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Baylor not defined by news but by how students react

Sept. 2, 2003

By Stephanie Franks, reporter

The first week of class has been the most humiliating week that I can remember in my life. Yes, humiliating, but a needed experience.

I have toddled, tripped, sweated and cried in front of many students on Baylor campus because of my sprained ankle. You probably remember me, the one with a huge black backpack hobbling from Old Main to Castellaw Communications Center.

The injury happened during my favorite time at Baylor, Welcome Week.

After an accident on the inflatable obstacle course and about five hours in the emergency room, nature finally slowed me down and brought my independent self to a state of need and observation.

The first day of school I needed my roommates to take me to class. I needed people to carry my books and talk about something else besides the bruised appendage on my body. I needed to remember that my life was not defined by the present circumstance, but how I dealt with it. I observed that about Baylor as well.

This summer has been a humbling experience. With negative media and constant press meetings, I have learned that those things do not define Baylor, but how its students face those situations.

As I walked on campus, I heard reporters talk about the lack of support by others and the scandals that seemed to define our university. However, when around 500 students came back to campus to prepare for Welcome Week and the class of 2007 moved in, the university I knew came back. There were still reporters, and heartache still faced us, but Baylor's students were back, some who later helped me with my sprained ankle without complaints and some who have shown a positive outlook despite the news.

As a student who grew discouraged by the things I saw this summer, I feel optimistic now seeing what Baylor University truly is: the students.

When I was in my second grade Sunday school class, I learned that a church is not about the building but about the people. The same goes for this university.

Baylor is not defined by the buildings or the administration or even the rankings but by the students who choose to spend the next four to five years of their lives at Baylor, those of us who still go to class, still look forward to traditions and still take the time to help injured students on campus.