Alas, Blowout is here and finals are upon us. Before the booze and anxiety kick in, join us in our biannual tradition of reviewing the highs and lows of the semester.
First, let’s start with a thumbs down to the strict rules governing tailgates. Safety is an important concern, but requiring three TIPS-trained members to be present at each organization’s tailgate is absurd and prevents smaller organizations from holding tailgates. And the three-drink wristband system is draconian and unenforceable. The College of William and Mary will never be a party school, but it should at least allow students to make their own decisions.
We give a thumbs up to the College’s new creative branding. As universities vie for prospective students, the College’s visual identity remains an important marketing tool and a mark of its prestige and professionalism. The new online style guide will help students and administrators more effectively present the College with a unified image.
Thumbs up to students and administrators for promoting sustainability. The Students for Environmental Action Coalition organized a trip to the People’s Climate March and led the Take Back the Tap campaign to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on campus.
Sodexo also helped reduce the College’s environmental impact by donating hundreds of pounds of extra food to Campus Kitchens after family weekend and providing reusable mugs and to-go boxes.
But we give Sodexo an overall sideways thumb. Allowing students to use Dining Dollars at The Crust, Mooyah and Pita Pit increased options and offered an escape from the monotony of dining hall food. Sodexo misstepped, however, in its long-delayed implementation of the food truck and badly misjudged students’ preferences by removing meal swipes from the Marketplace, even for a short time. At the same time, we offer a thumbs up to the Marketplace’s delicious caprese sandwiches, which students compulsively devour. And double thumbs up to the dining employees, whose hard work and dedication deserve our constant appreciation.
Thumbs up to the recent religious climate survey on campus. College is a tumultuous time in young adults’ spiritual development, which makes understanding religious attitudes on campus all the more important.
We give another side thumb to wellness promotion on campus. Spearheaded by Health Outreach Peer Educators, Mental Health Awareness Week brought honesty, respect and sensitivity to the forefront of student life and fostered important conversations about mental illness and suicide. However, the Celebrate You initiative lacked focus; the Student Assembly and AMP should not have spent $20,000 to book Schwayze, who lacked any connection to the initiative’s goals.
Finally, the Haven, a sanctuary for sexual assault and domestic abuse victims, deserves a big thumbs up. Students desperately need its services and information, and we hope it becomes more visible in the College community.
As the semester ends, let us reflect on what we have learned, celebrate our accomplishments, and look toward an even better year. Good luck on finals and have a safe break.