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The aftermath of ‘Keygate’

April 25, 2011

By Delta Lambda, Guest Contribution

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
—Oscar Wilde

As another academic year ends, the natural habit of students and faculty alike is to reflect upon the past year. This time of reminiscing upon memories, events, successes, failures, and lessons-learned from the past year serves as a tool for analyzing the effects of our decisions and molding our mindsets as people. For the former members of the now disbanded Delta Lambda, this year has definitely been a memorable one. To be part of one of the largest scandals during a semester is not a pleasant experience. Our actions sent out shockwaves, and the waters are only now beginning finally to settle. Our mission since being discovered has been “community restoration.” How do we as a student body, as a communal family, begin to restore such negative effects?

Much like ourselves, these “effects” are not only the reactions to our punishment but the deeply rooted ideals held by many of the students, here. Most Young Harris College students will agree that a sense of entitlement is easily fostered. Most students feel like this campus is their home and that they may act according to their own wishes. This thinking is not malicious. On the contrary, feeling “at home” here in the Enchanted Valley seems to be a beneficial effect of a loving campus. The problem lies when this sense of comfort and “at home” morphs into unquestioned entitlement, when we begin to act against established rules out of some sense of superiority.

So what have the former members of the now disbanded Delta Lambda learned from this year’s reflection? We have learned that acting without thinking can be devastating. We have learned that forgiveness can be instant but restoration is ongoing and difficult. We have learned that the actions of a few can speak for an entire group and that relationships are exceptionally hard to repair when damaged. Out of all the things we have learned, the most important by far is this: every person is solely responsible for his/her own actions.

So where do we stand now? Each of us is in a very different place after this year. We have attempted to restore this community from the effects of our actions and have strived towards our goals. However, there is still work to be done. As the semester ends and we all part ways, we can only extend advice and wisdom that we have learned through tears, meetings, struggles, hours of reflection, and prayer:

Live with integrity and remember that you alone are responsible for the decisions you make, yet—consciously or not—your decisions affect more than just you.

Learned to rise again and continue in the face of adversity and shame.

Everyone will face obstacles at some point, the difference is in how we deal with the troubles we encounter.

Learn to forgive others and yourself and persevering despite the odds is a valuable lesson for everyone.

These lessons sharpen our vision of this past year and guide our gaze into the future.

“But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation so that it may be conformed to the body of his glory . . . .“
—Philippians 3:20-21a

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