By Rebecca Dow
Ah, autumn; it is a time of year when leaves crunch lightly underfoot as you walk. When the breeze whispers chilled foreshadowings of winter, and you can ponder warm thoughts of returning to your cozy dorm-room bed for a movie under five blankets. Holding your hot pumpkin-spice latte you open the door, expecting to be greeted by your comprehensive “Legend of Zelda”-themed collection sitting on the corner of your desk. Upon opening the door, however, you realize that, “OH-MY-GOODNESS! They’re gone!” Your chairs are misplaced, your neighbor asks you if a backpack left in their room is yours (it certainly isn’t his), and the culprits? They’re long gone.
Firstly, I’d like to welcome back all of the students who had been staying in hotels this September due to the mold removal in Spring Point. Secondly, I want to sympathize with your current plight; from various sources, I have heard stories regarding the misplacement and absence of belongings in students’ rooms. This was discovered upon their return to campus, after Servpro (the name of the HVAC/disaster-relief company who worked on the removal of mold from Spring Point this month) had left.
For many involved, this is a devastating breach of trust – not only for the company hired to do the cleanup, but the school itself, and the integrity of its decisions surrounding the matter. While one cannot predict things like Servpro employees looting students’ belongings, it is still a matter that I hope the school will take better precautions, ensuring that something like this does not happen in the future. Nevertheless, to those impacted, I feel you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and make your voices heard about your experiences.
Since we are on the topic of voices being heard, I’d like to mention something I saw a few fridays ago. On the 14th of September, I was out in Portland strumming my guitar and people-watching. All of a sudden, notice a group of women who call themselves Stand Up Women of the Kennybunks dressed in black and protesting/mourning the potential election of Brett Kavanaugh into office — as well as the loss of women’s reproductive rights that may occur as a result. They were in front of the Nickelodeon Cinema and the Key Bank building as you go towards the Old Port.
Every so often they would send people up to Susan Collins’ eighth-floor office in the Key Bank building to peacefully extend their pleas until the building closed for the day. To them, Collins is one of the only people who can tip the scale of the confirmation vote in their favor. This is due to her status as a woman (lending a different perspective than the majority to ponder), and even more importantly, due to her stated pro-choice views on women’s reproductive rights. I interviewed one of the ladies who attended the protest and snapped a group photo.
People like this inspire me because they are fully utilizing their freedom of speech to spread a message that they feel is important. They want to incite change, and seeing them in action I am inclined to reassess my values, and think more pointedly about what I want my state, country and future to look like in the coming decades. It is important to be active in one’s community regarding topics such as these; therefore, my suggestion to those interested would be to register to vote, brush up on current events in this state and around the world, and make YOUR voices heard. Whatever your stance is, nothing important gets done in this country without fired-up people willing to speak out to create change.
Before I leave, and on a different topic, I wanted to bring attention to the sports teams and events here at SMCC. Now, I am not a sports enthusiast by any means; however, I do enjoy being outdoors, especially on crisp, sunny fall days. Regardless of if sports are your “thing” or not, it can be nice to get out and enjoy the day at a game. You’d be encouraging your fellow classmates in their athletic endeavors, you’d have a perfect venue to meet up to hang with your pals, and in the thick of fall in Maine, it’s just plain nice outside! Your classmates on the baseball and softball teams would love to see you in the stands rooting for them. The fields are located across from the HUB gym on the South Portland Campus. So, when you see them playing, take a moment to stop and show your support. Thanks for reading, and I can’t wait for our next issue of The Beacon.
~ Becca D.