Editorial: Looking back on a bumpy 2016


Lily Katz

Students celebrate after the Cubs win Game 7 of the 2016 World Series against the Cleveland Indians on Nov. 2 on Green Street.

Much of the past year, and the fall semester in particular, was weird, frustrating, sad, scary and, in some cases,  completely unprecedented.

We could gripe about ways we wish our campus, nation and world could do better, so on and so on. Or we could look back on all of the positive events of the semester and what we hope to see in 2017. In the spirit of holiday cheer, we decided to focus on the latter.

In the world of sports, we’ve seen a reinvigorated University athletics department under athletic director Josh Whitman. His enthusiasm, positive energy and high-caliber coaching hires (Hi, Lovie) have us feeling better about the future of Illini athletics.

Elsewhere in the sporting world, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in over a century. Alumnus Tatyana McFadden won her fourth-consecutive New York City Marathon, sixth-consecutive Chicago Marathon and served as the grand marshal of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

On campus, we welcomed Robert Jones, our first black chancellor, a good step toward increased diversity at the University. Faculty members will receive raises, even though the University is not legally required to increase salaries.

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Nationally, the economy continues to improve. Andust last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially refused to permit the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, ending months of tension and unrest.

This is obviously not a comprehensive list of major campus, national and global achievements. And it is certainly not a good representation of all the wonderful things we experience regularly — puppies, good friendships, sunny days, Elton John Music, et cetera — but we hope it gets you thinking about all of the good that happened this semester.

Next semester, we hope to see increased diversity, inclusion, camaraderie and over-achieving on campus. We’re excited to watch our peers continue to innovate and improve. We look forward to having more reasons to brag about our alumni and take pride in our country.

We want our national and world leaders to make decisions that represent the majority and continue our path toward progress. In that vein, we encourage people to be respectful and reasonable when discussing disagreements.

College students have the opportunity to try new things, encourage change and contribute to progress. We hope that in 2017, our student body will take advantage of the opportunities at hand and continue to show the world that our University can hang with anyone.