President David Wippman and the Hamilton Board of Trustees met for their quarterly meeting last Friday, Dec. 2 in New York City. There, aside from discussing fundraising and strategic planning, the group discussed the issues of sexual misconduct and possible campus responses to potential changes in federal immigration law and practice.
As the Fall 2016 semester draws to a close, it’s time to reflect upon our experiences of this past semester. The Spectator has engaged with a variety of important conversations on campus. As we approach the end of 2016 and begin to look forward to next year, we want to take a moment to review the issues that have emerged over this semester and set some tasks for our newspaper and our campus to take up again in the coming semester.
Over the past months, some of the main conversations emerging on campus have centered around how our community can best address issues such as sexual assault, and in particular how the administration should be working with SAVES to support survivors as well as newly-formed S.M.A.R.T. to improve policy and add to the educational efforts already dedicated towards reforming campus rape culture; student mental health in an extremely demanding environment; implications of a Trump presidency, including concerns about the future safety of undocumented members of our community and the question of whether Hamilton should declare itself a sanctuary institution; and environmental considerations and a new initiative to eliminate plastic water bottles, among others.
Since his shocking victory on Nov. 8, President-elect Trump has done little to assuage the fear of racism, misogyny and xenophobia that characterized his campaign. We’ve been treated to a slew of cabinet nominees that seem to embody each tenet of the -isms and -phobias that trailed in the muddy wake of his relentless tromp to the White House.
The 2016 election results were absolutely heart-wrenching for millions of Americans. Women, people of color, queer people, immigrants and many other groups who have been marginalized and understand the dangers of publicly validated discrimination are worried about the regression of human rights that will likely unfold within the next four years.