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Thursday, Aug 18, 2022

Notes from the Desk: An issue for an election like no other

This election season, the stakes are higher than ever before. Four years ago, the horrors of a Trump presidency were yet to be realized. Now, we are living them. Public trust in government is rapidly eroding while peoples’ fundamental liberties are being — or have been — taken away from them. Our democracy is on the line. While the outcome of the upcoming election is uncertain, we have been inspired time and time again by this community’s political engagement, solidarity and resilience in the face of adversity. This is why we’re publishing an election issue. 

The U.S. has suffered in the hands of an incompetent, intentionally negligent and often malicious administration. More than 200,000 Americans have died of Covid-19 — a disproportionate number being Black and Latinx. Poor management of the pandemic spelled economic devastation for communities across the nation, as workers are plunged into financial instability and businesses shutter their doors. An unprecedented number of environmental protection regulations have been undone and climate change science disregarded. And as protests against police brutality and racial injustice have unfolded across the country, Trump has refused to denounce white supremacist organizations. The ripples of these national tragedies are also felt in Middlebury. 

Politics has permeated every part of our world — and every part of our newspaper. Our election issue spans all five of our sections, from sports coverage of athlete voter registration and the surprising relationship between college football and the election, to coverage of local Vermont races, to opinions about the role of politics in dating and making Nov. 3 a school holiday. You’ll find news about how the mail center handles absentee ballots, how some professors choose to (or choose not to) bring activism into their classrooms and how students who are not eligible to vote in U.S. elections are making a difference. We have an elections forecast, a podcast about the intersection of athletics and politics and a dozen more stories that endeavor to capture the momentous and far-reaching impact of this election on each and every student, state and community. 

Unlike in past elections, the majority of you have likely already voted by absentee ballot. For those of you who didn’t or couldn’t vote elsewhere, make use of our guide for in-person voting in Middlebury, which is an option for all students who can vote in the U.S., or use MiddVote’s resources for voting in Vermont. Even if you are someone who cannot vote in this election, we encourage you to vocalize your concerns and mobilize those around you to participate.

Thank you to everyone who wrote and edited for, contributed to and was interviewed for this issue — we hope that through these stories, you see the ways that this election has touched every part of life and fundamentally reshaped our relationships to politics. Thank you for reading, and thank you for caring. So much is at stake.

Bochu Ding ’21, Hattie LeFavour ’21 and Riley Board ’22 comprise The Campus’ executive team. Nora Peachin ’21 is the Senior Local Editor. LeFavour and Peachin oversaw the creation and coverage of the issue. 

Riley Board

Riley Board '22 is the Editor in Chief of The Campus. She  previously served as a Managing Editor, News Editor, Arts &  Academics Editor and writer.

She is majoring in Linguistics as an Independent Scholar and is an English minor on the Creative Writing Track.

Board has worked as a writer at Smithsonian Folklife Magazine and as a  reporter for The Burlington Free Press. Currently, she is a 2021-2022  Kellogg Fellow working on her linguistics thesis. In her free time, you  can find her roller skating in E-Lot or watching the same sitcoms over  and over again.