The Commons: Opinions from Across Campus

Judge Jackson & Motherhood

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court nomination hearings have been full of absurd and heated moments. However, the moment that stands out to me most is a moment of compassion, when Judge Jackson and Senator Cory Booker had a conversation about motherhood and her experience balancing her career and her family. Judge Jackson explained that she “did not always get the balance right,” but that she hoped she would set an example for her daughters with her determination and love.

We do not often think or talk about the difficulty of the sacrifices mothers have to make in their careers and their families. We should. Perpetuating the myth of “having it all” ignores those sacrifices. I hope as we have more moms in high places that other moms will have to make fewer sacrifices to get there and will not be so harshly held to the standard of perfection. I commend Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for the example she has set for her daughters and the example she will set for all daughters.

The Real Campus Climate Survey

It is incredibly important in higher education to foster and maintain a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). In doing so, leaders must recognize their responsibility to foster an open, welcoming environment where students, faculty and staff of all backgrounds can collaboratively learn, work and serve. Gettysburg College has failed to do this.

To accomplish these DEI goals, there needs to be consistent transparency and continuous dialogue between the administration, faculty and students where all parties involved can trust that their ideas and grievances are acknowledged and impactful. Instead, our administration has created distrust and doubt. On February 7th, a survey was sent to the student body entitled “The ‘Real’ Campus Climate Survey”. The results, while not surprising, revealed the anger and frustration of over 500 students.

Where is the administration’s concern with DEI issues? A massive wave of BIPOC and LGBT+ faculty and staff members have been forced out of the College. Add your voices to the call for more transparency and accountability. The cause is right and the time is now.

Unbalanced Dialogue

Where are the voices of women in conversations about national security and global violence? Too often I’ve attended Eisenhower Institute panel discussions and departmental events to discuss pressing global issues, only to listen to male perspectives and queries. While I am not the only woman present, I find myself the only woman to ask questions and participate in the dialogue.

Are there just not many women on campus interested in politics? I find that unlikely given the size of the departments that offer courses on such topics. Then is it perhaps a failure of Gettysburg College to encourage women into conversation spaces typically dominated by men? Should these events reflect the larger phenomenon of men discussing topics that are historically only relevant to men? Or should the College create more opportunities for women to engage in such conversations without the looming presence of men who do not know how to listen to womens’ perspectives?

Gettysburg’s Lack of COVID-19 Consistency

Our boast as Gettysburgians is that the administration has gone to great lengths to ensure that all those who consider Gettysburg College home are safe and protected from COVID-19. Is consistency in policy too much to ask? Consider the following: last semester, just before Thanksgiving break, the College announced a reprieve from masks. However, the moment classes resumed, the mask reprieve ceased. Returning from winter break, the school imposed mask-wearing in residential buildings. This policy abruptly ended. Then what happened in the first semester happened the second semester, and just before spring break, the administration made masks optional outside the classroom.

It is neither my intent to question nor criticize the necessity and prudence of these measures. The school’s actions reflect the guidance provided by state and local health organizations, and their issuances are, by nature, unpredictable yet necessary and appropriate. However, in the “new normal” of COVID-19, consistency and follow-through in policy are only wise.

This article originally appeared on page 5 of the March 31, 2022 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.

Print Friendly

Author: Gettysburgian Staff

Share This Post On

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *