Oklahoma Christian University is a place where students can grow through education, spiritually and socially. It’s a place where you meet life-long friends, experience unbound opportunities and prepare yourself for post-graduation life. Oklahoma Christian boasts “OC is Home” on every banner and every postcard, but we as students have sometimes taken that motto and have selfishly absorbed it for us and us alone.
Alumni-shaming is something that many unknowingly do. It’s easy to see someone who has graduated walking around campus and to mumble under your breath, “Why are you here? Didn’t you graduate?”
A few bash former students for returning to their “home.” Some dismiss the idea of those who walked this campus before us attending sporting events and other activities around campus. It’s easy to consider certain events on campus to be “alumni events,” and if an alumnus dares attend something that is not an “alumni event,” a handful give them petty looks and utter disgraceful things.
I can’t imagine a student at a larger university being ashamed that a proud alumnus returned to attend basketball games, see former professors or catch up with old friends.
Alumni-shaming has become an epidemic here at Oklahoma Christian. We should be proud of our university. We should be excited to one day return to our “home” and hope current students would be proud that alumni loved returning to their beloved school.
Home is defined as “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.” We say that OC is Home, but hate the idea of returning once we leave. We boast that the student body is a family, but we ignorantly push away students once the graduation ceremony closes. We pretend that OC is a place where everyone is accepted, but some mindlessly discourage alumni from returning in fear of being shamed by the current student body.
Homecoming and Spring Sing are not the only times of the year that we should anticipate former Eagles to return home. We should be grateful for our alumni, they paved the way for Oklahoma Christian; they molded this institution into the university that we know and love. We should be excited when they pay a visit to the school. We should rejoice in the idea that they want to return to a place where so many memories and so much growth were made, because we know it’s a time that will one day come our way.
Please stop alumni-shaming. One day after you graduate you will return to Oklahoma Christian expecting to be welcomed by smiles and gratitude, but with the pace we are setting you will be welcomed with dirty looks and hateful words.