Around twenty Vassar students went to Washington, D.C. to attend a conference, rally, and meetings with senators, as a part of the Never Go Back campaign. In response to fears about the possible reversal of the Roe v. Wade decision, the campaign sought to protect the reproductive rights of women. Campaigners met with senators, hoping to convince them to filibuster any Supreme Court nominees who are either anti-abortion or neutral, as just one more opposing Supreme Court justice could threaten a reversal. The trip was sponsored by Vassar’s Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, which had collected over 1,000 signatures in support of filibustering opposing nominees, garnering praise from many conference-goers.

Students from Vassar Repertory Dance Theater performed five private shows at the Lincoln Center Institute’s Clark Studio, the first New York City tour the group made. Alumni, family members, President Fergusson and her guests were invited to see the performances for free. Director of Development for Regional Programs John Mihaly ‘74  wanted to connect the alumnae and alumni with the students, so he held a reception before each performance where the dancers and audience could meet and mingle. Mihaly hoped that the event would also serve as a “thank you” for the “people who have made Vassar College a priority, either philanthropically or as volunteers.”

Andrew Meade, Assistant to the Dean of the College, went to Haiti to purchase art ahead of Vassar’s second-ever Haitian Art Exhibition and Sale, which was to be held on April 7, 2004. The sales from the event would go to support the education and livelihood of children living in Chermaitre, a village in Haiti. Although Meade was unable to travel to Chermaitre due to the unstable political climate, he was able to purchase paintings, ironware, figurines, and other pieces of art to sell at the event. 

The Class of ‘05 restarted Thursday Pub Nights at the Vassar Pub Nights. The pub nights had been halted after allegations of underage drinking, disruptive behavior, and vandalism were reported. The class council had talks with the Alumnae House general manager in order to revitalize the tradition with a more laid-back vibe. The pub nights were now to be focused on highlighting local musicians and would enforce a strict drinking policy, only serving to those over 21 with a valid ID. 

Several Vassar organizations, including Feminist Alliance, the Women’s Center, Unbound, and the Office of Health Education, came together to hold Vassar’s fifth annual V-Day. V-Day is a worldwide campaign that raises awareness of violence against women and fundraises for causes working to end such violence. This year special attention was called to violence against Inuit Candian women and Native American women. Some of the events included a performance of the Vagina Monologues, informational tabling, and the sale of vagina cookies and “vagina friendly” pins in the College Center. All proceeds were donated to the Grace Smith House for Battered Women.

Christopher Buckley, author, editor of Forbes FYI, and a previous speechwriter for George H.W. Bush,  gave the Alex Krieger ‘95 Memorial Lecture in Skinner Hall. The speech was funded by the family of Alex Krieger, who chose to remember their son through this annual endeavor. 

Students joined about 100,000 to 400,000 protestors in New York City at “The World Says No to War” rally, organized by United for Peace and Justice. Protests occurred throughout the U.S., Europe, and at a scientific post in Antarctica, all condemning the U.S. going to war with Iraq.

An impassioned Vassar senior organized a benefit concert,“In Tune for Farmworker Justice,” for the Rural Migrant Ministry, which is a non-profit that advocated for farmworker rights. The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, 91.3 WVKR, and the VSA also joined in to sponsor the event. The concert featured bands such as The Kiss Ups, and This Radiant Boy. The event was intended to raise awareness of the Rural Migrant Ministry’s work and encourage participation from the Vassar community.

A talk was held in the Noyes Jetson Longue to discuss the question of “does campus security racially profile?” The Vassar College Think Tank ran the discussion, which was open to all community members, in order to start conversations about race on campus. 

Students gathered outside of the Residential Life and Dean of Students offices in Main to protest a College Regulations panel ruling. The panel found a student responsible for “harassment and violation of College order,” sanctioning her to a two-semester suspension and requiring her to leave campus in 18 hours. Following the initial protest, the Black Students Union held a meeting at the ALANA center to create an action plan and written statement.

