As the 2020 presidential election approaches, many College students, faculty and staff who are eligible to vote are preparing to cast their ballots in person. In future years, the College should make this process easier by making Election Day a College holiday.
We applaud the decision that was ultimately made, and we appreciate that student preferences — which were strongly in favor of the continuous model — were in the end taken into account. But the adoption of the continuous model also presents new challenges which we hope faculty and administration will consider as they look toward the spring.
120 unmasked students gathered near Poker Flats on Sept. 8.
In our June 6 statement “In solidarity with Black Lives Matter,” our editorial board expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and called on the College, its students and its alumni to make monetary donations. We made a donation as well, giving to three organizations that support grassroots journalism and journalists of color: the Marshall Project, the National Association of Black Journalists and Unicorn Riot.
During the hardest of times and facing insurmountable challenges, those who keep Williams running have risen to the occasion. That having been said, no plan is perfect.
In solidarity with Black Lives Matter: Where the Record, and the College, have faltered, and necessary next steps
Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Ahmaud Arbery. Tamir Rice. Oscar Grant. These are the names of only a few of the Black people who have become victims of state-sanctioned police brutality. The deaths of these people are directly tied to the anti-Black violence that first brought enslaved people to Jamestown in 1619, and that has permeated this country ever since. This violence — a system directly enabled by white supremacy — is embedded in our nation’s institutional structures through mass incarceration, hyper-surveillance of Black bodies, economic inequities and inequitable distribution of wealth.
In our editorial last week, we urged the College to reach out purposefully to students before making decisions about next year. We affirmed that safety concerns and directives from the government come before all else, but we asked that the administration systematically collect our opinions as well. Based on the all-campus email that President Maud S. Mandel sent on Tuesday regarding her plan for next year’s academic model, it is clear that the College made no such concerted effort.
As a tumultuous spring semester concludes, our scattered community has started shifting its attention to the fall. Will students be able to return to campus in September? If so, under what conditions? If not, what alternative learning environment will be provided?
We commend the College’s decision to move to a universal pass/fail system, which we believe is the best way to account for the unevenly distributed challenges to students’ lives posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In what direction is our community headed over the next 10 and 15 years? How will the College improve to become more equitable, inclusive, sustainable and transparent?