Opinion: Leaving WT

Marcus+Rogers+stands+in+front+of+the+West+Texas+A%26M+University+sign+with+the+First+United+Bank+Canter+in+the+background.+%28Nov.+1%2C+2022%29

Aaron Hamilton

Marcus Rogers stands in front of the West Texas A&M University sign with the First United Bank Canter in the background. (Nov. 1, 2022)

The Prairie News is a student-led free press. All opinions expressed herein are solely those of the writer and not those of WTAMU.

I am finally graduating, and after four and half years, I am leaving West Texas A&M University. The past several years have been something else, to say the least.

When I arrived on the campus of WT in 2018, the Department of Agricultural Sciences had just opened the Happy State Bank Academic & Research Building, and I was filled with optimism for the future. Over the next several years, I learned the hard truths of life.

My first realization of the complexities of life came in the light of an article that I, or anyone else, had no control over that referred to those not in a heterosexual relationship as unsafe. In the spring of 2022, the Buffs Around the World event occurred. The hatred of others that has always existed reared its ugly head in the light of people’s collective joy during the middle of an event in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center.

In 2019, during my freshman year, I thought, “What if I gave up and transferred?” That thought did not cross my mind last semester. I was only one semester away from graduating and had found my why.

The thing that kept me at WT is the same thing that now powers me through every day in this capitalist hellhole, love for my community. After the Buffs Around the World event, several students and I stood up to the intolerance that has been all too comfortable in Canyon, Texas. We organized, and the University was scared of our power.

Acknowledging your fellow Buff is the biggest threat to prejudice and negative implications for our community. Showing compassion and working together to create a better world will do more to improve whatever community you are in. In my case, I found joy in helping WT community members. My favorite memories at WT are with others.

I chose to stay at WT, not because I wanted to prove to the bourgeois leaders of WT that I was better than them. I stayed because I “found love in a hopeless place” with my fellow comrades. People like Allan Baltazar, Sharon Quintero-Diaz, Victoria Fatiregun and many other kind-hearted people. Faculty like Dr. Nancy Garcia, Dr. Christopher Macaulay, Dr. Brandon Bang and others helped me learn about myself and how to interact with our broken world.

As an Alumni, I will not miss my rampant procrastination on assignments. I will miss the social connections I created while at WT. Don’t be scared of your fellow Buffs. There are good people at WT, but it takes getting in the weeds to find them or, in my case, getting your hands extremely dirty.

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