Dear Wheaton Community,
This year has been one of the most challenging yet sanctifying and fruitful years for both of us. Despite staffing changes, late publishing nights, handling several controversial news stories and going through personal life circumstances that pushed us to our human limits, God was faithful to provide for each day. As Co-Editors, we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to work together. It was amazing to see how God fit our skills and work styles together, so that we were able to encourage both each other and our staff. We have learned so much about networking, diligence, conflict resolution, research, communication and faith, and we’re so thankful to have grown in these areas while leading an excellent team.
By Carolina Lumetta
On April 21, faculty passed a motion to give students the option of choosing Pass/No Credit (P/NC) for Spring 2020 classes. Students had until May 1 to apply the P/NC designation to their classes, which will appear on their final transcripts in place of a letter grade. The new grading option allows students to count coursework completed during the Spring 2020 semester toward graduation requirements without affecting overall GPA.
By Amelia Sniffin
Favor Ezewuzie had just finished a practice at the Division III Indoor Track Championships in North Carolina in preparation to compete the next day, when head coach Scott Bradley delivered devastating news. All NCAA Winter and Spring Championships were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The race Ezewuzie had prepared months to run would never happen.
“It was really painful,” said Ezewuzie, a senior. “Competing at nationals was something that felt like the pinnacle of athletic achievement and to not be able to run was heartbreaking.”
By Melissa Schill
Student Financial Services (SFS) has refunded students that have moved off campus for all B-quad room and board fees as well as parking pass fees. These refunds amounted to over $5 million.
“Yes, it’s a big cash flow hit for the College to lose those dollars, but it was done because it’s the right thing to do,” SFS Director Karen Belling said. SFS began processing the refunds on Friday, April 3. The funds were deposited into student accounts toward existing outstanding tuition balances for the semester. Students without outstanding balances could submit a request to have the refund withdrawn from their student account, or choose to keep the money in the account toward expenses in the next academic year.
By Carolina Lumetta
“The major part of the conservatory is personal communication and community,” said Chloe Liu, a junior music composition major from China. “Now that’s impossible. All the projects are gone and recitals are cancelled.”
The March 11 decision by college administration to continue the Spring 2020 semester remotely has caused all academic departments to redesign their courses for virtual learning. The Wheaton Conservatory of Music was also required to adapt to an online education in place of in-person musical training. To date, most classes have switched to online instruction, but ensembles, recitals and juries have been cancelled. The conservatory is deferring performance rescheduling decisions to the professors to be made on a case-by-case basis.
- Student Government (SG) passes proposal to request the option to apply a Pass/No Credit designation to coursework completed during the Spring 2020 semester.
- Faculty vote to approve SG proposal and Provost Margaret Diddams releases official announcement via email. The decision allows students to opt for classes to count toward graduation requirements without receiving a weighted letter grade.
Correction: a previous version of this article initially stated that the SG proposal applied to course work in the Spring 2021 semester. This was a typo and is now changed to reflect the correct year.
By Carolina Lumetta
Due to Wheaton’s campus closure, the current Student Government (SG) cabinet passed proposals to amend the constitution and allow for virtual campaigning and elections, and on April 9 the polls closed on this first all-online student election season. Candidates shared their campaign platforms on social media, and they recorded speeches which were sent to the student body through email and posted on SG’s YouTube channel. Student Body President Sarah Yoon and Vice President Nat Lewis also moderated candidate interviews in place of in-person Q&A sessions. Students cast their ballots via email forms, a normal aspect of the voting process that remained unchanged from previous years on campus.
By Tennyson Bush
After a temporary judicial ruling preventing the city of Chicago from limiting free speech in Millennium Park, Wheaton’s Chicago Evangelism Team (CET) returned to the park on Friday, Feb. 21. Judge John Robert Blakey ruled in a 32-page opinion memorandum that “the City’s restrictions prohibit reasonable forms of expression in large areas of the Park.”
A status hearing is scheduled for March 4 to discuss how the case will proceed. Though the students have won the right to return to Millennium Park to preach, the case is not yet over, and Judge Blakey’s decision to prohibit Chicago from enforcing speech restrictions will only last until a final judgement is made at the conclusion of the case.
Senior accuses SG of censorship
By Tennyson Bush and Carolina Lumetta
On Feb. 19, Senior Class Co-President Joshua Franker posted a laminated notice on the forum wall in Lower Beamer stating that all anonymous posts would be taken down at the end of the day. In response, senior Leo O’Malley began collecting signatures to hold a referendum on all 2019-2020 Student Government (SG) proposals. After a day of encouraging students to join his cause in Lower Beamer and other areas of Wheaton’s campus on Thursday, O’Malley says that he now has 103 “signatures and commitments to sign.”
Franker’s notice, which was not an official SG initiative, encouraged students to take ownership of what they post on the wall. “Look to write what is edifying,” the notice said. “Please put your name and date on your posts (Posts without names are welcome but will be taken down at the end of the day).” Franker enforced this rule for three days following the post. “Any student could have done what I did. Any student can post on the forum wall or take stuff down,” he said.
The rules laid out in the notice mirror the ones suggested in a Nov. 9 SG proposal called “Standardization of the Forum Wall” in which Franker called for “continued conversations with the administration” about the forum wall.