Letter from the Editor in relation to recent events

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Author: Juliet Suess

At the beginning of this semester, it struck me how quiet everything had become over summer.

There were no protests on the steps, Facebook posts demanding action or highly publicized meetings.

Instead, a settlement has been reached between Occidental College and the students involved in the Gloria Allred case. And so, now, so much has changed.

In this settlement, Occidental has taken some responsibility for the actions of the past and, according to a statement made by Communications Director Jim Tranquada, has resolved the matter.

Yet, despite this change, much remains the same.

Occidental is still at the forefront of a national discussion regarding sexual assault and policy; the settlement does not change the fact that Occidental still has an interim policy, that Occidental still has other pending lawsuits regarding the same issue or that Occidental has the opportunity to be a leader among colleges on this issue.

So, our commitment to the readers of The Oc remains the same: a promise to continue a well-rounded and unbiased coverage of the happenings on campus that matter to the students.

And our hope is that you, the readers, join in on the discussion on these matters. At the end of last semester, I invited you to join in on the large conversation surrounding the issues on campus. So, that, too remains the same despite the large changes happening around campus.

Right now, it seems that the things that have remained the same are of the utmost importance to the student body: the campus issues regarding sexual assault (despite the changes made to the issues, they still remain on the mind of every student and staff member); the day-to-day grind of school, work and social life; and the ability to act.

We consider ourselves a school of activists. We pride ourselves on it in fact. And there are definitely groups of students on campus who are active in making in change. But a lot of the campus watches from the sidelines, not taking part in the events or the discussion surrounding them.

So this semester, we have tried to increase our involvement on campus by creating Twitter accounts and amp up our presence on other social media while still continuing our webpage, which gives the ability to comment and take part in the news. By increasing our involvement, we also hope that you, too, will become involved because a settlement does not mean the matter is settled.

It is now, on the crux of an important crossroads for Occidental and the country on the issue of sexual assault, that it is most important for us as students to insert our voices into the crowd.

And, thus, it is now that the newspaper serves its purpose: to report and to educate readers. The Occidental Weekly, in the past year, has covered a variety of topics; while we realize we are not always perfect, we strive to give the students the best possible coverage of the events on campus.

But we are a relatively small group of people, despite our growing numbers. So, here too, it is important the students take part in conversation and awareness. We ask for you to inform us of the issues that matter to each and every one of you through engaging with us on the various mediums we have created.

I am asking you to listen to your professors’ advice: be an active reader. Question what you know and what you think you know, be curious and open minded.

So, please, join us in creating a well-educated student body, one that takes part in conversation and discourse over important issues rather than pointed attacks, and help forge a road for change.

 

 

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