- Madison Lazenby
Letter from the Editor, Spring 2022
To the Hamilton Community,
With everything that has happened so far, it’s hard to think we have only been back on campus for a few weeks now. When I write this, classes have only been in session for about four weeks, but it honestly feels like at least two months. In these short four weeks, the campus has been rocked by our first winter storm and another power outage, it was announced that marijuana possession sanctions have been lowered and that Dean of Students Terry Martinez will retire after this semester, and there was a fire in Buttrick Hall—which resulted in the awkwardly comical emergency text alert: “A fire has occurred in Butt…”
All this while Jans moved onto campus and a new Student Assembly administration entered into office.
Off campus, the pandemic continues to take lives—reaching over 900,000 deaths in the US—and far-right ideologies threaten to take more lives. A few days after the hostage situation at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, President Wippman wrote in his Holocaust Remembrance Day message to the campus that we need to “recognize that genocide still exists today” and “act against intolerance and hate.” I agree with President Wippman here, with the addition that we need to hold each other accountable and denounce any hate speech and injustices on campus, with the knowledge that anti-semitism can look like age-old conspiracy theories. In doing so, we also cannot simply look for another scapegoat.
We need to follow in the example of our Rabbi Ethan Bair, who wrote in his announcement of a processing space following the hostage situation, “Following Pittsburgh and Polway, it is one of a recent string of disturbing antisemitic incidents in this country. As a community, we stand together against antisemitism and hatred in all its forms, including racism, sexism, Islamophobia, homophobia and xenophobia. An attack against any targeted group is an attack against us all.”
Just as Hamilton is not a perfect safe-haven from hate—but rather we must act as a true community in solidarity to prevent it—we are also not immune from the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time of writing this, after only a few weeks of the semester there have been over 200 positive cases of Covid-19 among students, faculty, and staff. Then, at the start of February, the college moved Covid-19 operations to Blue Status, loosening restrictions drastically. This comes after Covid-19 Task Force Chair and Vice President of Administration and Finance Karen Leach wrote to the campus in January, “Our goal is not to eliminate Omicron from campus—that is not feasible.” The language calls into question whether the College believes that keeping students safe and healthy is also feasible, or even choosable.
I hesitate to say that what we need now is critical journalism. That’s only part of the story, and we are long past that option. We need something much greater than just simply writing about what’s going on. What we need now is mass advocating for our health, for our safety in the face of hate, and for our needs on and off campus. As the Editor-in-Chief of the Monitor, I invite you to use our pages to do just that. We are Hamilton’s social justice paper, and we are here to critique, investigate, and question what we have been told is normal. Likewise, we are here to be critiqued ourselves. The Monitor is a public forum where you can control the discourse—in the Monitor, you can even create the discourse.
As I have written before, though the Monitor has no allegiance, our responsibility as a publication is to the students and workers of Hamilton, and this will not change.
In order to live up to this responsibility, I encourage everyone to submit to us whatever your heart desires—opinion piece, news pitch, or media advisory. There is a place here for everyone’s story.
I can’t wait to see what stories we tell.
Trusting in the discourse,
Madison Lazenby ‘23
Editor-in-Chief of the Monitor