The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Staff members gone, students angry about lack of communication

Guilford has made many steps toward promoting change in recent months. Among those steps, there was one that stood out among the rest: changes in its staff members.

“It’s going to take some adjusting,” said senior Vanessa Madonna. “All in all, I think it’s a good thing.”

Recently, Guilford let staff members Jennifer Agor and Sandra Bowles go from the Student Life department. There are many substantial pieces of information that are not being released in regards to Agor and Bowles’ firings. What does that mean for Guilford?

“Right now everyone in campus life is kind of hurting,” said junior Jocelyn Foshay. “They are overwhelmed and I think some are scared.”

Throughout my years at Guilford, I have never been taught that anyone at this school should live in fear. In fact, I have been told that the College strives to be peaceful and making people feel safe and well-informed.

I believe that this does the opposite for many on campus. I, for one, want to be informed on why these staff members were let go and also who is going to replace them.

Guilford may be in for exponential changes in the near future. But aren’t those changes supposed to make people feel safe and sound?

I think so.

The online promotional hashtag #WeAreGuilford and also the movement Integrity for Guilford are demanding change on campus, and many of these changes are already occurring.

Integrity for Guilford may have inspired some changes through their protests in the fall.

“I think it did,” said Foshay. “I think that it loaded up the expectations and, in some cases, the rage.”

Integrity for Guilford has been a very effective movement on campus that demands equality, and they have many demands yet to be met.

Their demands include, “The hiring of more people of color in faculty, staff and resident advisor positions,” “students of color be treated with respect and dignity,”  “a proper breakdown and accountability process from our school’s public safety” and “college administrators, professors, and staff must publicly acknowledge their racism, be it overt, covert, or passive.”

These demands are not simple fixes and may take years to fulfill. In order to meet these demands, Guilford will have to work on one problem at a time.

“I don’t know how possible and realistic it is for all of the demands to be reached,” said Foshay. “I think that Jane is doing the best that she can.”

#WeAreGuilford is a widely-used hashtag that may not be seen as a movement, but it speaks strong words of demanding that Guilford’s core values be met.

Though it is not an organized movement, it may very well have inspired staff changes as well. Enforcing Guilford’s core values is the main goal behind both movements.

Guilford has been making subtle changes for years, but with new President Jane Fernandes, the College is now witnessing history being made.

So the questions then become, “When will we know what happened to the fired staff and will the new staff hold up to Guilford’s core values?”

“It’s a lot to be a staff member, and you have a lot of pressure, especially when making decisions,” said Madonna. “If the new staff members really like Guilford and what it’s about … then I believe that they will hold true to our school’s core values.”

There are many changes occurring on campus, but through these changes, Guilford must remember both equality and transparency.

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James Sharpe, Senior Writer

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