On Friday 20, 2000, an email message was sent to the “Whose Responsibility Is It?” opinions e-mail address—an address created to allow students to voice their opinions about the project and the issues it raises—by a student here at Williams College. Biniam Gebre ’00 and I sent this person’s message to multiple listservs on campus. In addition to sending out the e-mail, we mistakenly included the person’s finger name. For this, we openly apologize. We realize that we were remiss in having publicized the author of the e-mail, and ensure that people’s opinions will be kept anonymous in the future. We understand that our apology does not atone for what has happened, and are regretful for the damage our actions may have caused.
However, we stand by our actions to publicize this message. We felt the tone of this e-mail was threatening to the lives of the project organizers and all the students who support it. In addition, the violent acts that have taken place on campus such as the repeated breaking of signs, tearing of pictures, destroying of stakes, face-to-face threats and violent remarks on the opinion walls prompted us not to interpret this persons message as a simple joke or release of one person’s frustration. Therefore, we believe the e-mail was not only of our concern, but that of the campus at large as well. We (being the participants and organizers of the group) have asked continuously for open and honest opinions, but this message, as the sender agrees, was irrational and inconsiderate. While this does not justify our publicizing the author of the e-mail, we do feel that the particular situation warranted the attention of the campus at large.
We hope that the student who sent the message accepts our apology for sending his/her finger-name to everyone. We also hope that the Williams community understands our reasons for having publicized the message as we did. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.