Update from Student Senate

Oberlin College Student Senators

In light of the recent displays of bias and hate speech, we want to assure you that we, your student senators, are here for you, along with so many other resources on campus. Oberlin College and community offer a wide variety of options to support students and faculty during this time. We encourage you to express your concerns, emotions and reactions to your peers, your professors, staff and deans. We are always accessible through e-mail, office hours, our plenary sessions every Sunday at 7 p.m. in Wilder 215 and around the Oberlin community. The most important thing in shocking events like these is that we respect and comfort one another, that we affirm the varying ways people react and respond to such acts, and ultimately, that we seek to enact positive changes, both in ourselves and the community more broadly.

When faced with this anonymous menace, anger is a natural reaction. However we cannot allow the anger we feel to spill over onto one another. Aggression and division serve to drive our community apart. Given the differences in each of our experiences, there are many different ways to react. We must work together to bring justice and healing to our communities. Please be respectful of each other’s responses and take the time to care for each other’s emotional needs.

It is important to come together as a community in times like these and show support for those who are deeply affected by the acts of racism and prejudice on campus. We are all affected by these acts and how we respond to such discrimination ranges depending on our identities and experiences. Understanding, patience and empathy are necessary for healing and moving forward. The question of how to effectively combat racist, queerphobic, misogynistic and anti-Semitic acts came up during many of the ongoing discussions. What policy can stop hate? No policy or administrative action can prevent such sentiments, but we as a community have not, cannot and will not silently watch such actions go by unnoticed. We will be working with the administration to provide input on policy changes and to help our community heal after these terrible events. We, as your student senate, stand beside you, in anger, solidarity, and respect. We will continue to represent your concerns to the administration and will strive to continue to make Oberlin into an affirming, welcoming and creative community for all.