This is the last issue of The Knox Student for the year, and what a crazy year it’s been! “Campus Discourse” became the official 2008-2009 catchphrase of the year, because we just couldn’t stop yelling at each other. We at TKS consider this to be a good thing, within respectful bounds, of course, but we’d like to remind the campus that all our shouting will have been for nothing if we forget about this year’s problems over summer vacation. Most of Knox’s recent controversies, including the following, have yet to be resolved, and we need to remember to hold the right people responsible for resolving them when we get back to Galesburg. Have a great summer, but don’t forget to come back with your eyes open.
Remember “New deal with Family Planning in the works,” the article from April 17, 2008 that said a new deal with Family Planning was in the works? Dean Romano told us to expect new contracts within weeks of that article’s publication, but here we are in the last week of May, and we have no such contracts.
The blueprints for the renovation of Wallace Lounge that went on display in Seymour did not include a space for the Free Store. Why is Knox planning to replace the one thing that kept students coming to Wallace Lounge, even in its current decrepit state, with a junk food joint right under Knox’s other junk food joint? The Free Store is an example of student-led, sustainable, practical initiative, and it’s flourishing. We hope the Free Store didn’t end up in the blueprint because the school is secretly planning to put it Miss Piggee’s, but we aren’t getting our hopes up.
The Talloires Declaration
It’s great that Roger Taylor has decided to sign the Talloires Declaration. Hopefully, committing to a set of standards that hundreds of other presidents have promised to uphold will motivate the school to bigger and better things in terms of our sustainability. We need to help him remember his decision, though: Oberlin sustainability coordinator Nathan Engstrom’s report suggested many similar changes to the ones outlined in the Talloires, and we have yet to see most of them come to fruition.
The administration and SASS have been working together in addressing sexual harassment and assault on campus after SASS issued its list of demands a few weeks ago. While this work is starting to show signs of progress the administration has yet to create a Grievance Panel Reform task force, a task force that has been repeatedly requested in various forms for several years. One of the demands states that Knox must create this task force by the end of this term but as of this writing Dean Breitborde has yet to do so. It’s vital the student body remembers this shortcoming in the fall and demands action on the part of administration immediately upon our return.
Although the Student Life Committee, as a part of a private institution, has no legal requirement to make its meetings open to the campus, the fact that the state of Illinois and many other governments follow an open meetings act ought to be a sign that Knox should follow suit. According to the Illinois Compiled Statutes, as maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau, “It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business.” It is persistently ironic to us that the Student Life Committee thinks it is acceptable to ban students (and student press) from their meetings.
On that note, former editor-in-chief Tom Fucoloro’s hearing with the Broadcast and Internet Publications Board will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in the Alumni Room. Those of you who have kept abreast of the SLC issue this term might be interested in attending.