Notes from the Editor: We’ve come so far

This issue of Basement Medicine is an important one, and I think its existence represents a lot of what makes this campus so special: resilience.
It has been 178 days since this campus shut down in March. 178 days that we’ve all slogged through: working jobs, caring for family members, doing our parts to slow the spread of COVID-19. It has not been an easy 178 days.
There is so much to mourn of what was 178 days ago. We’re still mourning the loss of our Johnson family member Mamadou N’Diaye. We’re still processing how to navigate a socially-distanced semester. We’re learning patience, responsibility and understanding.
Despite the hardship and the pain, I’m trying my best to celebrate our successes, uplift the legacies of those who are no longer with us, and stay grateful for the things I’ve still got.
We fought off the closure of our campuses. We rose up as a student body and said, “You mess with the Badgers? You get the claws.” We banded together with the Hornets and the Knights, and we won. We are stronger than any entity trying to bring us down.
We changed the system for the better. Sophie Zdatny, the new chancellor of the VSCS, has committed to keeping our campuses open. The Legislature appears to be working on bridge funding for the VSCS. These are the things that happened because we spoke up about it.
We acted with poise and responsibility. Across both campuses, we had initial totals of ZERO positive tests. That shows a community, two communities in fact, of dedicated, responsible students who are doing their part to keep us all safe. It’s hard to be so vigilant all the time, but we’re doing it.
We welcomed new faces in spite of a pandemic. Those students recognized that a pandemic wouldn’t and couldn’t get in the way of their education. These are the same students who lost their proms and graduations and senior cruises to COVID-19, who said, “This virus has taken so much from me. I’m going to college anyway.” To those students: We are so glad you’re here. You’re gonna be amazing, and I can’t wait to see what mark you make here at Johnson.
Above all, we carpe the heck out of every single diem. We’re doing all kinds of new things online: physics labs, art classes and music ensembles among them. We’re paving the way for a new kind of college that’s accessible to all. We are collaborating across the campuses, working together as we never have before.
Keep wearing masks, using sanitizer and being great. See you next issue.

-Rebecca Flieder,
Editor in Chief