The Commons: Opinions From Across Campus

Fire Response Systems

By Brenna Hadley ’25

Gettysburg College needs to update its response to possible fires in our buildings. Recently, one of Paul Hall’s washing machines malfunctioned and started to smoke, which activated the building’s fire alarms. The way the school handled this situation was not only odd, but concerning. The first, and only, people who arrived to help with the situation was DPS. When DPS arrived, they saw there was visible smoke in the hallway, but they did not know if there was an active fire inside or not. Yet, several DPS officers entered the building with little to no protection from the smoke or potential fire, which is an obvious threat to their health and lives.

During this whole event, not a single person from the fire station ever showed up. An actual fire never started, but if one had, it could have been disastrous for Paul Hall and the school. Gettysburg College should use this as a learning opportunity and update its fire alarms to alert the local fire station when one goes off. This is a fairly standard practice in buildings of this type, and Gettysburg College needs to get with the times in order to prevent future catastrophes!

Gettysburg is Back

By Emily Dalgleish ’22 // Opinions Editor

The start to this semester was rocky. Students were navigating the changes and losses to the College that occurred during COVID. Tension was high between students and the administration. Across campus, you could feel the frustration and exhaustion in the air.

However, the last few weeks have felt like Gettysburg did before the pandemic. Everyone is gathering outside, weekends are packed with events and students seem happy to be here. While the College can never be what it was before COVID, it once again feels like a place for community and action. The spirit of Gettysburg is here, and though I am leaving, I am happy to see that it will remain.

Ode to Adirondacks

By Brandon Neely ’23

The warm weather we have all been waiting for has finally appeared and, for just a moment, the Gettysburg I remember from that innocent, far-off time of 2019 returned. Seeing students throwing a football around next to the chapel or crowded around tables at CUB was a huge boost to my mid-semester mood. Of all Gettysburg’s warm-weather investments, none rank higher than the Adirondack chairs around campus (in Burg blue and orange, of course). It’s not a fancy piece of tech or endowed organization, but the ability for students to eat lunch, hang out, play music and relax on Stine Lake between classes has made Gettysburg feel alive, exciting and welcoming in a way almost nothing else has since the pandemic began. Cheers to the Adirondack chairs!

Civic Literacy Skills

By Samantha Martin ’24

As someone who has always been interested in studying the journalistic process and who has spent a lot of time developing their own civic literacy skills, the rise of unfounded conspiracy theories, particularly those regarding the coronavirus pandemic and the security of the 2020 election, across social media platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and Instagram has been troubling to me. I am particularly worried about how the spread of these theories will influence people my age; as reported by Karen Douglas, PhD., young people are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories than older people, and since young people are more likely to be on social media than older people, they are also more likely to see conspiracy theories promoted on these platforms.

I believe that it is important that institutes of learning, from elementary schools to post-secondary institutions such as Gettysburg College, ensure that their students have the tools they need to separate the facts from fiction. I feel that currently they are not doing nearly enough to properly address the potential dangers of false information. As an institution of education, we have a responsibility to lead in the fight against false information and promote learning literacy skills and critical thinking.

This article originally appeared on page 5 of the April 25, 2022 edition of The Gettysburgian’s magazine.

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Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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