Staff Editorial: WU students owe a lot of people for helping us come out the other side
As the semester comes to a close, it’s important to take a moment to acknowledge everything that members of this community have done to make this unusual learning experience possible. Learning remotely has been difficult to maneuver, especially when the usual in-person elements that make college the academically enriching experience that it is are no longer available or are diminished. In this instance, adaptability is key. The adaptability shown by numerous professors to make courses as engaging as they would be in person and to provide support not only academically but as individuals who are also going through an unprecedentedly difficult time is admired and greatly appreciated. But thanks aren’t just necessary from an academic standpoint.
Being a student in a pandemic can be isolating, especially when the usual activities and experiences are limited or non-existent. Not only that, but the climate we’re living in can feel isolating as well, especially to marginalized students. As a result, it’s important to take the time to recognize those who are advocating for us and keeping the wellbeing of students in mind in their day-to-day lives at the University, whether that be those student activists who find themselves taking to the streets or the classmates we’ve elected to represent us to the administration. They’ve been putting in the work this semester to make this experience better and safer for everyone. The student workers who are also putting their time and energy into making this semester better for everyone deserve a shout-out as well, as do other members of our community and those members of the greater St. Louis community that Wash. U. students regularly interact with, including dining staff members who work in close quarters to feed us and the metro workers and circulator drivers that transport us around campus and through the city.
On top of all this, on top of homework, exams and concern for society, the one thing that’s always there is the fear for personal health and the health of loved ones. No one wants to get sick and no one wants to inadvertently get someone they love and care about sick either. As COVID-19 rates spike, it’s not only a courtesy but a necessity to limit possible transmission rates. To the students that interact with not only the University community but also the St. Louis community with caution by following county, city and University health guidelines—you don’t go unseen, and neither do the testing site employees, cleaning staffs or hospitality coordinators who keep our campus healthy and vigilant.
As we’ve gone through the semester, it’s become apparent that we are not alone in this. Everyone is going through a rough time right now and everyone recognizes the difficulty of pushing through to come out the other side of this. But it’s important that in realizing this that we recognize those who are going above and beyond to ensure that we as Wash. U. students come out the other side. So, thank the people who’ve helped you get to this point in the semester, the people who have accommodated you and cared for you these past few months. Take a moment to do something for them, to let them know that the work they are doing doesn’t go unnoticed. Get them something, send them a message, whatever you feel like doing—just make sure that they see that you see them and that you appreciate them. It’s been a wild ride this semester and the fact that we’re almost to the end says something. We should thank the people that helped us get here.