Around midnight on Tuesday, water gushed out of the ceiling of the Grewcock Student Union and posts flooded social media. Reactions ranged from amusement to outrage, and many students Wednesday declared it a royal inconvenience to be fed at Curtiss Memorial Dining Hall for a few days while the college sorts out what’s happening. We empathized initially but changed our minds – Hillsdale has made incredible innovation in recent years and we’re grateful.
We heard the first meals didn’t go so well. Maybe it’s the building. Those of you who remember formal registration in Curtiss probably weren’t surprised. For those of you who don’t remember, it was a painful adventure with lots of paperwork and confusion. It was sort of like the vestibule of hell from Dante’s “Inferno” with financial aid papers. Some of us were convinced Gary Wolfram created it to use as an illustration of the failures of central planning in his new book “The Capitalist Manifesto” (which you should trot on over to the bookstore and buy). But the registrar worked to come up with a new process, and registration is now much easier.
Just five years ago students ate in Curtiss daily. When the college realized it needed a new building to furnish a palatial Collegian Office, it added thoughtfully a dining hall for all students as well. Lane and Kendall Halls are luxurious compared to what we’ve seen inside Kresge on YouTube. Our college administration is committed to beautifying and improving the efficiency of our campus, and when problems like this happen we have to remember its larger goal. We have it better than our predecessors.
And it’s more than buildings and processes.
On A3, you can read about how Hillsdale is using technology to teach hundreds of thousands of people across the country about the ideas we espouse. Hillsdale College is keeping up in more ways than one.
We dare use the dreaded word and declare that Hillsdale has made progress, narrowly defined. As C.S. Lewis well understood, progress means going toward your goal and recognizing when you must change directions to reach that goal. Hillsdale deserves praise for its successful journey toward progress, with only a couple stops along the way to fix the pipes.