Editor’s Note: The Financial Issue
I returned from a semester abroad eager for the familiar tastes of my Gettysburg home, only to find Pete’s Paninis shuttered and the dining staff thoroughly thinned. This is not an issue, however, born from nostalgia for the halcyon, panini-ed days of yore; nor is it intended as yet another “if we controlled the gears of the great college machine, we could drive it better” anti-administration diatribe.
We wrote this, as in all good journalism (the self-flatter here is, of course, entirely accidental), to find the truth—to cut through the jungle of misinformation and rumor-mongering. Why is there a staff shortage problem? Is Gettysburg financially healthy? How did COVID affect the fundamentals of the College— the budget, the endowment, the operating revenue? Where do my dollars go?
To answer these questions, we first talked to the administration, as well as dove head-first into a pile of documents (endowment reports, audits, fact books, etc.), to nail-down where exactly the College is financially. And while we began our investigation with the working theory that Gettysburg had fiscally seen better days, we found that (spoiler!) the College has emerged from the COVID minefield with head held (relatively) high.
Fiscal resilience, however, is all the more confounding, as there is a very real and exigent dining staff shortage. There are massive vacancies at Bullet and Servo, primarily among student and casual workers.
For a more comprehensive vision of the financial state of the College, we had our excellent team of editors investigate the smaller—yet critical—facets of Gettysburg student life. For Sports, Jack Herr writes about the cost of sports; for Arts & Entertainment, Victoria Staub describes how COVID affected the Majestic Theater; and for Opinions, our Editorial Board (under the guidance and benevolent command of Emily Dalgleish) attempts to discern a path forward.
All of this is coupled with a redesign of the entire Gettysburgian magazine by yours truly. Some days felt more Sisyphean that others, but we always did it for you, dear reader.
Carter Hanson ’23
This article originally appeared on page 2 of the February 22, 2022 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.