As SIUE students, we usually don’t hear much about the Alton or East St. Louis campuses, but when we do, it is because of instances like the recent Head Start incident — things that shock and horrify us — instead of the positive aspects and initiatives both possess.
As The Alestle previously reported, recently news emerged that children at the East St. Louis Head Start were punished by being forced to strip naked, and two employees are possibly facing charges. For many SIUE students, this was the first news they had directly heard about the East St. Louis campus.
This event was picked up by national news organizations, and for good reason. What happened was terrible. However, the university police stepped up and has acted on trying to investigate and press charges. There’s a process to the way they have to go about things.
The event happened, and it cannot be changed, but we at The Alestle see the beneficial initiatives our other campus locations have. We rarely hear about these things, and the truth is most students at our main campus probably aren’t interested in finding out. But we feel it should be more widely recognized.
It’s not for a lack of trying and there are no shortages of stories to share. Events, showcases, clinicals and more are all happening, but what is lacking is the recognition.
A positive example of achievements that occur on the other campuses is the School of Dental Medicine’s free dental screenings that were held at the Alton campus earlier this semester.
As the Alestle reported, dental students screened community members to see if they were eligible to receive free treatment in order to help dental students complete their board exams. This would allow people — who sometimes would not be able to afford care otherwise — to potentially get fillings and deep cleanings on their teeth free of charge.
The East St. Louis Center also has a Charter High School, a Learning Resource Center open to the community and much more. They serve the East St. Louis community, not just the students attending the programs.
The list could go on and when it comes down to it, we believe the campuses deserve more recognition than we sometimes give them. Whether we are aware of them or not, events are going on at the other campuses just as frequently as that of Edwardsville. Some of them may seem to be of no importance to us, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t support others in their hard work.
We should pay attention to both the good and the bad on our campus and the others belonging to the SIUE system because we are exactly that — a group of people united under the fact that we are part of SIUE in one way or another. Things that may seem to have nothing to do with us still may impact our lives and give us opportunities if we just keep our eyes open to see them.