It’s disgusting to me how people refuse to take advantage of the resources handed to them to better ensure that their voices are heard. In the past, I have said some things in The Point News that people have disagreed with and I am sure that this article will be no exception. After all, there will always be conflicting views on a topic and this is something that any writer submitting an opinion article should acknowledge going in. However, this is very serious, it means a lot to me, and therefore, allow me to be blunt.
On Wednesday, April 6, the “Take Back the Night” event of Sexual Assault Awareness Month commenced on the Townhouse Greens lawn. Take Back the Night, a multi-national event that aims to empower rape victims and women in general, was once again held at St. Mary’s College and co-sponsored by Programs Board, Walden Sierra, and the College’s First Responder Network. The event aims to reduce the social stigma associated with rape and produce awareness to help change the status quo.
In the last Student Government Association meeting, a bill to expand the funding of the Campus Farm and cover expenses for supplies and summer employment was approved, with changes and contingencies given the current economic difficulties of the SGA this semester. Co-written by sophomore SGA senator Alex Walls and sophomore senator Becky White, the bill brought to light the current funding situation of the Campus Farm, a quarter-acre of land in Historic St. Mary’s City officially established in Spring 2010 to grow a variety of vegetables to be sold to the College community.
An ostensibly minor change to how students line up and receive their degree at graduation has led to a much larger discussion between students and administration regarding how students affiliate themselves in relation to their academics. The proposed policy, which calls for students to process in alphabetical order, was brought forth by President Joseph Urgo upon reviewing the graduation policy earlier this year.
A panel of 27 faculty members, after meeting on Feb. 25 for 70 minutes to discuss overall issues on campus, began a conversation of an honor code and civility that has culminated in an emphasis on the St. Mary’s Way, a document all incoming students see during orientation but seems to be less emphasized by the College this year with an increase in disrespect among different groups and disregard for civil behavior among students and faculty in day-to-day interaction.
On Thursday April 14 in Auerbach Auditorium journalist Gwen Ifill spoke to a standing room only audience about her experiences in journalism, the present state of politics and media, as well as their potential future. Ifill was introduced by Todd Eberly, Interim Director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, and began her lecture by speaking about her background in journalism and her current position on The PBS Newshour.
In less than three minutes on Tuesday, April 5, the Student Government Association (SGA) voted to limit the amount of all school emails that clubs will be able to send out. The bill, which had already been discussed by the SGA, received no opposition. The bill itself, sponsored by SGA President Marlena Weiss, states that, “All club leaders will no longer have access to all school emails.”
This past Wednesday, Malalai Joya, former member of the Afghani Parliament and an accomplished writer and activist, came to the College to give a talk about the current situation in Afghanistan. Also the author of Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, Joya was expelled from the Afghani Parliament after she denounced members of the assembly for being “warlords and drug smugglers.”
As part of the political science department’s ongoing lecture series, a panel made up SMCM’s very own political science professors Susan Grogan and Todd Eberly discuss what it means to be at war. They said that in recent years, there has been a widening “disconnect” between what war is and is not. The U.S. Constitution, Article 1 Section 8, gives the power to declare war to Congress. However, the United States Congress has not declared war since World War II.
Seven SMCM biology majors presented their research at the Spring Meeting of the Atlantic Estuarine Research Society (AERS) at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons over the weekend of April 9. They were among the 30 students from New York to North Carolina who gave either oral or poster presentations. Students who presented were: Maddie Gillis, Elizabeth Lee, Amanda Liebrecht, Chelsea McGlynn, Erika Schmitt, Katie Studholme and Mike Studivan.