BY ZOE STAUDE // OCT. 24 2017 //

As someone who loves Curry College and everything it has to offer, I have never been more ashamed and disappointed with what I have seen in a place that I trust.

In a place that I am supposed to call “home.”

I love our community and I care for all of us in it. These recent incidents have left me confused, frustrated and hurt, to say the least. I simply cannot understand how we are able to live in our world where cowardly acts of bias and hate exist.

In conversations with members of our community I have offered my support as a friend, and as a classmate. I have listened to their stories. They are hurting, they are scared, and they are afraid to be a member of the Curry College community.

When I hear these things, my love and spirit for Curry gets crushed and my heart hurts for them.

As a white cisgender female college student, I know I have tremendous privilege. I cannot possibly begin to understand how each member of our community individually feels and I will never be able to understand that. However, I do know that if anyone here at Curry doesn’t feel safe, that is something that reflects on all of us.

We shouldn’t need to help educate our community about how to treat each other with basic humanity. When our community is treated with cowardly disrespect and with hateful acts, we all feel that pain and we are all to blame that it has occurred. This is OUR school. OUR college. OUR space to be who we want to be.

In an ideal world, none of us would be writing pieces like these. In an ideal world, we would be able to come up with the right words to make our peers feel safe again.

This is clearly not an ideal world, and I don’t have any special words that will change it or magically make it better. While writing this, I still didn’t feel as if the words I was typing could come anywhere near the pain I feel inside for us all.

The only way we will make a change is if we work together. We must all come together and unite to make sure that NO ONE fears that they will be treated differently on our campus. We are supposed to be a community of care and love, and it is time we start acting like it.

We have to address the issues of privilege, bias, and unspoken acts on all levels and all around campus, including classrooms, residence halls, and even closed-door meetings. We must all stand together, as a community, and work to educate each other.

I challenge us all to move in a direction of more collaboration, communication, care, friendship, celebration, and love, rather than separating down paths that lead to disconnection from each other.

Some questions have presented themselves like, How do we move on from these difficult times? How do we share in a world of love, wisdom, and compassion?

I do not have one set of answers, a plan, or a program that will solve these issues. But we can start by having the power and the courage to stand up for our community, to work to unite each other.

I want to share a quote that has always resonated with me: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

We will NOT let hate win. We WILL stand together. We WILL overcome this, and we will ALL rise together.

It is time we start making a difference.

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