We at the Record are thrilled to begin another semester in the Purple Valley, and I am personally grateful to have this opportunity to address our readership at the beginning of my time as editor-in-chief. My goal for this time is simple: to publish good, truthful and important stories.
As College Council (CC) begins its fall term following the chaos and controversy of last semester, we encourage its members to consider the following issues and suggestions. We recognize that there is much work and thought required to restore confidence in CC and acknowledge that this list is not comprehensive, but hope that it is a constructive first step as CC begins reform.
In a Sept. 5 email, Dean of the College Marlene Sandstrom notified students of revised and updated policies for campus protest, postings and speakers, citing the administration’s desire to be “as clear and transparent as possible in describing [its] policies around freedom of expression.” While we at the Record appreciate these efforts in increased clarity, we believe the lack of student input in developing these policies, the ambivalent language of the policies themselves and the potential chilling effect of threatened disciplinary action alongside this vagueness all pose serious concerns to student activism at the College.
Friday’s climate strike at the College and the broader Global Climate Strike movement call attention to the necessity for leaders to take meaningful action on the climate crisis. We thank the organizers of the strike for their work in forefronting this issue in campus consciousness.
In 2014, Yoonsang Bae ’17 sexually assaulted another student while on campus. After lengthy legal proceedings, the Berkshire Superior Court found him guilty of rape on Sept.
Last Tuesday, College Council (CC) denied Williams Initiative for Israel’s (WIFI) request to become a registered student organization. CC members voted anonymously, and only three council members participated in the contentious debate, with none stating the reason for their decision.
The time is now: Calling for the College to act upon recommendations and make Asian American studies a reality
In its recent report on the status of Asian American studies (AAS) at the College, a Curricular Planning Committee (CPC) working group recommended that the College make two tenure-track appointments for faculty with specialized training in AAS and formalize an AAS program with a concentration.
In offering its students the finest possible liberal arts education, the College must include this critical field of study that both offers unique methodologies and perspectives and strengthens other disciplines. In this critical moment for AAS at the College, after past attempts have been met with dismissal and hesitation, we at the Record call upon the College to take action and to commit to implementing the working group report’s recommendations without delay.
Centering inclusiveness in the College’s educational mission: A call for renewed attention to issues of minority faculty and staff well-being
With the recent leaves of Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Kai Green ’07 and Assistant Professor of English Kimberly Love, the College’s need to foster an inclusive environment to support faculty and staff from all backgrounds and of all identities has become ever more apparent. This concern has been long-standing; the Faculty-Staff Initiative (FSI) Report in 2009 centered the retention of faculty and staff of color as a pressing issue.
In addition to our main editorial this week, the Record’s editorial board wishes to recognize the College’s Board of Trustees for allowing students to replace any one summer earnings contribution with additional grant aid. This change, we believe, is a meaningful step towards more equitably allowing all students to pursue a fuller range of summer opportunities, and we commend the board for it.
On the Chicago Statement: Recognizing nuance and encouraging collaborative conversations around expression
In recent weeks, a faculty petition has circulated, recommending that the College adopt the Chicago Statement, a series of policies regarding disinvitation of speakers penned by the University of Chicago. The petition has produced ardent responses from students and faculty, including a student petition vehemently opposing the adoption of the Chicago Statement.
On the cancellation of ‘Beast Thing’: Considering representation and affirming our commitment to uplifting student voices
Last week, the College’s theatre department cancelled its fall show, Beast Thing, in response to students’ concerns about the play’s potentially traumatizing content and their experiences in the show.
Many students involved in the show expressed frustration with their inability to bring their concerns about the show’s content and overall working process to the creative team. The theatre department has a responsibility to treat students with respect and to make sure that their concerns are not being invalidated or de-legitimized.