Julian Boireau ’15
Students need to start spending their money. Every year students kick in upwards of $350 as part of their tuition to fund student projects. We have used this money for big projects like the high tunnels and the creation of the sustainability coordinator position, but this money can be used for small projects as well.
Student Senate controls this money; they have a large discretionary fund that funds a variety of student clubs and organizations. Get involved in a club that fits your interests and make a proposal to Student Senate to host an awareness event or potentially bring your favorite advocate to campus. These funds are given to Student Senate for the express purpose of funding ideas for the student body. If you see a gap in Knox’s event or speaker coverage, propose something. It’s your money and it’s up to you to use it.
Payton Rose ’15
Sexual assault has always been a serious issue on campus. The continued challenge, however, is in keeping up the momentum of the previous years’ activism. The overall campus culture surrounding sexual assault still has a long way to go. This issue is about so much more than adding another counselor or taking away campus members from the grievance process.
On the students’ end it’s about cultivating an understanding of the necessity of affirmative consent throughout all clubs and organizations. For the administration, there needs to be more emphasis placed on understanding how to treat survivors with the respect they deserve both in and out of any reporting process. Let’s not forget that the OCR is in the midst of investigating Knox for failing to meet Title IX standards. Rather than sit back and wait for a laundry list of things to fix, students and staff need to be asking themselves what more they can be doing to fight rape culture inside and outside of Knox.
Kate Mishkin ’16
The college should continue to focus on the needs of current students and work to cultivate a community and environment worth spending four years and $50,000 on. This means including various kinds of training, like diversity and bystander training, for students and faculty. It means continuing to bring guest speakers like Jackson Katz to campus. It means paying attention to the mental, academic and physical needs of students – not prospective students, and not alumni. Often times, it seems the school is too committed to catering to the needs of prospective students and maintaining its PR instead of maintaining a model of transparency within the community. One of the greatest things about Knox is its ability to attract students and faculty who are tenacious, open-minded and willing to challenge the status quo. Our faculty are incredibly hard-working and knowledgeable individuals who seem to be willing to work in tandem with equally hard-working and ambitious students to make changes and make our community a better place.
Like most institutions, Knox has problems. It behooves the college to address them and to help the community, instead of covering them up to appeal to future and past students. By ignoring Knox’s problems, we’re ignoring the faculty and students who work toward activism and change. By turning a blind eye toward Knox’s faults, we’re refusing to see its greatest asset.
Callie Rouse ’17
Don’t let the problems students are raising about racial discrimination and diversity fall to the background. The college needs to react to the student push for action. Knox likes to spout the diversity line to prospective students, but the retention rate of minority students is indicative that the college is bringing these students in and not making the necessary effort to keep them here. And the college needs to dissect what diversity actually means. This isn’t limited to the quality of experiences of students of color. This applies to students who identify as lesbian, gay, transgendered and all sexual and gender related minorities. This applies to students who have different religious affiliations or have none at all. Students with disabilities, visible or not, have their own perspective and challenges. The amount of students who fall under “diverse” is enormous. It seems almost laughable to expect one or two committees to handle the burden of providing for these students.
The teach-in gave students a space where they could express problems of racial discrimination they experienced. Don’t let this be a one-time event. Clubs on campus, completely independent of official events, try to provide these types of safe spaces and should be better supported by the college. Break down what diversity means for Knox. Continue to listen to students. The college can’t properly tackle the struggles students face if they don’t understand what they are.
Rachel Landman ’17
The college should continue to focus on efforts to improve student health. In my time at Knox and especially at the student walkout last spring, I have heard regular criticism of the health services available to students. Students cannot be expected to be successful academically or socially if they do not have access to quality health and counseling services. Hiring a sexual assault counselor this fall and other recent steps that the Health Center has taken are all moves in the right direction, but there are still undeniable problems. For example, students currently cannot receive prescriptions for birth control or access emergency contraception on campus and our health care services are still religiously affiliated.
As a non-religious institution and one that claims to be as progressive as Knox does, we should consider seeking another health care service that provides all of the care that students need and deserve at a high quality. With most students living on campus and limited options available in Galesburg, Knox should work to provide health care and counseling services that meet student needs, as many cannot go elsewhere.