This isn’t about us. This isn’t about the next year, or even the next 5 years. Many argue that Tulane and New Orleans will never be the same. I happen to disagree with that, but that’s not my point. If you haven’t figured it out, I care about Tulane and New Orleans deeply. Some of you actually believe I’m a naïve kid, just here to cheer on my school, only to graduate in the next year. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m not.
Go ahead and claim that Spring semester won't happen, or that "New Orleans is covered with E.Coli." It will be back because there are enough people who appreciate the importance of the experience. I care about New Orleans because of the experiences that I’ve had at Tulane over the past 3 years. I was introduced to culture, music, and independence in a cauldron of love and joy; as I witnessed Jazzfest and Mardi Gras. I started to comprehend hospitality, loyalty, and tradition; as I learned about New Orleans’ fascinating history. Most importantly, I met lifelong friends with whom I shared hundreds of unforgettable memories; as we experienced a side of life, a side of reality, that many will never see. Tulane brought us together, and New Orleans has been a canvas in which we all painted our own interpretations of life.
It can take away my house, and all my stuff, but the hurricane cannot erase my memory. I will never forget the memories I have from Tulane, and I will always use the life lessons that I have learned. And all I want in this world is for other people to have the opportunity to experience this. I can only dream that every college was as unique as Tulane. I truly wish that there was a college with a uniquely distinctive mix of people, such as those that I found at Tulane and in New Orleans. But there just aren’t many colleges like that, or for that matter, many places like that on Earth. I spent the summer traveling all over Europe, meeting wonderful people and experiencing remarkable cultures. However, nothing compared to the culture and community of New Orleans. No experience even comes close to the memories I have from my time at Tulane. That’s why I won’t let it go. And all it takes are people like me, people who believe in something, to make change. Conviction must come before unity. Unity will found our vision. Our vision will devise our objectives. Unified objectives will generate action. Many will work together to bring back the essential culture of New Orleans. Miracles will occur.
Let’s agree, New Orleans might not be the same for quite a long time. It’s a fact. But is that reason to give up? No. Should we just surrender and say, “New Orleans will never be the same?” Never. Do you care enough about this city to make a difference? Then do something. We must step forward into positions of leadership and say, “I will not let New Orleans fall by the wayside. I will not watch Tulane suffer as their student body diminishes. We will rebuild the community. We will restore the culture. We will resurrect the spirit of New Orleans.” Not for me, not for you, but for the future.