Our chief editor muses on why students choose to be cobbers
Why do people even go here? I have asked myself that question many times. To be honest, I am not sure I could tell you why I even chose to go here in the first place. Sometimes my excuse is Concordia had fobs to get into dorms and not keys. It’s probably the weakest excuse I could have when deciding, essentially, my future. I want to say I chose to go here because of the programs offered. But I would just be lying to myself.
Concordia is not the best, nor should it ever claim to be. It’s not special compared to other schools. We can’t tout Moorhead as being a beautiful city. The nearest significant elevation change might be Olin hill. Even a highlight of campus, Prexy’s Pond, was built artificially.
I spent all summer in Montana. Not only did I report for the state’s largest newspaper to see what real life was like outside of Concordia, but I also was able experience the fantastic mountains and beauty that the state contains. Moorhead doesn’t have anything near what Montana does or even that of other states. Many other parts of Minnesota are much better, aesthetically speaking, than this area. It baffles me that students who live in areas like Montana would leave the wonderful landscape to come to the cold, flat Moorhead, Minn.
Our enrollment, as we all know, is down drastically from years past. There are budget cuts across the board. Fjelstad, a mainstay on campus since 1936, isn’t housing students this year. To me, this signals a strong need to increase the attendance of the college, otherwise there could be some detrimental effects down the road. It doesn’t matter how good the programs are here if we can’t bring in students who have the means to afford college but choose a similar school besides Concordia.
Concordia has taken steps in the right direction to make the college more attractive. There was the addition of the school of business last year. There was the abolition of visitation restrictions, which is still working out its kinks. Even the implementation of a non-smoking campus might help to entice students to come here.
People still choose to come here when we have a dry campus. There are other private, liberal arts schools with wet campuses, not to mention public universities and colleges. But people still choose to come here over the other options. Concordia isn’t the only private, liberal arts in Minnesota or within the ELCA system. There may be schools closer to home with the same programs offered, but that doesn’t stop students from choosing this place. So, why do people, out of the many other options, still decide to come here?
For me, I didn’t realize how much I loved this place until halfway through my junior year. I felt like I was coming back the first two years not because of the place, but because of the people. I’m not just talking about the friends I made, but everyone at the college. The faculty and staff I have met over my stay at this college haven’t been anything less than fantastic. I have been pushed by everyone at this college never to settle. I would be hard pressed to find a school with professors willing to work harder for students than they do at Concordia.
While Moorhead might not be the most visually attractive place, Concordia is an exception to an otherwise bland city. It might be cold soon, and there may be snow in a month. But Concordia’s community is so rich and welcoming, that when I am wearing five layers in the negative 20-degree weather this winter, I will never question why I came to this college.
My advice to those asking why they came to this school is to wait and see. It took me almost three full years to realize how great this place truly is. I don’t expect everyone to fall in love with the school and that’s OK. And while I won’t ever be able to pinpoint why exactly I came to Concordia, I know why I stayed.
For the 669 new students and the nearly 2,400 total students, Concordia isn’t just a place or a college. It’s home.