Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Modern Convocation Speech, for Safe Space U.

Convocation, Safe Space University

We join, in progress:

"Thinking of studying meteorology? Fantastic, we could use another soldier, ahem, scholar. Spoiler alert: it’s the easiest course load on campus. Why is that? Because all classes lead to the same conclusion — it’s getting warmer! Graduate-level study requires more nuanced thinking, such as the ability to shift nomenclature on the fly – Climate Change, not Global Warming — when facts doesn’t support your conclusions. But that’s the long and the short of it. This leaves plenty of time for volleyball on the Quad, which is a good thing because – wait for it – it’s getting warmer!

I want to dispel a nasty rumor that’s been making the rounds. We are not disbanding the ROTC Program. Far from it. America needs soldiers in the defining battle of our time, against a shifty and elusive foe we’ve already discussed: Climate Change. It’s here that men and women will learn to throw grenades of uncorrelated data at carbon dioxide deniers, fix bayonets over funding cuts and fight hand-to-invisible-hand with those who propose market-based solutions. It is our alumni and alumnae who will lead as officers in the 82nd Airborne Pollutants Division, the 5th Column Infantry Division and the 10th Mountain Bike Division into battle against low pressure systems. In the fog of war that inevitably arises in a war on fog, we’ll need leaders with clear heads making decisions, and SSU will provide those leaders.


Let me close with some practical advice to help you make the most of your time here. Question everything during your time at SSU. Faith, family, tradition, authority, some of your elected leaders, everything. Not SSU leadership, of course, but that goes without saying. If ever you find yourself questioning SSU faculty, just remember our exercise earlier today at Orientation (FYI, we’re working on renaming that), in the Lazy River that snakes through our Aquatic Center. Don’t fight the current but let it carry you, one and all, to the same place and at the same pace.

So go forth and thrive in your years at SSU, where you are free to be the you that we want you to be!

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