Students should act on nation’s values

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    More than 1 million people stood in the National Mall on Tuesday to witness President Barack Obama’s inauguration. And across the country and in foreign nations, thousands of others were enthralled as Obama took the oath to become the first black president of the United States, a sight some thought they would never live to see.

    It was a long, difficult road to this day, harking back to the Emancipation Proclamation in the 19th century and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

    Obama’s inauguration has given millions of people in the United States and the world a reason to celebrate, but they should not forget the challenges that lie ahead – problems that a single man, however talented, cannot fix on his own.

    “In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given,” Obama said in his address. “It must be earned.”

    Obama appealed to the values that make the United States what it is: honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism. Students on this campus have found ways to put them into practice and give examples of what makes citizens of other countries look up to the United States.

    Nursing students are helping the Mansfield ISD by identifying hazards in the district’s school routes. The students will also train local fourth-graders to safely and responsibly ride their bicycles to school.

    Last semester, under the watch of sociology professor Keith Whitworth and engineering professor Bill Diong, students worked on a solar energy project to power low-watt applications in an attempt to further sustainability efforts on campus and as a nod to nationwide initiatives to make the use of alternative sources of energy a viable substitute to fossil fuels.

    Sick of the word “change”? Don’t repeat it, then. Be it.

    Web editor Julieta Chiquillo for the editorial board.