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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Let’s reflect: Grinnell College 2017-18 Year in Review

As the 2017-18 school year comes to an end, the College student body has an opportunity for reflection — to think back fondly on crane memes, the chronicle of the Mac Field fence and all of the little moments and fun events that made up this year’s college experience. With this in mind, The S&B created and distributed a survey to the student body and faculty the opportunity to share the things that have made this year great.

Perhaps one of the most notable features of the year would be one a physical one, displayed prominently on the skyline of the campus for almost the entire year. It would not have been 2017-18 without the iconic presence of the McGough Construction crane, catalyst for a plethora of memes and object of the affection of many a Grinnell student.

“I really do feel that crane memes defined the year for me. However, the ontology of the crane as it relates to its student adorers continues to prove ultimately elusive to me,” wrote Aubrey Champlin ’20 in response to the survey.

To the disappointment of many, the fan-favorite crane left campus during the weekend of April 21. However, its departure indicated a good deal of progress made on the construction of the Humanities & Social Studies Complex (HSSC), which was certainly a positive, especially for the professors who hope to be settling into new offices in the fall.

Still, it is hardly surprising that, of the students who responded, it was almost unanimous that the crane was a major icon of the year. Elise Bargman ’21 also made note of the fence around Mac Field, another familiar sight on campus and the source of many more memes.

However, sights on campus were not the only defining factors of the year. A number of students cited this year’s recent Relays as one of their most enjoyable memories from the year.

“I have to be quite honest, Relays 2K18 was absolutely amazing! It was my first time being able to participate and my team (Team ATHLETES) won every event (well, not actually, but we screamed ‘WE WON’ after every single event, and now everyone thinks we actually did) … I imagine that the only person who laughed more at Grinnell’s student body than I did that day was Prof. Wayne Moyer,” wrote Champlin.

This year’s Titular Head film festival was mentioned with a similar degree of excitement.

“Relays and Tithead were just pure fun and made me glad to be here!” wrote Kelly Page ’21.

Other notable events included the White Privilege Conference, the paint fight that took place during New Student Orientation, the Big Thief concert, the Wells Fargo protest, the LeaderShape conference and many more.

Outside of actual events, academics was also a feature of multiple students’ enjoyment of the year.

“As a second year, one of my favorite parts of the school year this year included developing more focused interest in academics and developing better relationships with professors,” wrote Abdi Yusuf ’20.

“My first two semesters were scheduled in a way that I had the ‘bookends’ of the Grinnell academic experience back to back; I was in Tutorial in the fall and French 350 (an advanced seminar) by the spring. While it hasn’t been typical (or easy for that matter), it’s been incredibly refreshing and I’ve learned a lot!” wrote Victoria Park ’21.

Page also cited her Tutorial as her best classroom experience of the year. “Tutorial with Ross Haenfler was fun and interesting and so much better than I thought school could be,” she wrote.

In the vein of academics, one of the respondents was new Associate Professor Anya Vostinar, computer science. According to Vostinar, her best experience this year has been starting her new job, and she has been having a good time on campus so far. She also shared her excitement about getting “Cache the wonder dog” and seeing students interact with the dog.

Another very notable feature of Grinnell, noted by many of the respondents, was the campus community. From attending protests together and playing games at Relays to admiring the crane through shared memes and collaborating to create cinematic masterpieces for Tithead, the College community sticks together, and it comes as no surprise that it is an important part of many students’ experiences. In fact, in response to a question about what her best out-of-class experience entailed, Page wrote, “Feeling like I’m part of a beautiful community.”

And, in true Grinnell College fashion, the last respondent to the survey went by “Kanye,” class of 2024. From the lack of input from Kanye, one may be able to extrapolate that everything about their year was stellar beyond words.

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