Lawson condemns resume-padding

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Dear Editor,

It’s time we stop saying, “It’ll look good on your resume,” especially if we want to cultivate civic responsibility that goes beyond four years at Transy. It is no secret that resume padding seems to be the incentive in joining organizations, primarily honoraries. Granted, with honoraries one must usually pay a fee to join after having met the academic qualifications. I’m beginning to think this act is symbolic, in that it appears students must buy their honors in the case of service oriented honoraries since the group effort to do service is almost nonexistent and in many cases it seems there is no consequence to the student for failing to uphold the values of the organization. The student will still wear those cords proudly on graduation day regardless.

I know at Transy we are all incredibly busy. Most of us are involved in several organizations. However, is that because we genuinely care about the causes and purpose of the organization, or because we know the more things we have on our resume, the more likely we are to look professional and be a great candidate for a job or graduate program? My time at Transy has made me feel that the latter rings the truest in general.

I’m advocating a change in our language. Instead of discussing how great our credentials will look in the future with the more offices we hold in organizations, let’s talk about the goals of the organizations we wish to join. I believe students should be genuinely interested in the aims and scope of the club. In terms of honoraries, perhaps instead of GPAs being the main criterion for admission, an effort criterion should be added to the list. However, even here we run the risk of falling into the “I gotta log my hours for my volunteer position” instead of “I am going to volunteer because I enjoy spending my free time giving back to my community…”

My proposal is not a simple task. I know how hard it is to avoid that mindset; the problems I’m raising are cultural. However, I look forward to the day that students engage in civic activities because of passion and not due to our achievement-driven-competitive-gotta-have-a-star-resume culture.

—Monica Lawson, ’12

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