“Go Hawks” seems to be almost as important a combination of words at Shorter in this era as any combination of Biblical phrases. The following musings are not intended to disparage any student, faculty, or administrator currently on the Hill”, but to point out the use of this term in a manner which overlaps every aspect of Shorter and the possible motivation behind this repetitive usage.
As an alumnus, I received an invitation to homecoming. This two day series of events is intended to allow alumni to gather together… and do what? Upon examining the itinerary, the only conclusion I can reach is that it will give many opportunities for alumni to say “GO HAWKS”! Most every planned activity on the mailed invitation orbits around a pep rally, alumni sporting events, and the cheering of current Shorter athletic competitions slated for the weekend. It is indisputable that these young student/athletes deserve our heartfelt support as they compete in their chosen skill of study. Why the effort to make almost every alumni activity a sporting activity? (GO HAWKS!)
I have also seen documents of correspondence sent by alumni voicing concerns about actions taken by the Shorter administration in recent months. These concerns are generally answered by Bert Epting, a Shorter employee who serves as a liaison between alumni and Shorter leadership, an unenviable task these days. Mr. Epting seems to be a good man, but it seems he has to toe the party line. Every letter of response to concerned alumni has the words GO HAWKS right before his signature. This seems to trivialize whatever concerns that were voiced. Mr. Epting is not to be singled out in his usage of these two words, for it can be used for any occurrence at Shorter to capture the spirit of the administration. Here are some examples:
-Fine arts program gutted and began anew… GO HAWKS!
-Nursing program turned on its ear… GO HAWKS!
-Science program in flux…GO HAWKS!
-Respected professors and staff run off or fired… GO HAWKS!
-Any contrary opinion to Dowless/Price vision ignored… GO HAWKS!
What is the motivation to use GO HAWKS at every turn? Perhaps it is to remind us of our mascot as a symbol of a Shorter student displaying prowess in the field and in the classroom.
More fitting would be to reflect the shift of focus at Shorter from academic to athletic achievement. The plan may be to attract new donors who will be excited about football and other athletics on the “hill”. These could replace longtime donors who have withheld support because of the seeming abandonment of Shorter’s longtime focus as an institution of academic excellence and replacing it with a focus on athletic excellence. GO HAWKS!