A Note from the Editor: Reflections on the Last Few Days
Among the most important lessons I learned my freshman year while participating in the Garthwait Leadership Center’s Leadership Certificate program was the importance of making regular time for reflection. As I reflect on what has transpired over the last four days, I see a situation that clearly transcends Bob Garthwait. In reading every one of the hundreds of comments posted across The Gettysburgian‘s digital platforms and in conversing with dozens of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, the only thing that is clear to me is that almost everyone simultaneously has an opinion and unanswered questions, and a great many of those opinions and questions go to huge, societal issues that move far beyond this situation.
While I would say that is a troubling dichotomy, on reflection, I very nearly fell into a similar trap. Last evening, when our editorial board met, I broached the subject of a possible staff editorial on this matter. Fortunately, that suggestion was met with instantaneous and unanimous disapproval by my fellow editors. All of us, myself included, still have unanswered questions, and to take an editorial position before those questions were answered would have been irresponsible. I very nearly got ahead of myself and pushed my editorial board to rush to judgment on a situation about which we are constantly learning more.
Over the coming days, we will continue to follow this story and do our best to answer some of those lingering questions. Chief among them are the historical context of the television show “Hogan’s Heroes,” the life and career of Bob Garthwait, and the current state of affairs with respect to anti-Semitism on the Gettysburg College campus. But, before we begin pursuing the answers to those questions, we are going to take a breath.
Earlier this evening, I notified my team that I am declaring a 48-hour hiatus on coverage of anything connected to this situation. Everyone needs a chance to reflect emotionally and intellectually, and, frankly, everyone needs to take a moment to decompress.
We will continue to publish this weekend on a range of subjects including the whereabouts of Gettysburg’s beloved gazebo and the women’s basketball team’s performance in the Centennial Conference playoffs, but we are taking a short break from this story. I would encourage our readers to do the same.
In closing, I would like to publicly thank my team for their Herculean efforts over the past several days; it is an inspiring and energizing group with whom to work. I would also like to thank those who have read and responded to our coverage. There will be more of it to come, but, for this weekend, we are hitting the pause button to give folks a chance to think deeply about how our campus should move forward in light of the last four days.
If, while doing so, you come up with a question you think we might be able to help answer, I would welcome your input via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or via this form.
As always, thanks for reading.
Benjamin Pontz ’20, Editor of The Gettysburgian