Well, apparently it’s already time for my annual spring break email where I urge you to have fun, be safe and take care of each other.

In past years, I’ve offered the same advice I offer my daughters and their friends: Enjoy your break, but don’t be an idiot.

It’s an effort to convey a serious emotion with a casual delivery. But I’m afraid events on our campus this past week are influencing the tone of my thinking. As you may have read in The Collegian and in a text message alert that went out earlier this week, one of our own students was recently threatened and robbed on campus, and that ought to be a cause for concern for all of us. Now, I’ll tell anyone who asks that our crime statistics stack up well in comparison to other campuses and to society more broadly. I’ll talk about all the efforts we put in to make sure our students, faculty and staff are safe at CSU, and the amazing work of our police force. We have a very safe campus.

But the world is also not a perfect place and so long as any of us is or feels unsafe, we have work to do. This recent incident just reminds us of the need — even in places that feel safe and welcoming — to be vigilant, to think about our situation, and to take extra steps to take care of ourselves and each other.

That thinking influences my mood as I write you about your spring break.

  • Many of you will go home to rest and recharge your batteries and see family that has been missed.
  • Some of you will take part in the amazing alternative spring break experiences our university offers (send me your emails about those, by the way — I’m always impressed by what you’re doing to improve our world).
  • Our band (the best marching band in the WORLD) will start the week by marching in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin.
  • Our men’s basketball team will likely end the week with the start of March Madness, and we’re going to be cheering tonight in support of our women’s team.
  • Many of you will seek out sun and sand with friends while others will hit the slopes to take advantage of the recent snow.
  • Those of you with a baseball soul will make the pilgrimage to spring training.
  • At least one of you, I’m sure, will remain here, either working or beginning the final two-month march to final exams and, for some of you, graduation.

And as mean as it is of me to contrast the fun of spring break with your looming exams, my main message to all of you is that we want you back here — and not because as faculty members we see untaken exams as a bit unnatural (although we do), but because we all — as a society — need you. Each and every one of you. There is no shortage of challenges in our world, and while I don’t know how all of them will be solved, I believe deeply that your generation, collectively via the sum of your individual efforts, will make great progress.

Your futures hold the creation of new knowledge and works of art, amazing careers, and important moments as sons or daughters, spouses, moms or dads, and friends. Each of you is an important thread, and if you are pulled out, the fabric of our society is weaker because of it.

So, have fun on your break. Be safe. Make good choices and decisions. Take care of each other.


Dr. Tony Frank

Oh — and don’t be an idiot.