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The College of Wooster is not a “bubble”

The College of Wooster community often neglects the role that many of us play in allowing injustices to persist. We, especially myself, have been told to believe the lie: that Wooster is in a bubble. The recent actions of Drake Schwenke ’18, in posting heinous misinformation about Black and Jewish people, should be proof enough that Wooster is not immune to hatred, bigotry or a boldness to proclaim harmful statements on Facebook. As Aaron Roberson ’18, president of the Black Student Association said, “This is just the tip of the iceberg, and that iceberg is ugly.”

Many minority students, as well as women, have voiced various concerns for their safety. Many members of our community continue to belittle the complaints or outright ignore them altogether. Let me say that I am very disappointed in many members of this community.

Two of the six core values of The College of Wooster are social and intellectual responsibility and diversity and inclusion. How can we as a community say we value these things when our actions speak far differently? The lack of awareness of our responsibility to our fellow humans has become inexcusable. Do you realize that there is a group of people on campus who have been accused of acts of various sexual misconducts and yet they are still walking around campus carefree, while the victims are left to remain on a waitlist to meet with one of the four counselors we have on staff? Or what about the lack of resources for our friends who are international students who are constantly required by the College to cough up more money than their domestic counterparts for simple services such as storage over break? Have you sat down and thought about how many incidents have occured on Beall Ave. involving students of the College, yet the school just recently upgraded their camera system? How can we promote great values such as diversity and inclusion when many of us fail to recognize the responsibility we have to our community?

I understand now, more than ever, why many of my classmates repeatedly mention the plight of minority groups and women. It is to always bring awareness to the reality that life is not unfair because of life, but because of various systems that are in place. However, simply acknowledging that the structure exists is no longer good enough. Yesterday was the time for conversations. Today, we should take action.

There are many problems that affect our community here. Often times, we are reactive rather than proactive in trying to solve these problems. It is up to us, the students who make up this school, to make this school better. While I recognize that there are many administrators, faculty and staff who are more than willing to go an extra mile, they ultimately do not understand what it is like to be a student at The College of Wooster during 2017-18. This is a part of our social and intellectual responsibility. Identify a problem on campus, gather a group of passionate friends and create some change. Now is not the time for a lackadaisical attitude towards necessary social change. We should not be afraid to speak our minds in search of social progress. As a member of this community, we should remember that Wooster is not in a bubble or a monolith. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Let’s not allow Wooster to be a harbor for injustice but instead a model for all other higher education institutions to follow.

Robert Dinkins, Jr., a Viewpoints Editor for the Voice, can be reached for comment at RDinkins19@wooster.edu.

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