To the Campus Community:
Like many colleges, Lafayette can sometimes seem like a “bubble,” a place that is separate from the “real world.” There are times, however, when we have to acknowledge that we live in and are affected by the world beyond College Hill.
Events across the nation and the world this week have had a deep impact on many members of our community. Even as we continue to watch devastating images of the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal, we have had to confront a different form of violence and unrest in Baltimore, in the wake of the death of a young black man in an incident that has become all too familiar this year.
Our responses to events like this are inevitably as different as our own backgrounds and experiences. Those who are most deeply affected may feel alienated by the seeming indifference of others, while those others may feel bewildered by having to confront a level of pain or anger they may not fully understand.
While these differences can certainly create tensions, we are fortunate to live in a community of learning, where the tools of understanding, dialogue, and open debate allow us to share our views with friends, classmates, professors, and colleagues. I believe that moments like this show us the true value of a diverse community, where we may find our own views challenged, enriched and even changed by perspectives different from our own.
Genuine dialogue requires two voices, and is not achieved through anonymous postings on social media. It is difficult, and none of us is perfect at it. But the reason we have all chosen to become part of the Lafayette community is that we know that we can learn more from each other than any of us can learn alone. I look forward to strengthening our community through continued dialogue on difficult issues, and continued support for those who seek answers.
President Alison Byerly