Initially, I asked the Voice staff if I could write an article complaining about the woes of the housing bureaucracy here at the College. But on Monday, my hometown of Boston, was bombed, and my priorities shifted. Where my carrel is and what house my sorority gets seem small in light of this incident, and I think reflecting on an event of this scale is important.
Like most students from Massachusetts who attend the College, when people ask me where I am from, I say Boston. The truth is, I live in a suburb about twenty minutes outside, but I so love the city and its culture that saying I was from anywhere else just would not seem right.
The site of the bombing, the 26th mile of the marathon, was actually two blocks from the apartment I lived in with my best friend last summer. For the second time in my life I was affected by terrorism, but this time it was even closer to home. While all of my family and friends are safe, Monday was an emotional day for me.
In the face of an attack like this, it’s easy to throw up your hands and to give up on humanity as a whole. But in light of the attack, the support of the Wooster community showed me that it’s not all bad.
With cable news up on the Lowry Pit screen, students were actively checking on each other. Whether it was the students who have shared plane rides to Boston together, or friends who knew students from the area, everyone cared. There were a number of students who I had not spoken to all semester who, knowing I was from Boston, came up to me to ask if my family and friends were alright. This gave me faith in the face of something so horrific and reaffirmed my love for this campus. Sure the Wooster bubble has its problems, but in light of tragedies like Monday, people who you have not spoken to since FYS will ask if you’re alright.
I think a natural reaction to events like this are ‘what can I do?’ This is a great reaction! I hope the next time we have a blood drive every student comes out and that we will continue to keep Boston and the victims in our thoughts. But thinking long term about what we can do is also important.
Terrorism and hate are not things intrinsic in human nature as they are acts and feelings that must be taught. We have the privilege of receiving an excellent education at an institution that boasts about its ability to foster critical thought and communication skills. It is these skills that can help us step towards creating peace in the future.
I have no doubt that Wooster students have the ability to go forward and become great leaders. So while we are here lets really focus on understanding kinds of cultural perspectives a number of our classes provide us. Let’s work to truly value the use of non-violence in all kinds of negotiations. Lets learn to check out privilege and realize where we may be wrong, and appreciate the value in this realization. Wooster has the ability to equip us with these skills and even prevent things like what happened on Monday. So in light of tragedy let us remember why we are here and the power we have to make a difference.