Administration Should Use Summer To Make Progress

 This semester, the Wake Forest campus has engaged in conversations regarding the university’s relationships with racism and white supremacy, especially following the discovery of racist blackface photos in the Howler and revelations that Dean of Admissions Martha Allman and Associate Dean of Admissions Kevin Pittard appeared in photos with a Confederate flag while they were students in the 1980s.

It is clear that both students and faculty believe that the university must reckon with the presence of racism on campus, now and in the past. The formation of groups such as the Wake Forest Anti-Racism Coalition and the ad hoc faculty group Wake Forward demonstrate how important it is that these issues are addressed. 

At the same time, the Wake Forest campus currently approaches the end of another semester — students will soon complete final exams and leave campus for the summer.

It is the belief of the Editorial Board that the university administration should not allow attention to be diverted away from issues of racism over the summer. Rather, the summer could be a useful opportunity for the administration to brainstorm ways to make meaningful progress.

With most students off campus during the summer months, it could be easy to forget the student efforts imploring the administration to address racism. However, this is not an excuse for the university to stand pat until next semester — these issues do not stop being crucial when students are no longer around to hold the administration’s feet to the fire. 

The summer should be treated as an opportunity for the university to develop and workshop new, creative policies and ideas to present to the student body in the fall.

While the university’s inability to suggest meaningful solutions to these complex issues during a busy semester can be excused, it would be troubling to return empty-handed at the conclusion of a summer that should  prioritize developing reactions to student input.

To date, the university has primarily offered promises of decisions and changes that will come in the future. Should administrators’ understanding of addressing these issues not include building a detailed action plan in the coming months, they will further eroded the already damaged relationship between themselves and students.

  • Hank Wordsworth

    Wake Forest, 2030…with a little help from The Gulag Archipelago…

    A Diversity and Inclusion Party conference was under way in Forsyth Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the Diversity Party Committee, Comrade Nathan Hatch, replacing one recently expelled for warning his daughter about crime in Baltimore. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Diversity was called for. After all, though progress had been made, Wake Forest was still 20% white bread. Of course, everyone stood up just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of Diversity. The small hall echoed with stormy applause, rising to an ovation. For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the applause continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older professors were panting from exhaustion. The Director of Admission had collapsed in her enthusiasm as had her assistant dean. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really embraced Diversity. However, who would dare be the first to stop? The secretary of the Diversity Party Committee, Comrade Hatch, could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who had just called for the ovation. But he was liberal white bread and had taken the place of a man who’d been expelled. He was afraid! After all, the New York Times and Washington Post people were standing in the back of the hall watching to see who quit first! And in that obscure, small hall, the applause went on — six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly — but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them? The Chair of the Politics Department, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the Diversity Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last person! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the Diversity leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter. . . . Then, after eleven minutes, a writer for the Wake Forest Review, assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a person, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel. That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the writer for the Wake Forest Review was called before a tribunal, which threatened to expel him on the pretext of advocating White Supremacy. But after he had signed a formal apology, the final document of the interrogation, Dean Goldstein warned him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!”

    • TD

      Wake Forest Review is going out not with a bang but a whimper. It has few articles, and the ones it has could just as well been in OG&B. Few, if any of the articles have comments. Does anyone read it and take it seriously? The conservatives are going to wonder why they are spending there money supporting WFR