1. Classes that are cancelled on Wednesday so people can go home and spend time with their friends and family. We understand that it’s not mandated by the University to do so, but professors who make the active choice to cancel their classes are being considerate of time spent traveling, especially for a four day break.

 

2. The new Office of International Student Life (OISL), under the Division of Campus Life, which specifically aims to make students from other countries feel more comfortable as they come to Emory. Culture barriers are difficult to transcend, and we’re happy that the University now has an office that provides resources to help international students feel part of the community, especially at a school with such a high international student population.

 

3. The student groups that dedicate their time and energy to sharing their cultures with others. Indian Cultural Exchange (ICE) pulled off another fantastic Diwali festival this year, thanks to months of intense planning. We’re consistently impressed with the high caliber of this festive event and are grateful to ICE’s executive board and Diwali Chairs for giving so generously of themselves. It is especially great to see student groups working together to put on great events. ICE also co-hosted a collaborative Shabbat dinner with Hillel this Friday where traditional kosher-Indian fusion dishes were served to anyone who wished to attend. Students for a Free Tibet deserves all of our gratitude for their hard work bringing attention to His Holiness The XIV Dalai Lama’s visit this year. Their Wonderful Wednesday was one of the semester’s most memorable, and it was awesome to see students sharing their knowledge of Tibetan culture. The Filipino Student Association also should be thanked for spreading awareness of Typhoon Haiyan and putting on a very well-attended benefit dinner to raise over $6,000 for typhoon relief. When these groups reach out to share their cultures, our whole community learns and benefits, and Emory’s true diversity shows.

 

4. The Eagles’ athletic year that’s already off to a fantastic start, with the volleyball and women’s soccer teams going deep in the national Division III tournaments. A successful Division III athletic department requires both leadership with a keen understanding of the university and a staff of talented and experienced coaches. Emory has both of these aspects. The university’s athletic prowess has been overshadowed by far too many insatiable “we want football!” types.

 

5. All of the work put forth by sexual assault awareness groups. Specifically Feminists in Action (FIA), Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (SAPA) and Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP). The unfortunate truth is that sexual assault and rape culture persist throughout college campuses and it’s absolutely necessary that there are groups here at Emory who actively educate students about these difficult issues. More specifically, ASAP’s Take Back the Night, SAPA’s constant effort to get all students trained to be peer facilitators and FIA’s educational professor series and Bystander Campaign, which asked students what they would do in a situation where an assault was about to happen. Without these groups, ignorance would run rampant throughout campus and we are very thankful that groups on campus work so hard to raise awareness and help survivors.

 

6. The high-profile speakers and lecturers Emory and other organizations have brought to campus this year. Some of the most notable speakers include His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, singer and songwriter Paul Simon, Presidential Medal of Freedom winner and civil rights activist C.T. Vivian and former President Jimmy Carter. The high profile speakers Emory attracted to campus this semester have provided students with rare and unique experiences that remind us that Emory is a top-tier university.

 

7. The amazing musicians and artists that visit Emory’s campus. As part of the Flora Glenn Candler Concert Series, Emory has had the chance to host incredible and diverse groups of acclaimed performers including influential American composer Philip Glass, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Chris Thile of Punch Brothers. Next semester, we’re looking forward to renowned concert pianist Lang Lang and a showcase of contemporary jazz musicians in the Newport Jazz Festival on tour. We are also thankful for campus student groups like WMRE, who host local Atlanta artists like Killer Mike that appeal to broad audiences, and the Student Programming Council (SPC), who brought Passion Pit and the Joy Formidable to McDonough Field this year. It’s certainly a privilege to attend a University that cultivates the arts and prioritizes exposing our students to a wide range of music of the highest quality.

 

8. The partnership formed between Emory’s film department, Georgia State’s Moving Image Studies program and the Atlanta Film Festival. The three brought University of California Los Angeles’ (UCLA) film series “L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema” that ended Nov. 24 with its last screening in White Hall. The series featured 36 films found in UCLA’s archives by L.A. Rebellion, a school of black independent cinema that started in the late 1960s. Collaborations like this show the diversity of film studies and how important it is to be knowledgeable about the history of the art form. This film series was such a unique opportunity as many of these films cannot be found anywhere. The series shows the importance of black independent cinema and its relevance today.

 

9. The opportunity to work at our campus’ independent student newspaper, which has been around for 95 years. Working at the Wheel has taught us how to support each other as students, colleagues and friends. It has taught us how to make ethical decisions regarding news coverage. It has taught us how to use InDesign and Photoshop. It has taught us how to conduct a proper interview. It has taught us how to make an argument and have our ideas and opinions heard. It has taught us how to have a thick skin. It has given us a platform to inform our community and advise our readers.

For these things and more, we are thankful.

The above staff editorial represents the majority opinion of the Wheel‘s editorial board.