A Letter From The Editor: COVID-19, Community and Coping

Dear Reader,

I was hoping I would not have to write this letter, but here we are. Manhattan College has decided to move to online classes for the rest of the semester and students are being asked to vacate their dorms. The decision comes in the wake of the growing global pandemic caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The Jasper community is not the only one feeling the effects of the virus. If you turn on the news or check Twitter, you will see that restaurants, schools, major sports leagues, concerts, theater performances, libraries and so many other institutions of culture and societal importance are canceling events, temporarily shutting down or modifying their services offered. 

Institutions making these decisions are doing so with public health in mind and that is a good thing. However, it is still sad and devastating to hear that an event, or moment in your life that you were looking forward to with such joy, is now being canceled or postponed. It does not mean that the news of Manhattan College’s decision was any less painful for students to hear. 

In such an anxious and uncertain time, it is harder than ever to be away from campus. Life on campus, with in-person classes, gave us all a routine and a schedule, an easily accessible support network and a community to fall back on. I hope that people continue to reach out to each other and support each other. These are trying times. We are all in need of love. 

This entire semester, safety has been one of the main topics that has been splayed across The Quadrangle’s pages. Students have accused the college of not doing enough to keep them safe. I want to commend the college for making the difficult decision to move to online classes for the rest of the semester. For the first time this semester, I can confidently say that I feel like my safety and my health was at the forefront of administrators’ minds. The college is being proactive and we should all appreciate that. Thank you for making the hard, but right, choice. 

My dear senior writers – Meg, Michevi, Lauren, Rose and August: You are forever cherished by this staff and we will all miss you next year. You have been incredible mentors, leaders and supporters. You mean so much to all of us. 

To any and all seniors reading this: I am so sorry your senior year had to end like this. You have all made Manhattan College a better place by being here and we are grateful for all you have done. While the future of your commencement is uncertain, please know that you deserve to be celebrated and no one is disputing that. I hope you are able to have the commencement you deserve. 

To any and all underclassmen: You do have more time at Manhattan College coming, but I hope this pandemic has made you realize how precious that time will be. Don’t take your future time here for granted.

We will never know what could have been, what could have happened in the remainder of this semester. I hope we are able to look forward to the future with hope of what will come when all of this is over. 

One thing that has been heavy on my mind is how much grief we students have all been feeling over the canceled classes and moments on campus that we will be missing out on. To be filled with such great grief means we have been filled with such great love. That is a beautiful thing. I hope you dwell on that great love in the coming days. 

When I started this journey as Editor-in-Chief back in December, I never could have imagined we would find ourselves in a global pandemic. It breaks my heart to tell you The Quadrangle will no longer be printing for the remainder of the semester. Our print product is so special to all of us and we will miss being able to deliver it to you weekly. We will not be able to put out The Triangle, our satire edition, host The Quaddies, our awards ceremony, or say goodbye to our seniors the way we wanted to. There is so much that we had to look forward to as one club, and it was cut short, and that hurts. I know we are not the only ones hurting and it is our duty we have to all of you readers that is keeping us motivated. 

The news does not stop, and neither will we. We will continue to operate as an online publication for the remainder of the semester. We will continue to tell the stories of our community. As I have said before, the campus newspaper is the first draft of the college’s history. We are drafting the history of the college during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, which is pretty cool too. Since we can’t deliver you a print product anymore, we can deliver you a weekly newsletter with our  stories from the week. If you’re interested in receiving The Quadrangle in your inbox, please sign up here: http://eepurl.com/dgL351

We will keep doing journalism. Upwards and onwards.

Gabriella DePinho, Editor-in-Chief