The Voice: School year finishes with hope, goodbyes

Campus is amass with students either dragging their feet—deadlines, papers and presentations like iron shackles on sleep-deprived ankles—or rushing from the library or classes in a caffeine-fueled frenzy.

Tornado watches and warnings loomed over the surrounding area this past weekend, and the weather keeps switching between hot, warm or slightly wind-chilled, so no one can accurately prepare his wardrobe for all day comfort.

It must be the end of another school year.  The end of another scramble to push our way toward that bittersweet day that we will all reflect on our time at UCA, like our graduating Echo staff has done in this edition.

In the spirit of reflection, we’d like to take some time to revisit some of the 2014—2015 school year’s highlights.

If there was a theme for the year, it would have to be progress and expansion.

We saw a lot of social change and outcry in Arkansas and the nation over the year, and we, as students, participated.

We took  a moment of silence for those feeling disheartened by our judicial system during the Ferguson shooting trial.

We invited speakers to campus to discuss LGBT lifestyles and social struggles, and coordinated some LGBT discussions of our own.

Students attended pride parades and protests over race-related social injustices and potentially discriminatory legislation.

We watched as our campus began to rapidly expand, taking the former, long-standing Papa John’s building on Bruce Street with it.

The HPER Center was finally completed and is an impressive facility with many resources for students.

The transition to Google Apps was finalized, and now students, teachers and faculty have unlimited storage space in the cloud.

Lactation stations got off the ground and were approved to become a progressive facet of our campus, hopefully allowing more pregnant and nursing mothers to comfortably continue their educations.

There is potential for a new pedestrian and biking overpass, which would allow safe passage across Dave Ward Drive and connect the Jewel E. Moore Nature Reserve to another local trail.

The sociology and psychology departments might have new majors and minors beginning in the fall, and UCA is considering creating Arkansas’ first optometry program.

UCA will have two groundbreaking ceremonies May 1 for Donaghey Hall and the Lewis Science Center expansion.

Everyone returning to campus next semester will see this expansion continue, and we encourage you to remain active in the vast amount of social conversations we’ve had over the past year.

Keep your eyes open to what this campus and what its people have to offer. Keep your chin up. Soon it will be your turn to reflect, cry, sing and dance before graduation.

It will be your time to pick up your cap and gown and turn in the final graduation paperwork.

For those graduating in May, we offer our sincerest congratulations for your perseverance and dedication in fighting your way through academia.

For all the nights spent thinking about dropping out or wondering what you’ll do after graduation or if it has all been worth it, we honor you.

May you emerge from your stress-wrapped cocoon of anxiety a prosperous, satisfied and proudly educated butterfly.

We hope your time at UCA has been worthwhile, and even if you don’t think it has, know you made it through one of the harder struggles of your young life.

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