Columns, Opinion

SZAFRANSKI: To be continued . . .

Can you believe it, seniors?’ Four years has gone by so quickly; most notably, this semester has flown by, complete with several months worth of columns full of political intrigue and insight.’ Indeed there are only two columns left before The Daily Free Press closes up shop for spring 2009.

Although there are many issues facing the world, this week I have chosen to reflect on some of the events that have defined the past four years.’ The class of 2009 witnessed history both here at Boston University and nationwide.

The class of 2009 entered BU just after Hurricane Katrina had pummeled New Orleans.’ The school opened its doors to the Big Easy’s academic refugees as schools like Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans cleaned up the mess.

Meanwhile in West Campus, BU opened its new Fitness and Recreation Center, the next phase in the development of the Student Village. And just as we as freshman scuttled nervously into our dorms in the fall of 2005, the university inaugurated Robert Brown as president.

The following year, a disgusted America turned against the Bush administration. The Republican majority that had ruled Capitol Hill for 12 years was flung from office.’ America had enough of Iraq’s quagmire, the federal government’s handling of Katrina,’ Social Security and the GOP’s corrupt reign.

Just as the banners and the balloons of the Democratic victory were being packed away, a greater battle began to brew.’ Only months after the midterm elections, the 2008 presidential contest began, comprising characters from New York to Arizona. The Democratic contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would become one of the longest running in recent history, testing, but also strengthening, the democratic process.

Obama ultimately emerged victorious from the primary season.’ Weeks later, after he and his opponent John McCain left their conventions, the economy went into freefall. Affecting endowments of schools like BU, money was suddenly tight everywhere, as hiring was frozen and expansion programs were put on hold. Obama would win in November riding a wave of popular anger over mortgage defaults, bank failures and job losses.

Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., the BU men’s hockey team bailed themselves out of a 3-1 deficit to win the national championship. Banks and automakers lined up at the White House begging for bailouts of their own. Only now are signs of life returning to the moribund economy, following the enactment of a multibillion-dollar stimulus package.

For the class of 2009, this could not be more important.’ Many of us may find it unfair graduating after four years of study and sacrifice only to be jobless.’ Moreover, poor job prospects mean many other Americans are going back to school, thus increasing the competition for graduate studies.

I do not mean to speak of a bleak future, but rather to call on us to realize what brought us to the present situation. We must not be mired in regret, but we must be able to learn from our experiences.’ Only then can we can turn from our past and face the future together.

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