It’s the simple things

On Homecoming day, security officer Sanders Jackson was faced with a massive challenge. Cars clogged the north parking lot, students and parents trekked along the gutter on Coldwater Canyon from Halkirk to the north gate, and Jackson had to figure out how to keep everyone safe.

So he made the best of the chaotic situation and set up a line of cones extending along Coldwater from Halkirk to the north gate, creating an imaginary sidewalk to protect Homecoming attendees. In the weeks after Homecoming, Jackson left the cones where he had put them.

So he made the best of the chaotic situation and set up a line of cones extending along Coldwater from Halkirk to the north gate, creating an imaginary sidewalk to protect Homecoming attendees. In the weeks after Homecoming, Jackson left the cones where he had put them.

Before Homecoming, the only formal separation between pedestrian and car was the storm runoff gutter. With this new semblance of a sidewalk in place, students who park on Halkirk or walk out of the north gate (or, for the more athletic among us, run out of the north gate) can now leave campus in a much safer manner.

With a simple, responsible decision, Jackson permanently improved student life.

This change did not require the approval of the planning committee, nor did it involve a large expenditure or a huge investment on the part of the security team.

In fact, it required no funds and no work at all. Jackson took some initiative, and it paid off.

Ultimately, it’s the little things that define our quality of life. Just as small annoyances around campus can add up to a bad day, small fixes to seemingly intractable problems can lessen the grind of a typical school day.

The Smoothie Bar the Prefect Council recently set up in the quad also has the potential to make a significant difference in student life.

In its first day in operation, hundreds of students turned out to try the bar’s refreshing drinks. The prospect of enjoying a delicious smoothie with lunch can add a small but valuable sense of excitement to student life.

There are so many little problems we deal with every day that could be corrected with minimal effort. Even just offering the occasional smattering of candy in the quad, like the Prefect Council did on Halloween, could perk up an exhausted student body.

It’s easy to get lost in the grandeur of long term, expensive projects and heady plans, but we can’t forget about the fixes we can make now.

To those of us who dodge oncoming cars while hiking up Coldwater, a few orange cones can really make a difference. Are these fixes life changing? No. But are they worth making?

Definitely.