To the Editor:
As students who are studying abroad at Oxford this year, we were far from Williamstown when the hateful incident of Nov. 12 occurred. However, despite the physical separation from the campus, many of us here have remained deeply engaged with the Williams community. As a result, there have been many discussions, amongst ourselves and with other Oxford students, regarding the incident and the way in which the Williams community has begun to respond.
Out of a shared regret for not being able to demonstrate our solidarity, sympathy and support in person, many of us met to discuss a way in which we might able to express our continued engagement with the community despite the ocean that separates us. Thus, first and foremost we wish to express our deep sympathy for those who were hurt by this hateful crime, and to extend our emotional support to the community as it strives to confront such difficult and critical issues.
Although we were appalled by the incident itself, after hearing from those on campus how powerfully and compassionately the community responded, we feel a renewed sense of hope in the college’s ability to address the broader issues illuminated by this incident. In particular, after talking to other Oxford students, who were awed by the seriousness with which the community responded and who claimed that such a response would never occur at their colleges, we were reminded of how special and unique a community Williams is.
Of course, this is not to say that the work is done; we recognize that these steps mark only the beginning of an enormous opportunity for growth in our community. And although we also recognize we are unable to be on campus to directly participate in the conversations this work will require, we are deeply committed to being a part of this process, and learning from the past and from each other as much as we possibly can. Williams College, we are thinking about you and wishing you the best.
– Sally Mairs ’13; Emily Cook ’13; Katharine Dusenbury ’13; Elizabeth Hecht ’13; Sandra Shedd ’13; Tarun Narasimhan ’13; Peter De Riemer ’13; Ayela Butt ’13; Lindsey Graham ’13; Sarah Zager ’13; Shirley Li ’13