This semester, as one of many new initiative, Grinnell has decided to establish a Meta Task Force.
“We figured that after establishing the Security Task Force, the Task Force on Residential Learning, and the Global Grinnell Task Force, a Meta Task Force was the way to go,” Siobhan Sharpe, head of Task Force Organization, explained to a group of students. “The propagation of tasks forces has become a phenomena in and of itself, and as such we need to thoughtfully evaluate and regulate it.”
The Meta Task Force’s duty is to question why task forces are needed. This task force is composed of faculty, staff, students, community members, trustees, and peer institutions. Together, their motto is “Take task forces to task.”
“When we really think about task forces, we have to ask: what truly is a task? What is a force? And when we put those together, do we really get a task force? A force for tasks? Or a task for the forces?” Professor J. Abraham Physics said. “Whatever the reason, we’ve got to get to the bottom of it.”
Other Task Forces are less enthusiastic about the Meta Task Force. None of the existing Task Forces were consulted by the administration before the new Task Force was created.
“What even is the Meta Task Force’s job?” Safety Task Force Chief, Greg Rulyan asked, shaking his head.
“I just don’t get what they do,” Cassandra Elack ’17, explained as she sat atop the lifeguard stand. “I mean, if you’re a lifeguard, then you’re on the Campus Security Authority. And if you work for security, then you’re on the Campus Safety Authority. But the Meta Task Force just seems like it’s been put on this campus to question everything.”
The Meta Task Force is also open to students. Philosophy major Paul Phylot ’16 was one of the first students to join the force.
“See, at first I was skeptical. I thought that they just wanted me because I’m a Philosophy major. But then I realized that I could put it on my LinkedIn profile!” they explained. “Totally worth the weekly four-hour meetings!”
These meetings are open to the public, and involve snacks, such as apple cider, catering brownies, and occasionally, leftovers from the meetings of other task forces.
“I attended the Meta Task Force Town Hall,” Jared Kingly ’19, said, looking confused. “And all they did was ask, what is a Town Hall? What is meta? Aren’t we all just sitting around, waiting for someone to realize how special we are? I was forced to think. Never going to one of those again!”
When asked about the Meta Task Force’s presence on campus, Sharpe had nothing but positive responses.
“We sent out an email asking students what they thought of Meta Task Force. Only five people responded, but they responded with ambivalent to positive responses,” Sharpe stated. “So I guess it’s been a resounding success!”