Community is the Tie that Binds us Together — What Happens When that Tie is Broken?


Katie Baker, Editor in Chief

Bridgewater, Va. – The events of recent months have reminded me of the infamous saying “When it rains it pours.” It seems as if Bridgewater College, as well as the world at large, cannot catch a breath between each declaration of ill tidings. 

Heavy on my mind this week is the news that our own professors, our own areas of study and our own opportunities for recreation may no longer be part of Bridgewater College. These imminent modifications to our education and campus life have caused me to consider what these drastic changes mean for the institution. 

Consider, for example, the recommendation to remove a major as fundamental as math and a major as traditionally essential as religion and philosophy. It seems such proposals further distance the college from its roots in liberal studies and the Church of Brethren. 

I feel concern for my peers who will be directly affected by potential program reductions or even potential program eleminatations. I feel sadness that certain professors who add purpose and joy to my education will no longer be teaching and imparting their passions onto eager students. I feel sympathy for the athletes who will no longer be able to express themselves through their sport. 

What weighs most heavily on me are the people we are losing and the distressing effects on those individual’s lives. I am saddened that a beloved and respected professor of mine, Professor Nicole Yurcaba, will lose her position come June, 30 2021. Instructors are being especially affected as their positions are being eliminated due to budget cuts that the college is taking beyond the resource allocation. 

To those faculty and staff who are faced with this heartbreaking reality, I say thank you. Thank you for your role in impacting students’ lives. Thank you for your will to see students grow into more than they are. 

Thank you for guidance as students strive for their goals. Thank you for your caring enough to see students develop in more ways than just academically.  

As BC’s “Big Question” for this school year is “Where do I Belong?,” I have recently been pondering different variations of this question. When you belong to something, you are in turn a part of something bigger. In this case, that “something bigger” is the Bridgewater College community. Being a part of BC’s community means that your enduring impact is stamped on the hearts of countless students. 

I understand that making budget cuts can slow down the rising cost of tuition and may be necessary for the long term well-being of the institution. It does not make watching your own professors lose their positions–their place in your lives–or realizing that your own peers now face uncertainty of their career dreams any easier to bear.