May 4, 2017
As we wind down the spring semester, we reflect on a year that has been extremely challenging for many members of our community. From local hardships to national adversity, the 2016-2017 academic year has been atypical in numerous ways. Despite our individual challenges and differences, we remain a united community here on the Hill.
This year, one of the most contested presidential races in history divided our nation and our campus and diverted our time and energy away from the habits and expectations of our daily lives. Community members made their voices heard during a march in solidarity with those most adversely affected by then-President-Elect Trump’s campaign rhet- oric and proposed policies, building on a foundation of political engage- ment and protest established by student-led marches in recent semesters.
The College has engaged with and responded to immigration is- sues presented by the new administration. Between January and March, President Wippman sent three all-campus emails affirming the College’s commitment to providing support for all of its members, regardless of nationality. On April 28 he joined Ben Casper Sanchez, director of the James H. Binger Center for New Americans at the University of Min- nesota Law School, for a Facebook Live session on federal immigration policy. As members of our community face uncertainty due to potential changes in immigration law, The Spectator hopes to see the College con- tinue to speak out and to provide support.
Our community has sustained the unexpected losses of several members—we will always remember Savannah Crane, Natalie Babbitt, Graham Burton ’19, Svitlana Gura ’16, Tom Phelan and, most recently, Annalise Curtis ’18. The community has honored their memories through formal and informal memorials, and their contributions to Hamilton will not be forgotten. No one struggling to cope with these losses is alone. We hope the College will continue to strengthen its institutional support for grieving community members.
Despite these tragedies, we have also celebrated new beginnings and numerous successes. We acquired a new leader in President David Wippman, a man whose dedication to the student body is evident in his frequent attendance at our athletic events, performances and other activi- ties.With his community-oriented approach in mind, we rallied behind our peers in a variety of ways: we stood in solidarity with one another at protests, cheered each other on at athletic events, applauded each other’s artistic accomplishments and supported one another through numerous hardships.We at The Spectator encourage students to carry this support for one another into the stressful oncoming week, into subsequent aca- demic years and into the next phases of our lives.