As TKS transitions from one staff to the next and the year winds down to a close, it is worth examining TKS as a publication and both our accountability and our campus’ accountability as a whole. Beginning as a new staff of The Knox Student, we would like to reaffirm our commitment to covering the news and issues on the Knox campus with transparency and timeliness. As an editorial board, we are asking for thorough details to be given to the campus on all fronts throughout the next school year from both the administration and campus leaders, in collaboration with student media.
Throughout the year our campus has seen, protested and in some cases changed issues of transparency, especially financially Ñ such as the dilemma of Brother Shabazz’s contract and the amount of money that was assigned to recover the Human Rights Center.
We, as a campus, were told about the financial issues our school was having but were not given specifics. Even as a large group of students protested Shabazz’s contract, the severity of Knox’s financial standing was not brought up in great detail by those concerned about Shabazz’s employment. Suddenly, the administration was backing up the funding of Shabazz’s employment for next year. This lack of transparency is not only confusing to students, but also hides details about Knox’s financial situation from concerned students. Students were left wondering about why Knox would sign Shabazz without the money to support his employment and about the larger financial situation as a whole.
However, we cannot demand transparency from the administration without addressing the fact that students must get involved on the campus and with the administration if they would like to see change happen at Knox. One way to do this is getting involved with Student Senate: attending general assembly meetings and simply voting in the elections can help foster a community of change and activism.
We must work harder as a community to eliminate the sentiment permeating our school that Student Senate is inherently ineffective. Just as with any group, our student leaders are only as impactful as we empower them to be. If we want more transparency and accountability from the administration, we must take the power that the institution has given us and vote for leaders who will effect the change we desire.
Students who want change to happen on campus or who would like the administration to be more clear with the student body can also write a discourse column or send a simple email to a member of the administration.
The responsibility to strive for transparency, information and involvement does not end with Senate or the students. We, as an editorial board and as a newspaper staff, must also uphold our responsibility to provide the student body with accurate information and push to make sure that we get it. This ultimately is a responsibility that falls on all parties involved: Senate, the student media, the students and the administration. We must all do our part and TKS commits to doing just that.
As the editorial board for Knox’s only student newspaper, we at TKS are ready to fully commit ourselves to bring the news to the school community. We promise to pursue the stories that matter to the community, asking the difficult questions that lead to more clarity on what happens behind-the-scenes at Knox. We do this because we believe that an educated and informed community is more effectively set up to thrive. Knox strives to help prepare its students to impact change once we leave campus and we as the staff of TKS commit to do our part in that hallowed process.