Student letter - April 29

Dear Students,

Two recent events, one far away and one much closer, have had a profound effect on members of the Gettysburg College community. The earthquake and destruction in Nepal and the death of another young black male and subsequent civil unrest in Baltimore are both heartbreaking and disturbing. Though these two events are very different in nature, in both cases members of our community are experiencing sadness and deep concern about the impact on family members and the communities from which they come. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and families directly involved, as well as to our own students, faculty, and staff who have been affected.

In response to the earthquake, several students have organized a candlelight vigil to honor the victims and to stand in support of those in distress. The vigil is scheduled for tonight, Wednesday, April 29, at 8 p.m. on the north steps of Pennsylvania Hall. Community members are also organizing a fundraising drive; please consult the Digest for more information. Our staff has checked in with students from Nepal, and we are relieved to know that their immediate families are safe.

The situation in Baltimore is part of a national issue within an historical context. Problematic approaches to policing communities of color have been an ongoing concern in the U.S., particularly over the past several months. We know that many of you are already involved in discussing these events and what they mean for our society, and we encourage respectful and culturally sensitive dialogue. Students are organizing an event to discuss these concerns, which will be held Thursday evening, April 30th in Mara Auditorium at 7 PM. Professor Scott Hancock will lead the discussion, along with members of the BSU.

We will be checking in with students from Baltimore over the next few days as events continue to unfold there. In the meantime, students who are impacted by these events should feel free to reach out to their faculty, the Office of Academic Advising, the Chaplain, the Office of lntercultural Advancement, and the counseling staff for assistance. We know the end of the semester can be stressful even under the best of circumstances, and we urge all of our community members to be thoughtful and supportive of one another.


Julie Ramsey
Dean of Students and Vice President for College Life

Jeanne Arnold
Chief Diversity Officer