The next morning, around 60 students silently stood in the College Center, with signs reading “Silence will be heard,” and “Let’s talk about the process.” Protestors spoke to Dean of Studies D.B. Brown and circulated their statement to the student body. The statement argued that the regulations process was “arbitrary, subjective, and inefficient” and was also unnecessarily shrouded in secrecy. Protestors feared that without specific parameters connecting charges to sanctions, decisions could be unfair or inappropriate. The statement also admonished the college for providing no warning of a possible suspension to the student from the recent decision and for giving her such little time to leave campus. The students ultimately created the Equality for All task force, which would work to convince administrators of the need for change on Vassar’s regulations panels.

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life held vigils from March 24 to March 28, in order to inspire discussion and reflection on the ongoing war in Iraq. While they did not take a side in the specific political climate, they did note that Vassar is “united in our shared concern for peace and justice.” There were discussions within residence halls conducted by House Fellows and a panel-led discussion with philosophy professor Jennifer Church, political science professor Andrew Davison, economics professor Paul Johnson, and political science professor Steve Rock.

The Vassar Students Association chose to take an anti-Iraq war position using an online run-off vote. The anti-war stance garnered 371 votes, while the pro-war stance received 39, the no statement stance got 269, and the neutral stance received 99 votes.

A fight broke out in the early morning of April 20 that resulted in a call to police and a hospitalization. The altercation began between visitors who, after attending an event in the Villard Room, accompanied Vassar students to the fourth floor of Lathrop. One of the guests was beaten because another man believed he stole money. Although there were rumors of a knife, police confirmed that there were no weapons present during the altercation. The man who was beaten was taken to the hospital, while the police ended up arresting three of the involved guests. Two of Vassar’s security officers sustained minor injuries, necessitating treatment from Campus Health Services. Students living in Lathrop met with their house advisor the following day to discuss concerns and go over safety precautions. 

The Vassar Miscellany News reported that $4000 worth of property had been stolen from the Townhouses in three separate robberies that semester. Students feeling so safe and trusting on campus that they would often leave their doors unlocked, which is how most of the larcenies were able to occur. The Town House President and Residential Life urged students to lock their doors to prevent further robberies from occurring. 

The renovation of Jewett House, which lasted around 15 months and cost about $22 million, was finally completed and students were able to begin moving into their new rooms. New additions to the house included computer networking, carpeting, an improved fire alarm system, and peepholes. 

The Alumnae House closed for renovations that the college hoped would make the house “fresher and cleaner.” For six months, the house would have all of its electrical wiring, plumbing, and carpeting replaced, its walls repainted, and computers installed. The college had been renovating the house in stages, adding an elevator in the previous year, so that some parts of the house could remain open and accessible for use. However, it was deemed to be much more efficient to shut down the entire house and complete the renovation in one go. 

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a $97,000 fine to Vassar College for violating its hazardous waste disposal regulations. After inspecting the college in March 2002, the EPA observed six violations, including failing to properly label and dispose of laboratory chemicals and art supplies, lacking required permits, and not informing emergency services of the whereabouts of hazardous waste. Vassar requested an extension to the 30 day response period so that it could challenge some of the accusations and address the others. 

At a panel set up by the Women’s Center, Iraqi journalist Amal Al-Khedairy and historian Nermin Al-Mufti spoke about their experiences of and opinions on the war in Iraq. They focused especially on how women were impacted by U.S. occupation and the changing climate in Iraq throughout the war. Four students also participated as panelists, asking Al-Khedairy and Al-Mufti questions and contributing to this conversation on the effects of war in Iraq. 

Two members of the Vassar Student Association, the Town Student President and the Josselyn House President, missed their second VSA meeting, thus setting an impeachment proceeding into motion. The VSA constitution allowed members to only miss one  meeting and required that they send a proxy in their place, but these two members missed two meetings and never sent proxies.