We have become complacent in our desire to be diverse through not allowing our collaborative groups, societies and organizations to move toward racial inclusivity for the sheer excuse of so-called tradition.

We have conformed to represent a status quo that so many within our community speak out against.

I often implore my readers to ask themselves tough questions. I do not believe we can begin the journey forward without being honest in our shortcomings.

Now more than ever, we must begin to not only ask ourselves how to move on, but how to steer our culture towards a better and brighter tomorrow.

The Machine will only go away once leaders within the greek community stand up in unison against its influence. Without fear and blind obedience, it holds no power. It is not needed and should dissolve.

I challenge my fellow leaders in the greek community to rise up and make the right choice for our community as a whole. Let us truly represent the community we proudly head. Let us be true leaders.

We must also break down the racial and social barriers that harm the pace of our campus progress. Within many organizations and societies, there is evidence of division.

We are constantly reminded of our divide anytime we read an email from our president about a racial incident, look at our campus, which has one of the nation’s most prestigious greek systems but is not integrated, or when premier campus organizations have few minorities.

We must be better than that. We must allow ourselves to move forward.

Over the past few months, I have had the opportunity to talk with many members of our campus – leaders and average students – about the status quo. Overwhelmingly, people are tired of our present condition.

They are tired of the fighting, the back-and-forth columns on this page, and the constant reminders that our campus isn’t as unified as we portray to our tour groups.

We have the opportunity to be different and to challenge the way that we define ourselves. We write the definition of our legacy.

The road to true progress on this campus will not be easy, will not be met with open arms, and will not be comfortable – but no true change ever is.

We have the opportunity to begin the change that we seek. We have more of an opportunity now than ever in our history.

Never before have so many from within our community been so hungry for change. We have seen that the status quo is not conducive to our thriving University.

Twenty, fifty, one hundred years from now, what will our campus be like? Will we be able to come back and see reformation, or will it be more of the same “traditions” that we cling to so tightly?

The change starts now – it starts with us.


Austin Gaddis is a junior majoring in public relations and communication studies. His column runs on Thursdays.





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