My feelings and thoughts on “We are not second-class, North Georgia”
Phew–it has been one ridiculous week.
I feel I have stirred up quite the commotion in Dahlonega regarding my recent opinion on the merger.
After all of the compliments, complaints, bashing and boasting–it is time to come out of what seemed like a war zone for a couple days on this very website.
Mainly, I want to plead my case and give you a better understanding of why I wrote that rude (amongst other words I have heard in the past couple days) and obscene opinion piece.
Let’s go back, when I first got the idea….
In the beginning, when we heard about the consolidation, we had reporters go to North Georgia to find out information about what was going on and how the NGCSU students felt. To my surprise, the comments were not what I envisioned. It seemed to me that this was not going to be a happy and easy-going relationship.
Then one day, a friend and I had an extensive talk about what we thought of the merger and what they heard up there. Some of the comments I heard were daunting. That was simply the tip of the iceberg.
I wanted to find a way to write an article that would really mash the buttons of the students.
Then it hit me, I knew how I was going to do it. I was simply going to give an exaggerated version of what I felt North Georgia was doing to GSC.
I was going to be write it in an ignorant, uninformed manner or as one student student said on a comment, Youtube-like.
When I finished, I knew it was perfect. It was going to be everything I set it out to be, and possibly more. Little did I know, it was going to get a ton of publicity.
In saying that, I would like to touch base on a few recurring complaints.
One student said I was misinformed and let a group of students speak for the whole campus. Then fired back (everyone had the right to) by cutting down GSC, in other words, simply doing the same thing. The same thing that was going on before the article was even published.
My reaction and purpose on writing so generally:
One student said, GSC is below North Georgia. The students at North Georgia simply worked harder in high school than students at GSC. We did not even require SAT scores. Another said, mommy made them go to GSC and it’s everybody’s last choice.
I would have to say, yes, in some cases that may be true. But in saying that, there is a rather LARGE group of students who are less fortunate. I was accepted into major universities but financially it would have been a wiser decision to go to a smaller school to get my first two years out of the way. I also know for a fact, there are many students who were in the top 25 of their class at their respective high schools that attend GSC. A lot of these students simply did not have the money and chose to go to GSC to save money and then transfer.
Many students are ecstatic that we are now merging. It cuts out the transfer hassle. My main concern was to give an idea on how we are being treated by SOME not all but some students at North Georgia. I feel that the comment on students simply working harder is a slap in the face to me and a lot of other students here. Some are less fortunate. We do have students here who do not work as hard, what many would call lazy. But that is true at every college. Those students do not in any way make up our school as a whole.
So I felt that if I was general and let the few students speak for North Georgia as a whole, that they would get the picture. By the results, I would say it worked.
2. Mountain Trolls
Yes, I did say mountain trolls. I agree completely, that it was clearly out of line. But I was also writing for a GSC audience. I know that a great deal of students here feel inferior and have negative feelings towards North Georgia. I was going to be that voice and say what they wanted to say at that particular time. I wanted them to stay interested in the story.
My belief: I truly do not believe North Georgia are mountain trolls. That came out of my frustration, and I wanted to give a clear depiction of the feelings of some GSC students.
3.ROTC and Athletics
Many were not too happy about this one. I knew going into it that it was a touchy subject. This is what makes the school for some students. Again, this goes back to the generalization. I knew a lot about both topics, but I knew that if I was general and ignorant, it would have more of a dramatic effect–the comments proved my assumption to be correct.
ROTC/ Armed Forces: As I said in the original article, I am so thankful for what you guys do. You put yourself on the line for me and the rest of the nation. You give me the right to do what I did. To you, I am sincerely apologizing. You guys are the most courageous individuals on this Earth. I thank you for what you have done for me. I also commend the students who are going through program to become part of the selective armed forces.
Thank you, and I regret saying you would not play a role in the merger. I was trying to prove a point and I may have taken it too far.
It may have been a little much, but I think it was necessary because it showed emotion. It was ass, not F this and F that. There were no extreme curse words in the article. I believe things of that sort are uncalled for. But I believe the word ass was not severe. It just added to the opinion.
Take a Step in Our Shoes
If this situation were reversed and North Georgia students were the little guys and being degraded and cut down, they would be more than upset. This article was suppose to do that. I felt North Georgia students were generalizing about us and letting some students speak for the whole institution–like the work ethic and academic issue. I thought I should take it upon myself to help them understand how we feel at GSC.
GSC may be easy to get into, but it is a great institution. It gives the opportunity to further your education. For some it gives that second chance to redeem yourself and have a chance at making a living in an extremely competitive world. This school in just two years has come such a long way. Faculty and students are working hard to keep GSC improving, so to hear such harsh comments really put us in a agitated mood.
My Real Thoughts on NGCSU and Merger
I think it will be a great institution that presents a lot of opportunities. It was an option for me, but felt GSC would be a wiser decision because of the proximity to my home. But I fell in love with the school. I loved the campus, students and faculty when I went to Dahlonega. I guess that is why it was such a shock when I heard some of the comments. Again, as I said previously, I feel that both schools will benefit each other. My thought on the merger is still the same. I am still excited about being apart of what is going to become a university. Also, that I will have an opportunity to possibly play intercollegiate sports. I think that goes for the majority of the students here.
I hope that both sides now see how each other feels on the subject. I hope that both institutions can learn and grow to become better. This merger is going to be difficult enough,but let’s try to make it easier on one another. I hope many do not judge me too negatively based on my previous opinion piece. GSC will accept everybody with open arms and will be willing to work with North Georgia. I personally believe this will be the start of great things to come.
Whether you wrote a compliment or complaint, I want to thank you for taking the time to read the article and give us your thoughts. If anybody wants to contribute to The Compass or The Voice at Oconee, please do so. Even though some comments were harsh, I was still happy. I knew that it was getting out to others. Being a journalist, I know you have to accept the good and the bad. I want to thank the North Georgia student newspaper for writing that fantastic article on our journalism program. It was much appreciated, and I can’t wait to work with you.
One last apology to the individuals who were caught in the cross-fire of this argument. If I insulted anybody, I am terribly sorry. In saying that, for the ones who did say the degrading comments before the publishing of my previous opinion, I do not regret writing the story because I believe it gave insight on how we felt. The ones who commented on the website, you were simply backing up your school, I would have done the same thing. No hard feelings on my end.
I hope we can move forward.
Thank you and I hope you continue to read The Compass.