On Oct. 28, The Old Gold & Black reported that Wake Forest University did not intend to provide housing for international students during the four-week Winter Break. This was problematic for many international students.
In accordance with regulations in many of these countries, international students would be forced to quarantine upon returning to their homes at the end of the fall semester, and then again when they returned to Wake Forest in January.
For the international students in our community, who make up over 9% of the undergraduate population, this was more than a minor inconvenience — there was nowhere to go for the month-long hiatus between semesters.
The Old Gold & Black recognized that the decision of Residence Life and Housing was anti-student and did not reflect the pro humanitate ideals of the university.
As such, this story needed to be told as soon as possible. Thanks to in-depth reporting from journalism students Mingxuan Zhu, Dexter Peters and Elena Marsh, this short-term housing crisis was brought to the attention of administrators.
Just two weeks after we published this story, Residence Life and Housing sent out a campus-wide email indicating a reversal of their decision. In their Nov. 10 email, Residence Life and Housing announced that in response to frustration and concern, Wake Forest would provide housing options to those who were unable to return home for Winter break.
It is often easy to forget the capacity our words have to make a difference. This reporting, though, was a prime example of how powerful words can be, and relatedly, the importance of student journalism on college campuses.
Our publication will continue to provide a platform for the voices that have been silenced and overlooked. But that goal is not attainable without the courage and dedication of the student body to step forward and speak, to continue fighting to make this campus a better place.
We implore you to be cognizant of the power you hold as Wake Forest students. Affecting widespread, lasting change is not only possible but encouraged. Your suggestions and complaints do not fall on deaf ears. Our administrators are empathetic individuals who, in many cases, have been leading the school since your arrival and will continue to implement changes long after you graduate. So, speak to them. Raise your concerns to student representatives who can draft policies to improve this school. Tell us if you see something wrong, and we will inform the community the only way we know how: through balanced, fair and accurate reporting.