Letter From the Editor: Is It Always This Crazy?

A powerline lay collapsed in the street behind police tape. A thunderstorm caused a days-long power outage in Albion. (Photo by Liam Rappleye)

I’m currently writing to you from a pitch-black dorm room. My computer and phone are both about to die and, much like every other student that is still on campus, I’m sweating. 

To say the first week of school at Albion College has been chaotic would be an understatement. It has been turbulent, uncertain, uncomfortable and even dangerous. 

This is my second year at Albion and it feels like nothing here has ever settled. The past three years have been marred by controversy; Dr. Johnson’s contentious tenure and the pandemic made the college and the town a hurting place. 

The latest fiasco – a storm causing a power outage, prompting the administration to advise that the student body go back home – is the exact sort of tumult that I have come to expect of Albion. It seems to be another hectic stride in the college’s marathon of chaos. 

But in a way, I’ve become comfortable in the unpredictability. 

When I arrived on campus in the Fall of 2021, I had a hard time finding my balance. I didn’t necessarily struggle my freshman year, but I did not have much faith in Albion College. The pandemic loomed above us all. I felt disenchanted by the constant controversy. It was concerning and it made me want to leave. I did not feel like Albion was the place for me. 

It wasn’t until I found a job with the Pleiad as a staff writer that I felt any sort of comfortability, or frankly, any sort of responsibility. 

I realized that student publications have an important function in tumultuous college towns, especially small ones. 

If we want to hold the administration accountable – if we want to press and ask questions – we have to do it. Who else will do it?

We still don’t know all the details about one of the strangest college presidencies in recent history. That contentious and alienating time requires healing, but to heal we need to understand. 

We have a right to know how our community is functioning and how it is not.

The Pleiad changed my perspective. I was bitter and doubtful of the college.  But the problems that I had with the school – the ones that made me want to leave – are now things I want to contribute solutions for. 

I recognize that as the editor-in-chief of the school’s student publication I have a duty to facilitate the accurate reporting of college-related events. I will uphold that, but I want to do more. 

As your editor, I hope to bring accountability to an administration that has not been very transparent. I hope to find and platform the unique perspectives our students and staff have to offer. This school can be a better, more stable place for all of us. 

But first, before I do all of that, I hope to turn on my lights.

About Liam Rappleye 19 Articles
Liam Rappleye is a sophomore English major from Grand Haven, Michigan, where he coaches a youth baseball team during the summer. Contact Liam via email at LKR11@albion.edu

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