(Campus as a Second Home – Series 5)

By: Prof. Akh. Muzakki, M.Ag, Grad.Dip.SEA, M.Phil, Ph.D. Rector of UIN Sunan Ampel Surabaya

That’s not a song title. Nor is it a movie title. The sentence that serves as the title of this writing is a direct translation of the phrase in English “because you matter.” The latter phrase has recently been adopted as the tagline for Garuda Indonesia, a state-owned airline. The term “matter” in English is familiar and often used by native speakers. It can be easily found in various contexts and social situations, signifying the importance and value of something, an expression of love, care, and affection.

The tagline “because you matter” signifies appreciation, recognition, and respect for something deemed important. As a subject considered so crucial, it is accompanied by vivid emotions, often evoking a sense of significance. Sometimes it is even uplifting. The message of appreciation, recognition, and respect becomes even more poignant when associated with the distinguished service tagline of a reputable bank specializing in home financing—Bank BTN. Their tagline goes like this: “Because life is not just about today.” As seen in the advertisement flyer below, this tagline implies that the message of appreciation, recognition, and respect is connected to the future. The phrase “not just about today” is proof of its essence, specifically meaning “unlimited” or “not only.” Therefore, do not spend what you have just for today. Avoid being extravagant in your present life. Moreover, if you believe, and you certainly should, that life is not just about today, then invest. Develop your funds through investments because all of this is required for living in the future, for a better future. As highlighted by the bank’s tagline, we are reminded with another crucial message: Love the future. The central part of love for the future is saving and investing.

So, why should we think about the future? The answer is simple. Because life is a long journey. Life is a long journey that needs to be sufficiently long. No one will ever know its end. Therefore, there must be long breaths. Short breaths are not enough. Rapid breaths are not enough. Running out of breath in the middle is not enough. Once again, the journey is still far. The journey is still long. Accordingly, breath needs to be trained. Breath needs to be managed. Breath needs to be regulated. So that each of us can reach the end of the journey without running out of breath in the middle. This is the result of not training, not regulating, and not managing it.

In this long journey, adequate provisions are undoubtedly required. Relying only on the supplies for today is not sufficient. Especially, the available supplies must be carefully managed to avoid rapid depletion, as supplies cannot be ordered and awaited. Nutritional and beverage health becomes a crucial issue. As a religious university, the institution must ensure that all food and beverages circulated within it are halal-certified. Here, halal certification becomes essential for all marketed products, starting from food to beverages. Even third-party goods like cosmetic products are also offered. This is to serve diverse needs, from employees to students. The religious university must set an example for providing halal services for all food and beverages sold. So that people can orient themselves toward a religious university to be proud of.

Of course, the process and materials for certifying the halal status of traded products are solidified by materials and production processes. But there is still a need to focus on ingredients, as well as on food and beverage preparation processes. For example, the use of bulk oil should be prohibited. The use of food additives above the permissible limit of MSG should be avoided. Synthetic dyes and sweeteners should be excluded. These are the steps that need to be taken to ensure that everything is consumed healthily. And for everyone to strive towards a university that can be admired.

The process and materials for halal certification of products extend from materials to production processes. Still, emphasis should be placed on food and beverage ingredients and production processes. For example, bulk oil should be prohibited, the use of MSG should be avoided, and artificial coloring and sweeteners should be omitted. These are the steps that need to be taken to ensure everything is consumed healthily. For everyone to strive towards a university that can be admired.

Now, the practical examination of halal products extends from materials to production processes. Nevertheless, the focus should remain on ingredients and production processes for food and beverages. For instance, the use of bulk oil should be prohibited, and the use of MSG beyond the permissible limit should be avoided. Artificial coloring and sweeteners should be avoided as well. These are the steps that need to be taken to ensure the healthiness of everything consumed. And for everyone to strive towards a university that can be admired.

If we neglect the principles of health, none of us will ever be guaranteed success in the future. Moreover, the future will be marked by a shorter life expectancy due to the recklessness and negligence of our past, particularly regarding unhealthy consumption habits. A lack of proper health will inevitably result in a prolonged negative impact on our future. Therefore, to successfully enter the future is not synonymous with achieving sustainable happiness. A past full of sacrifices may lead to an unfulfilling future, with lifetime becoming short and worrisome due to neglect of health issues in the past.

For this reason, educational service providers on campuses should be keenly aware of daily consumption habits. The absence of a policy on daily health consumption is equivalent to neglect and disregard. Ignoring health issues is usually due to carelessness and negligence. At the very least, these are the criteria and causes. Moreover, if this happens due to ignorance and a lack of awareness, urgent steps need to be taken. Clear measures must be set immediately as part of the recovery process for ensuring the university as a Second Home is up to expectations.

It is never too late to act and take the right steps for the benefit of the nation or the community. In anticipation of a prosperous Indonesia filled with generations that achieve and are respected, no one should ever be too late to take corrective actions. The formula “because life is not just about today” should always be remembered and implemented. It should be embraced as a principle to keep life in wisdom, characterized by unity in word and deed. With an association that helps individuals reach their carefully designed destination. An illustrious destination in a long, continuous journey. A journey that is never instantaneous, but a wrong step could be reckless. It may not be a disaster, but it will undoubtedly make the perpetrator frown in regret due to the happiness that is suddenly disrupted. As a result of recklessness in past life patterns and consumption habits.

The principle of “because you matter” should move the campus to protect all its employees and students. It should address daily consumption patterns that are not sensitive to the health of their bodies, and it should not be indifferent to them. In its capacity as a Second Home, the campus is crucial for making key policies. It should manage the production and consumption relationship of daily products circulating in every cafeteria and store. While managing consumption habits is a personal responsibility, the university’s policy favoring healthy food and drink consumption conditions its community members to live healthily and nobly.

When everyone should love the future, the principle of “because you matter” can be a solution. This principle will give rise to a unique survival art with the power of a valuable long breath. Moreover, this power of long breath will never exist if there is no self-love. Yes, self-love for one’s own health. The love for one’s health is a prerequisite for appreciating oneself. The expression “because you matter” is just a logical consequence of valuing one’s health. Especially when it is synergized with the platform “because life is not just about today,” the principle of “because you matter” also encourages individuals to strengthen their ability to confidently face the future. This is because everything is prepared early due to the love for oneself and belief in a life journey that is not limited to today alone.

The art of winning today and the future is crucial for making cautious steps in life. How? By maintaining one’s health with an unwavering spirit. This strategy is needed to underpin life practices to always be in virtues that never fade. To achieve the endpoint of a brilliant, lengthy journey with all the happiness that accompanies it. For a future filled with brilliance. And the concept of the campus as a Second Home is also formed from the awareness of guaranteeing the health of the body with clear and unambiguous criteria. Its members then fall in love with the health of their bodies with all the joy they can muster. For each of them, the words will soon be uttered: “Because you matter.”