Over the past few months, the Vassar community and world has experienced a sudden change of life. Stores, schools, restaurants and other places of gathering have closed; at Vassar and institutions of higher education across the country, students have been sent home as administrators work to establish remote learning practices. Some of us have returned to living with our families; others have remained on campus; still others’ living arrangements are in flux. These times are difficult, shifting and uncertain. We hope you are doing as best as you can from wherever you are, and especially lend our thoughts to those who are most vulnerable at this time, including our immunocompromised peers, people whose living arrangements are uncertain or unstable, international students, low income students, people without access to health care and many others.
The Miscellany News editorial and multimedia teams have explored how to proceed in the coming weeks, what our responsibilities as student journalists should be and how we can create a sense of solidarity and community from our places of isolation to yours. This is a time when reliable information is needed more than ever, and also a time for more distraction, more content, and anything that will occupy the mind as we wait for the days to pass. Although our team is scattered across the globe, we will continue to provide our service as a resource for members of the Vassar community to obtain quality journalism and feel connected to campus.
In order to properly report on our communities while maintaining our identity as a publication that covers not just breaking news, but personal narratives, opinions, the arts, sports, multimedia projects and so much more, we are dividing up our production between a COVID-19 Task Force and four-page digital newsletter to be released each Thursday. The Task Force will respond to and inform on coronavirus news—whether local, national or international updates—on our social media and online platforms. For the time being, and despite limited resources, the Misc is no longer exclusively a weekly publication: We will be updating our social media and online platforms as developments occur.
The weekly newsletter will contain creative works, including op-eds and other more personal, narrative-style pieces, as well as any Vassar-related news stories and visual pieces. While the newsletter will not shy away from hard-hitting work, the platform will also feature lighter stories in an effort to help the student body feel connected in these trying times. To that end, we invite any students to submit to the newsletter: This is a place where your voice can be heard. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although we intend to continue producing work, the pandemic and the College’s decision to switch to remote learning require that our print operations halt until we can return to campus. This decision is difficult—The Miscellany News continued its print operations through both world wars and is a vital resource for students who live on campus. However, we recognize the health risk that distribution would pose to our printing partners, distribution team and students on campus, and understand we must minimize and discourage in-person interaction wherever possible. Every institution must do its part to slow the virus’ spread, and The Miscellany News is no exception.
In these unpredictable and lonely days, we hope our continued digital operations can provide a sense of normalcy, reliable information and a haven for student voices. We hope to stay connected to one another from wherever we may be.
Wishing health, safety and wellness to you and yours,
Editor-in-Chief, The Miscellany News