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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Thoughts from the Embers: Be responsible, for our community’s sake

Thoughts from the Embers:  Be responsible, for our community’s sake

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Rumors of parties hosted by unidentified students have been swirling since we returned to campus. The exact truth of these parties remains unclear, but if there is a reality to the rumors, what’s obvious is how irresponsible these actions were.

Anyone who is taking part in Knox parties this term either doesn’t care or has failed to grasp the severe consequences that would come with the spread of COVID at Knox – something that, regardless of what your test results said, remains possible if students are not following social guidelines.

Of course, no one should want to get COVID. Even if most Knox students are not among the most vulnerable population, you never know what effect the virus may have on you, or which vulnerable people you could inadvertently pass it to. But the direct effect of the virus is just the tipping point of what’s at stake here. 

If Knox reaches the point where it’s forced to once again close the campus, it will be a blow to many in our community. To those whose employment and livelihood depend on Knox campus being in operation. To those for whom life at Knox is a crucial escape from a difficult living situation at home. To those who will have to return to somewhere halfway around the world. 

Everyone signed the Knox Pledge to follow social distancing guidelines so we could avoid such severe consequences. The pledge itself was put together by fellow students. It’s an insult to them and everyone else who signed to ignore the commitment you made.

But few at Knox would publicly disagree that following the Knox Pledge and preventing the spread of COVID is important. We can’t speculate on who at Knox privately doesn’t believe in following these policies — but we have to accept that with the size of the Knox community, there inevitably exist such students here. And the temptation to slide back on ignoring the policies will likely only grow as the term goes on. 

Recognizing that, the rest of the Knox community has to carry even more responsibility in keeping Knox safe. That partially just means continuing to follow the Knox Pledge as we have been. But it also means being willing, if you know a party is happening, to report it. To not feel like you have to help keep it hushed because you like at least some of the people involved. As we’ve said, the consequences of ignoring the reality of COVID are too great to be wary of upsetting some people. 

That assumes, of course, that you actually know that what’s happening is a party. We’ve heard of people who did nothing but stay at home, perhaps hanging out in their lounge area, but have been implicated in rumors anyway. Spreading rumors without actual knowledge of what happened does not help. It only adds to the public confusion over what’s going on. 

But we wouldn’t blame public confusion purely on student rumors. We also feel the communication from the college has been lacking on this. Everybody at Knox heard about these alleged parties from social media. Even all of our parents heard about it. But we have not heard actual comments from the school about these rumors.

The school itself may not know much more than us. But if the school did receive reports of such activities near campus, it would have been helpful to have it confirmed they received them. Acknowledgment of the rumors and some kind of re-emphasizing of the Knox COVID policies would have been the bare minimum, but any further info they could provide would have helped stop the rumor pot from stirring further. 

Rumors of parties are going to keep coming this term, and it’s going to increasingly raise our doubts about being able to keep the campus open. We hope that enough students care about people at our school to avoid the worst scenario. But we also hope Knox’s administration will do its best to ensure the campus feels informed about what is happening and what the school is doing to keep these activities in check. Ongoing confusion will only get in the way of Knox feeling united in our efforts to keep the school open. 

The TKS Editorial Board was made up this week by Co-Editor-in-Chief Carlos Flores-Gaytan, Discourse Editor Caroline Clink, and Co-News Editors Sarah Eitel and Alicia Olejniczak.

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