During our discussion group we talked about what St. Lawrence represents and the main type of person you think of when you think SLU.
Slu Culture as a whole: Work Hard, Play Hard – Boarding School, Outdoorsy, Active, Community oriented, Close nit society due to small school, Polite, Dominantly white, privileged students.
We wanted to break down St. Lawrence culture and try to understand which aspects of being a Laurentian pertain to the residual culture. Where does this come from and how is it passed down from student to student? How has St. Lawrence changed from 1856 to 2013?
We decided that an important part of the residual culture comes from the close-knit community and alumni influence. There are traditions and behavioral norms that are passed down every year through attitudes produced around them. It is clear as you walk around campus how the majority of people act. We hold doors for one another, we say hi when we may not know the person and we hold similar views on what it means to be a student at SLU. Our unified community is portrayed and enforced in the first days of your orientation. Your OL’s and CA’s introduce SLU culture through the unifying aspects of our logo, our alma mater, and the quad experience which are all used to show the freshman what is like to be a student here. Students at SLU perpetuate these traditions through being active bodies on and off campus.
We discussed how alumni are quick to share their own St. Lawrence memories and relive their experiences at the Hoot Owl and the Tick Tock. Every student from current first-years to the class of 1856 shares the St. Lawrence passion and feels forever connected to the place. This is all perpetuated by a small student body, even smaller classes, and the representation of different social groups and backgrounds. SLU students are proud enough to hold each other accountable through a self-regulation student government. Students want to play and active role in enforcing SLU Culture through being members of student-run organizations/groups such as of J-board, SLU EMS, and Thelmo, in order to uphold the standards for how the SLU community should be run.
The faculty and staff love being on campus as well and hold each student accountable for academic honesty success.
While residual culture holds traditions and attitudes represented by the dominant culture, just as in any community, culture changes and evolves over time. This is how the emergent culture forms. It comes through the freshman class and how although we teach them what it is like to be a SLU student, they also bring new ideas to the table. Whether it be with new clubs they create or new fashions, a new class always adds more to what represents and resembles St. Lawrence.