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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

    Student Daniel Looney’s Speech

    Thank you Vice President McCourt… President Lahey,

    Members of the Platform Party, Friends and Family, and most

    importantly the Class of 2004, I am honored to have the

    opportunity to speak to you today.

    Four years ago on a day much like today, many of us

    were told “College will be the best four years of your life.”

    This seemed to be so obvious. Of course staying up all night,

    meeting new people and partying for four years would be the

    best. Isn’t that what we signed up for? For some of us the

    answer is yes… but fortunately enough we accidentally signed

    up for much more. If only college was four years of Senior

    Week. When we think about the best four years we often think

    about the fun we had, but overlook what it is that actually

    makes those four years the best. These years have been the

    best because of what we have learned about ourselves, each

    other and the world that surrounds us.

    What you have taught me at Quinnipiac, as my friends,

    my acquaintances, and peers is priceless. I have learned about

    the importance of meeting new people, and creating different

    experiences. With every different experience comes a new

    education. Some of the best advice I have received was from a

    teacher who recently told me to never think of College as a

    vocational school. Our experiences at Quinnipiac provide us

    with the opportunity to learn from… and about ourselves and

    each other. Conversation, confrontation, and exchange allow

    us, through person to person contact, to learn from others.

    Without these… I would still think it took longer than three

    days to reach the moon.

    The melting pot of Quinnipiac brings people from the

    most diverse backgrounds to one universal education system.

    This education far exceeds the education of going to or sleeping

    through classes 4-5 days a week. Only in college can a person

    from rural Massachusetts like myself, have the opportunity to

    live with a stranger from Brooklyn and learn the ways of city

    folk. We have all led a sheltered existence prior to college, and

    upon graduating have peaked out of that shelter and lowered

    our level of ignorance.

    Through these experiences, I can determine one of the

    most significant things I have learned at this university is the

    importance of having an opinion and being able to voice and

    advocate that opinion. Many of us do this when debating the

    Yankees and the Red Sox, but sports are quite different than

    politics. Neither Nomar nor Jeter, can lower our gas prices or

    improve our economy. This is exactly why as Americans and

    people we cannot ignore the issues, and do as most of us Red

    Sox fans do during the World Series and change the channel.

    As long as we are humans, the decisions made by politicians

    affect us and changing the channel only hinders progress. This

    is particularly relevant in this election year. Whether you love

    or hate a candidate choose one and make your voice heard.

    Choose the one you most agree with, or the one you disagree

    with the least and make the choice to vote in November.

    The most important gift we are given at birth is our voice.

    We have the ability to stick up for ourselves and be our own

    advocate as well as stick up and advocate for those who need it.

    We are now better at fighting our own battles. Our parents

    can no longer bail us out of our mediocre problems; we must

    endure these problems on our own… using the tools in which

    we have been given by our peers and Quinnipiac.

    When you receive your degree from Quinnipiac, you are

    provided with an opportunity. The opportunity to take

    everything you have learned in the past four years and apply it

    to your life. We are also given the opportunity to educate

    ourselves and get involved in something. Whether it be joining

    a club or organization in graduate school, or coaching a little

    league team, get involved. The education process does not stop

    today, in fact it accelerates and becoming involved only

    enhances that process. We learn more from others than any

    instructional course.

    This is where your experience and your voice intertwine.

    Our voice provides others with an education. In fact I have

    educated you all today. Whether you agree with me or you

    think I’m an idiot, you have learned something or reinforced

    past knowledge. It is with this knowledge we can further

    ourselves as humans by learning from others achievements and

    more importantly their mistakes. We must remember that

    with every mistake we make comes a learning experience, and

    as my father has always told me, “it builds character.”

    In conclusion I offer you, the class of 2004, two items of

    advice. The first is to stand up for what you believe in. A

    democracy best functions with a free flow of conflicting ideas.

    Without that free flow our experiences are restricted, and our

    ability to make decisions suffers. Voltaire once said, “I may

    not agree with a word you say, but I’ll defend to the death your

    right to say it.” We have a voice; it is a shame if that voice goes

    unheard because we have limited our own and others

    education. My second piece of advice is to get involved. We

    can learn a lot from our 9 to 5 job, but should not limit those

    experiences. Branch out and increase the number of your

    experiences, and you’ll amplify your education 10 fold. Take

    the opportunity given to you by Quinnipiac and continue to

    educate yourself and every day strive to make your world a

    better a place. Congratulations class of 2004 and Thank You

    for being a part of my education.

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