I would like to start by thanking Katie Blanchard and Dan Curme for opening up the discussion about the Gaza war on campus in a way that allowed the conversation to continue and in a way that did not simply deteriorate into hostility as it so easily could have. It is never healthy to try to ignore festering and inevitable controversy or conflict. Thus, I am writing this in order to continue this debate and to present another viewpoint.
It sounded fun, competing against the other dorms to save energy during the month of February and possibly getting a pizza party or something out of it. She made all the right jokes about showering together and doing it in the dark, etc. Over the next few days, we went through and plugged everything into surge protectors, got some CFLs, and hung out in the dark.
I graduated from Carleton College last June and knew that I was going into this year's Green Corps class of 2009. Entering this “Field School for Environmental Organizing,” I knew that I would be working on environmental campaigns in 3-5 cities throughout this year. I knew that I would gain skills to continue working in the environmental movement in my career. I even knew that I would have fun and get a lot accomplished.
Equal pay has been an issue for women for decades and even in this 21st century, studies show that the wage gap between men and women is worsening. Currently, women only make 80% of the salary that their male peers are receiving.
The Carletonian has obtained a copy of a resignation letter that Elouise Quinnel, former cashier at the East Dining Center, sent to Carleton. It is printed here in its entirety.
Over winter break I worked at my parents’ retail store, which meant that literally every day I would be called over and introduced to beaming strangers who hadn’t seen me since I was knee-high. The conversation always included the following:
“So, what year are you in college?”
“Ohhh, a senior.” [Here came a big, knowing smile.] “And what are you going to do next year?”
What do we do? What do we do in the face of a conflict that never seems to end and only escalates, as it has in Gaza since December 27th? Yes, the rockets Hamas lobs into Israel are a disgusting form of collective punishment. But we must also acknowledge that over 1,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its aerial bombardment; several thousand have been injured; and tens of thousands have been forced to leave their homes. UNICEF estimates that one third of the casualties are children.
There is something blissful about those first few days of term. They remind me of the feeling of just waking up in the morning—those first short moments when all I know is that I am awake and that the sun is shining through my window, but otherwise the rest of the world is forgotten. My assignments won’t get hard for at least another week, the new term offers a fresh start with friends, and for the first couple of days at least it’s easy to forget about all the drama that may have happened in the fall. Life is very simple in the beginning.
When we ran for office, we made very specific “promises we could keep.” We promised to: 1) improve student services, such as the Wellness Center and Career Center; 2) expand PE credit for Club Sports; 3) promote financially responsible investments towards a more sustainable Carleton; 4) increase accessibility and accountability of Senate; 5) improve budgeting; and 6) provide a rewarding first year experience. In order to address these tasks, we formed working groups that allowed all 18 Senators to focus their energies on a specific issue. Have we been able to achieve these goals?
In this coming week, we will be faced with two of the most important events in recent history: the inauguration of President Barack Obama and the annual Volunteer for Carleton drive. As both American residents and students of Carleton College, these events will offer unique opportunities for economic rejuvenation of both this country and this school, while at the same time laying the groundwork for structural change.
As a 5th year intern then, sandwiched between being a student and a staff, the great surprise for me thus far this year has been seeing the far greater seriousness about and energy toward the issue of environmental sustainability from the faculty and staff. I am not sure why there is not quite the same level of practicing commitment among students.
Reid’s maxim of “if a person is unable to care for a child, they should not bring one into the world” is not that simple.