Dear Members of the Gettysburg College Community,
Like all of you, I have watched with horror and dismay the events unfolding in Georgia, where eight people have been murdered in multiple acts of unimaginable violence.
Government officials are working to piece together what happened, but we do know now that six of the victims were of Asian descent, and we know now that there has been an alarming increase in violence and hate directed toward Asians and Asian-Americans within our society. The criminal investigation will seek to understand whether the shootings in Georgia were motivated by racial animus, but the fear it has generated—in the broader context of the rise in hate crimes against many underrepresented groups—is real and cause for our collective action.
Indeed, the events stand as a call for us as Gettysburgians to reach out to members of the Asian and Asian-American community, starting with our students, faculty, and staff here, to offer our support, compassion, and understanding.
The increase in hate crimes directed toward Asians and Asian-Americans also reflects the necessity and the urgency of the work we have undertaken on this campus to advance justice in all of its forms, including racial justice. It is also why we are committed to fostering an environment where differences are celebrated and understood as an inherent strength of our pluralistic society.
If any Gettysburg community member—student or employee—is seeking support at this time, I would encourage you to reach out to the Office of Multicultural Engagement, International Student Services, Religious and Spiritual Life, or Counseling. In addition, if any community member is experiencing or observing a bias behavior at the College, please report it to the Department of Public Safety or submit it as a bias incident.