It’s time for the first editorial of my 4th year! Too bad there’s nothing to talk about. Just kidding, that was a joke (get it??? a joke!!). There’s a lot happening on campus, from alcohol agreements to walkthroughs to snazzy new campus SAFETY uniforms, aka black polos and khakis. It lends itself well to fellow editor Nina’s proposed replacement for Fetish Harris: Security Harris, in which we all don black polos and khakis, stand right outside Harris, and stare in through the windows for 3 hours
For the most part, I don’t have much to add to the discourse on campus. I’ve been to the Town Halls and I’ve talked to my peers, and my thoughts on the matter aren’t too unique. I mean, I guess I could talk about the new administrator (using this term broadly) uniforms. You haven’t heard? They’re all going to start wearing buttons that say “Please Be Nice To Me”. Wild, I know, but at least this saves them the trouble of having to say it all the time. This, for some reason, has been gnawing at me.
Let’s go back a bit: For those of you not fortunate enough to be present for 2015’s commencement, let me set the scene: a sunny day with a lovely cool breeze. Zadie Smith, novelist, essay writer, incredibly powerful and talented, delivers a refreshing, 10/10 speech (sidenote: how the hell did we get Zadie Smith?). Everyone is in awe. Fast forward to He-Who-MustNot-Be-Named’s speech, during which everyone around me loses interest and begins talking amongst themselves. “Please,” our collective hearts cried. “Bring back Zadie Smith.” But alas, our fervent wish reached no one. Instead we were treated to a speech that, as far as I could tell, boiled down to “pls stop criticizing me” and “don’t protest until you have A Seat At The Table.” Is that reductive and unfair? Maybe? Maybe I’m just salty that Zadie Fricking Smith won’t be speaking at my commencement. Sure, commencement is inherently political; however, I think I’m completely in line to roll my eyes and say His speech was tacky.
We’re all people and what not, but when I hear stories of administration (again, using this broadly) curtly and flippantly dealing with students, I’m filled with the impish desire to see someone completely tear into them. “Grow up!” I want to cry, while beating my fists on the ground. But really, take a gander at our S&Buds’ articles, or put your ear to the ground. People have been a little peeved at administration for a while.
At Grinnell we have the ability to be mad at The Higher Powers and voice these concerns to their faces. The downside: it makes it even more frustrating when give us half-baked responses. At such a small school that prides itself on its students’ voices, these responses are disappointing. Business as usual, I guess? Who knows how the rest of the semester is going to go. Maybe administration will, in fact, remain opaque. Or maybe, someone will ask administration a question and they’ll respond “Google it.” Or maybe, just maybe, Zadie Smith will return to campus and I’ll get to like, I don’t know, say hi and then flee. Or MAYBE, someone will fix these computers. It’s 4:20AM, FREE ME!! Until then, here’s to winging yet another year. Take it easy and I hope it’s a good one.