Students, faculty, and staff of the 5Cs,
I want to open this semester’s Opinions section, as I did the last, with a reminder that this space is yours. I encourage you to take ownership of your views through authorship here.
That the Opinions section is a space for discourse suggests a sense of freedom of expression. But to that freedom I want to add a sense of obligation. Our education at the 5Cs prioritizes the skills of contemplation and communication, societal awareness, and the passion to improve. If used correctly, the Opinions section can embody these commitments. Last semester, while we delved into the nuances of political correctness, we failed to talk in depth about our political system or nationwide concerns like the presidential election and the fiscal cliff. As news stories appeared each week following the dining hall staff firings and the Workers For Justice unionization efforts, not one opinions piece appeared about these issues. And finally, our semester was flanked by two mass shootings that sparked national debate, neither of which made their way into our newspaper until this week’s piece by Audrey Glaser. Audrey’s piece calls for response, as do other issues at our colleges and in our country.
Specifically, I hope to see a discussion of the Sponsor Group system that is a defining feature of Pomona College. Its legacy should not exclude it from critique. This semester, as the sponsor applications go out and the first-year housing forms come in, I hope to hear the impressions of current first-years and sponsors, as well as the reflections of upperclassmen looking back on the lasting effects of their Sponsor Groups.
Claremont, I urge you to take advantage of the openness and accessibility of this newspaper; I contend that it may even be your obligation. Remember that an opinions article can go a long way in addressing your concerns. Remember that, even when it does not, your courage and ability to articulate those concerns will serve you wherever you go from here.