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An open letter to graduating seniors

Editor in Chief, Alex Candage, and Managing Editor, Maura Leaden, reflect with heavy hearts on the semester’s abrupt relocation.

To our fellow seniors,

This is a letter we never imagined we would have to write. As an editorial staff led by two seniors, we are going through the same losses that you all are.

We were forced to pack up our college experience in less than a week and leave the college that we’ve spent years making our home in the midst of one of the most uncertain times of our generation. 

There were many things we were all counting on that were cancelled, including final theater and music performances, capstone and thesis presentations, last home games, awards ceremonies, and other concluding moments. Even the informal yet equally unattainable “lasts” hit hard, like enjoying a goodbye dinner on Park Avenue with friends and celebrating our final Fox Day.

After dedicating endless hours of our college experience to The Sandspur since our freshman year, one of our hardest goodbyes was to the in-person presence of our Sandspur staff and our new office in Kathleen W. Rollins Hall. After waiting out the hall’s reconstruction in our temporary “office” (an inadequate Elizabeth Hall common room), we were ready to decorate our new office and make it a permanent home. We held back tears as we suddenly said goodbye to an office we barely spruced up and a staff we spent years building and collaborating with. It was heartbreaking.

As we all count our losses, allow yourselves to grieve the loss of treasured moments. You are allowed to be upset. Take some time for yourself as you recover.

Even though your friends may be far apart, continue supporting one another during this difficult time through messages, video chat, and letters. Have online coffee breaks and study sessions with your classmates. Even though we had to say goodbye to all of our friends and memories, we can find ways to keep them close as we learn to live with this new normal.

We felt strange resuming our news routine without acknowledging the emotional toll these past two week have taken on our entire community, especially low-income, immunocompromised, and otherwise marginalized student populations. 

In trying to keep our community connected, The Sandspur welcomes all students to get creative with a hashtag on social media. Use #SandspurWeekly for a chance to be featured on our social media account @thesandspur. If your account is private, make sure you are following us and allowing us to follow you so that we can see your hashtag.

Although we are heartbroken that we will not be releasing print issues for the rest of this semester, we will continue to bring the Rollins community the information they deserve through our email newsletters, social media accounts, and 

We are lucky in the US to have an established healthcare system, in which pandemics are unexpected. However, this means the coronavirus outbreak leaves us especially uncertain. So, we talked about it in this letter and with our loved ones and communities. We encourage you all to do the same, in whatever form is most meaningful and freeing to you. As writers ourselves, we know how therapeutic writing can be, as well. A journaling or writing practice can also be helpful in processing this stressful time. 

Finally, thank you for your continued readership while we are now spread across the country and the globe. It means that you still care about Rollins, school policies, and student stories, and that we are all a united campus body, even in different time zones. 

All the best, 

Alex Candage, Editor-in-Chief

Maura Leaden, Managing Editor

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