Few students who attend the University of La Verne are aware of the most important contract they have signed with the University.
We all sign this contract from the first day we set foot on campus. No, the contract is not the paper we sign agreeing to attend the University. It is not the thousands of dollars in loans that we sign over to student accounts. It is not the housing papers we sign forbidding us to have sex, drugs and alcohol on campus, and it is not a contract that promises “the career of your choice” after four years of attending the University.
The Mission Statement is the contract which binds us to this University during and after our experience at La Verne.
It is not possible to count the number of times students complain about the unimportance of the University’s required core classes and general education requirements. These classes are actually the basis of our college career. They are designed to teach us how to think critically about life, people and the future. The Mission Statement also helps us “become reflective about personal, professional and societal values.” It is highly probable that we forget those math and science formulas the day after the final exam, but there is a greater chance that those heated debates and discussions in our core classes will be remembered for years to come.
These are the classes which address issues and demand specific viewpoints. These classes are not a complete waste of our time. On the contrary, classes like Values and Critical Thinking and Service Learning help build the social skills we need, and help develop the personality it takes to make that winning impression for a job interview. And to think that all of this would not be possible if it had not been for the value-oriented aspects of this University.
If it had not been for these classes and La Verne’s diverse student body, then it would be difficult to learn about diversity, the community and our service to the community. There are not many schools that someone can step onto the campus and not be able to pick out the majority or minority ethnic group. The faculty and students at this university are so informed of one another’s cultural backgrounds that there should not be a sense of discomfort. It may be that the University only tends to accept friendly people, or it may be that through these classes we learn how to communicate and learn about each other on a whole new level.This is a valuable tool the University gives us. It helps us understand the people and the community in any situation we will be placed. This may explain the high numbers of students who show interest in the University’s Study Abroad program. Students at this university will learn to develop skills that will be helpful to us after graduation and in the “real world.” This makes La Verne stand out from all other universities.
We may not be aware of the value and importance of such a strong mission statement at this point. However, it is this Mission Statement that backs us up as an entire university. We may not even be aware that we are living the Mission Statement through how we think, act and speak on a daily basis. It is, in essence, the University of La Verne’s constitution.
Students may have never read the University’s Mission Statement, but many people have never read the Constitution of the United States, yet a majority of them are living and abiding by what it says. Overall, this is the law that we abide by that will help us live quality lives in the future.
Shiva Rahimi, a sophomore broadcast major, is managing editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.