The WSO discussion titled “Insecurity maybe?” was never about snowballs. Instead of taking the Record’s example and publishing extremely offensive cartoons to further downplay the significance of such events, our community needs to wake up. No one who has had their sense of personal security violated, like Elisa Chang that night or others who have found their trust in the Williams community betrayed, wants to be mistreated. They are speaking out because they have been made to feel that they don’t belong. We need to work toward a community that does not tolerate sexism, homophobia or racism because turning the victims into scapegoats does not erase the problem. Empathizing with a fellow student does not make you a Williams hater; it makes you an active Williams lover because you care enough to make it a more inclusive experience for all students.
The post intended to discuss the attitudes of Chang’s assailants. The blatant disrespect embodied in this consciously offensive incident indicated that the perpetrators were indeed secure in the belief that they would suffer no reprimand for assaulting a fellow student. While this attitude is helped along by the administration’s near-nonexistent repercussions for acts of personal violation, it is unacceptable. Race and class were brought into the discussion to make the point that there are people in our community who do not ever think about what the Williams experience is like for anyone unlike themselves. This is why some people were unable to see the event as anything but snowballs. However, the position of being judged on socioeconomic status is one many people at Williams are familiar with because they are frequently reminded by the Williams community that they are judged this way. Some never experience this and so are disbelieving of people that have. From the discussion, the take-away point for me was to remember that there is no monolithic Williams experience, just as there is no standard Williams student.
Carleen Carey ’09