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2017 in review: Taking a look at the ups and the downs

by The Stylus
Wed, Dec 6th 2017 11:00 am
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Elliott LaPoint/EDITORIAL CARTOONIST A lot can happen in a year, in the world and in our little corner of the world, Brockport. This year has been an eventful one for the town and college campus, both seeing its fair share of good days and bad. Now we look back at 2017 as the year begins to wind down.
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Whether you’ve accepted it or not, the year has nearly passed, with this issue of The Stylus marking the last of 2017. There have been drastic changes around the world as well as locally. Before we think ahead and annually wonder what is to come, be it positive or negative, let’s first take a look at the past 11 months and reflect on the good, the bad and the in-between.

As usual, it’s best to get the unexpected and especially the undesired out of the way before happy reminiscing. 

Students began the Fall 2017 semester with the morbid news of a local murder, committed by a former student. While some have forgotten, others remain mortified and aware of both random and planned attacks and assaults. The arrest of Holly Colino sparked a conversation about the stigmatization of severe mental health disorders, with many people split over the court’s decision to deem Colino too mentally incompetent to stand trial. Colino is currently working with two unnamed doctors until she is back on trial in August of 2018, according to 13wham.com.

What began as something surrounded by fear and concern ended up bringing about positive solidarity within the SUNY system. To start off his first term, President Trump attempted to place a travel ban on several predominantly Muslim countries, raising concerns among college students. How would one travel to see their family if the U.S. government has targeted them in such a discriminatory manner? Luckily, the SUNY system, among other individual colleges and universities throughout the nation, released official statements committing to protect affected students.

Somewhere in between lies within the viral #MeToo movement, which had the unintended consequence of many, people predominantly women, coming forward about past experiences with Hollywood hot shots and entertainment industry superstars who violated them. Never before has there been such a public domino effect in which  sexual assault survivors are unafraid to take ownership of their voices, something which many are often uncomfortable with doing alongside the fear of not being taken seriously and their abuser walking away unharmed. In 2017, hope has finally arrived for many as they begin to reclaim their power while simultaneously cleansing the long-tainted industry. 

Newly appointed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos approached her position with a vocal plan to revoke Title IX guidelines, instilling discomfort in the hearts of sexual assault and harassment survivors as they began to voice fears of having to face their abusers in classes, as well as losing other protections.

DACA, a program which allows for students brought into the country illegally as minors, was repealed by the Trump administration, affecting DREAMers as close as our fellow students at Brockport. 

Most recently, former Brockport kindergarten teacher Roland Yockel was found guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography. Not only does this bring negative attention to area schools, but brings into play the question of the safety of young children in the care of those entrusted to look over them. 

Hopefully it will be healthy to leave the negatives of 2017 behind after having learned from them. Let us then proceed to take a glance at what touched us, uplifted us and added to our experience at The College at Brockport.

Firstly, we cannot cover a recap of 2017 without touching upon the progress and partial completion of campus construction. This would absolutely fall between our editorialized rundown. While the campus has become more accessible and aesthetically refreshing, students naturally were often inconvenienced by longer routes, noise pollution, a confusing layout and endless routine changes which made us late to class again and again. What with the recently completed campus mall, it’s safe to say this 2017 event leans farther to the positive side of things. With landscaping now in its late stages as the newest addition to campus, Eagle Hall continues to progress and be prepared for its first batch of residents in the future.

2017 also brought the installment of a new chief of police within University Police, Daniel Vasille, bringing a fresh perspective to the college in regards to student safety and community policing. Vasille has replaced former chief Edward Giblin. 

Longtime campus LGBTQ organization S.O.U.L. rebranded under the name Brockport Pride Association and has been taking initiative to become a more recognizable and active resource for students in the community and allies alike. Increasingly present and visible in the Seymour College Union, it is also apparent that the club has taken steps to incorporate a diverse lineup of on-campus events. Brockport Pride Association has broadened its target demographic to the greater student community in hopes of approaching topical and crucial points of discussion related to LGBTQ issues. 

As the semester and year simultaneously come to a close, the Brockport Golden Eagles football team carried the college’s charisma and passion for its sporting programs into new heights with an undefeated record, reigning in their division. The team has brought residents, students and families together, with representation and attendance at games now higher than any past year, spreading love through all of Brockport. Do your best to cheer on the Golden Eagles as they add onto their 13-0 record!

Hopefully this recap refreshed your memory and brought to mind some notable events that you might have forgotten until now, and perhaps even inspired you to become involved in the goings on in your community, because at the end of the day, we are all affected in some manner by Colino’s arrest, the DACA ban and the changing of campus police command. 

For each and every individual, 2017 was impactful in a vastly different way. Do your best to look forward to 2018, because for all anyone knows, it could be the best yet, and to top it off, it might very well be filled with positive steps for education, safety and inclusivity for all! 

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