Letter from The Editor: Don’t take all of the blame for what happens

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Editor-in-Chief

Typically, a new Editor-in-Chief of The Globe would address the student body in a Letter from The Editor in the first issue of the year, and in that letter, they would introduce themselves and explain their vision for The Globe during their tenure. 


However, things are not so typical right now. And I do not have such a luxury. 


But what I do have is the time and the space to convey to you a very important message. As you all know, Point Park, like many other universities, has decided to open its doors, its dorms and its classrooms to thousands of students in the middle of a global pandemic. If you don’t recall, Point Park closed early last school year, forcing students home suddenly and moving all of its classes to an online, remote format. 


Nothing has improved since then. In fact, the situation has worsened, significantly. It is no secret that within the first few weeks, (if we are lucky, days if we are not) cases of COVID-19 will appear on campus. No amount of mask-wearing, hand-washing or social distancing will prevent this. With thousands of students arriving on campus from all over the country and the world, the virus will spread. No one should be surprised if the systems that Point Park has in place to quarantine the sick and trace those who they were in contact with become overwhelmed, causing the university to close once again.


I describe this situation as something that is inevitable rather than theoretical. Throughout the summer while plans were being made and students were expressing concerns, I addressed the infection of students, faculty and staff as a “when” rather than an “if” scenario to administrators. And from administrators, who may have simply been trying to express optimism, the spread of COVID-19 was an “if.” Optimism, though, should never be valued over realism when lives are on the line. 


When students, faculty and staff become infected and the university closes, the narrative that is pushed will be that it is the individual community members that are to blame. Someone didn’t wear their mask enough, didn’t wash their hands enough, didn’t stay six feet apart from their classmate. Students were partying too much. The “no guest policy” was broken. Students didn’t quarantine before arriving on campus.


The university will not hold itself accountable for its own irresponsibility in opening back up, holding classes in person, filling residence halls, when cases of COVID-19 are exponentially higher than they were in March. No one making the decision to prioritize education over health and safety will face consequences. None of the administrators in their top floor offices will face any blame, nor will they have to leave those offices as often as the rest of us to mingle with the community and risk infection. The university social media accounts will remain silent on the fact that students, faculty and staff are getting sick and will instead continue to post silly photos of Black Diamond II wearing a face mask made out of last year’s move-in day tee-shirt.


This isn’t what I wanted for my time as Editor-in-Chief. In fact, it feels like my worst nightmare is coming true. In a perfect world, I would write about how The Globe has inspired me since the tenth grade, and of how I dreamed to one day be in the position I’m in right now. Except, this part wasn’t in my dream. I could have never imagined the horrors we face.


But the student body must remember to stand its ground and to not accept the shifting of the blame. And we must cease the in-fighting while still holding each other accountable to do what we can to keep each other safe. 


At the end of the day, students, remember who is responsible for what happens. It’s not you, and it’s not me.


I can’t promise that everything will be okay. But I can promise you that whatever happens, The Globe will be here to let you know about it. 


-Jordyn Hronec, Editor-in-Chief