Welcome to The Squirrel’s Scoop—The Clerk’s weekly news bulletin. The Squirrel’s Scoop brings you the biggest stories from the past week in one place.
College Mandates COVID Testing After Spring Break
As students return this week from spring break, Haverford requires all students to receive an on-campus COVID test. The testing has been occurring in Founders since Monday, March 14th, and it will conclude on Thursday, March 17th. After the College experienced a steep spike in student cases about a week before break, it remains to be seen whether COVID’s presence on campus will remain despite most students spending a week away from campus. Of the test results from this week that have come back as of March 15th, only five have been positive.
The general student response to mandatory testing this week has been positive. In fact, many students, including members of Disability Advocates for Students at Haverford (DASH) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), have been advocating for regular mandatory testing, both before and after the unprecedented outbreak. Yousef Almbaid ‘23 expressed his relief about the testing mandate this week, as well as his disappointment with the lack thereof earlier this semester: “Personally, I am all for the mandated testing on campus this week. Prior to break, optional testing directly contributed to a significant increase in cases on campus. As a result of this, it is vital to mandate testing at least immediately following break so we can be able to have a good feel of the [COVID] situation on campus.”
Haverford Gathers in Support of Ukraine
On Tuesday, March 15th, the Haverford community gathered on Founders Green at noon to support Ukrainians, both inside and outside the Haverford community. President Wendy Raymond, Vice President Jesse Lytle, and Dean of the College John McKnight were all in attendance, along with other faculty, students, and alumni. President Raymond opened by asking for a moment of silence and then encouraging all present to join elbows in a circle on Founders Green. She spoke briefly and finished by stating: “I’m not here to give more words. I’m here to open the opportunity to others.”
After President Raymond, a small number of both students and faculty members addressed the circle with their thoughts. Eric Hartman from the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship discussed efforts in nearby areas of Pennsylvania, the state with the second-largest Ukrainian population according to Hartman, to aid Ukrainians and others affected by the war. Professor of Political Science Anita Isaacs followed by discussing the importance of supporting refugees in Ukraine and globally during crises.
Following these first two speakers, various students contributed their thoughts to the conversation. They spoke of the devastation of war, hopes for peace, and the importance of making this space to process our emotions and grieve the sadness in our world. One of Haverford’s two Ukrainian students also spoke up and thanked the community for gathering in support of him and his people.
After a few more words from various faculty members and students, President Raymond closed the gathering with these final words: “May peace be with you, may you be peace, may you bring peace.”
Plenary Resolution Process Begins, Two Weeks Ahead of Biannual Gathering
Last night, March 15, was the suggested deadline for submitting resolutions for feedback ahead of Spring Plenary. Two resolutions were submitted–one by the disability advocacy group DASH and the other by the Bi-Co sector of Students for a Democratic Society. The resolution authors will get feedback from Students Council by this Sunday, March 20, which they are free to take or ignore, and have 2 days to gather 200 signatures for consideration at Plenary.
Spring Plenary is scheduled for 2 pm on March 27, in the GIAC and over Zoom. After last semester’s success, students are hopeful for another speedy event. After final resolutions are submitted, Students Council will release full Plenary packets a couple of days before the event. This semester’s gathering will include the return of the in-person friendly and unfriendly amendment process.