Fixing the problems of today requires action

Sam Casey

Editor in Chief

 

Approximately one year ago (happy anniversary!), I wrote a Viewpoint about one of my dad’s life philosophies: see a problem, fix a problem (henceforth referred to as S/F, because SAPFAP has the wrong … connotation). The gist is that if you see a problem, you don’t ignore it — you do something about it. Examples included fixing a jam in the printer, picking up garbage and preventing your friend from throwing up in Mom’s. To my delight, people actually came up to me and said how they took my advice. I didn’t do it for the clout, but it was nice to hear that S/F is not too much to ask of human beings.

I’m back for round two because the stakes, my friends, are much higher. S/F needs to be applied on a much larger scale to address the current issues facing our campus community. I’ll start with the most obvious: COVID-19. Not to belabor an already belabored point, but the only way we get through this year is if we all hold our community accountable. We can see this problem. We can fix this problem. We fix it by making sure the guidelines coming from the administration are clear, equitable and enforced. We have awkward conversations with our peers and neighbors who need a reminder about the severe consequences of their actions. We fill out the Scot Daily Health Check because it legitimately takes three seconds.

Okay, COVID, we get it — what else? This summer will be forever defined by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests that occurred in the United States (and all over the world) following the murder of George Floyd, and countless other Black folks, by the police. One of the things that rose out of that national attention was @blackncac, an Instagram page dedicated to posting anonymous stories from students of color from the North Coast Athletic Conference schools. Quickly, the posts became almost exclusively about Wooster, emphasizing the racial injustice that students, faculty and staff of color face at the College. 

If you are white and haven’t read every single post, go do it. The fact that my peers are having a totally different educational experience than me because of their race is completely unacceptable. That’s the problem. How do we fix it? The burden needs to be on the people that look like me. For the Voice, I have covered countless “townhall” meetings following racial incidents on campus and I am always one of a few white people that show up. How many times do we need to hear from BIPOC that they’re exhausted to get the message? President Bolton has said that she reads every single post, yet there was no acknowledgement of that before last week (other than a few performative reposts from Wooster’s own Instagram account). It is the role of The College of Wooster to create a safe space for all their students, not just those that are white.

Am I the epitome of anti-racism? Nope. It’s not like beating the last level of a video game and achieving a forever anti-racist status. We need to recognize the issues right in front of our faces and constantly work on them. We need to keep seeing the problems and doing everything we can to fix them. In the eternal words of Frank Costanza, “I gotta lot of problems with you people, now you’re gonna hear it.”