Dear Mr. Kessler and Mr.Riley,
We are writing in response to your article regarding the flooding of the T. We do not agree with your derogatory language towards the student who caused the incident, nor do we think that your reporting on the subject is anything more than shallow. To begin, characterizing the student as a “reprehensible human being” conflates one incident, which even you stated was an accident, as being representative of this person as a whole. This description is simply not accurate.
If the flooding had been an intentional act to disrupt the campus, then we as a community would be justified in coming together to express that that behavior is unacceptable. However, this incident was by all accounts a simple accident and needs to be acknowledged as such. Furthermore, insinuating that they should expect a difficult time not to “drown in the rising tide of anger over this whole thing” completely disregards the intense feelings of guilt this person has experienced, and frankly, undermines the Goucher community as a whole. We are insulted that you would expect us to be angry at this student, instead of having compassion for them. We have lost possessions, we have been displaced, we have in all ways been inconvenienced, but to publish such an inflammatory article weakens our bonds as a community and will only serve to further isolate ourselves from one another.
This incident was an opportunity for the community to come together and support each other. We saw this when students opened their doors in the middle of the night to their displaced peers, and have continued to help those who have been affected by the flood in a multitude of ways. Let us not forget that the student responsible has also experienced negative effects, and are we really so callous as to not offer them support as well? Apparently, that is exactly what you expect of us, but we demand differently.
We of course understand the frustration that this event caused, and we are by no means dismissing those feelings as invalid or trying to make excuses for what was not the wisest of decisions on one student’s part, but we will not stand for such a public lambasting of this individual.
We think it’s time that you asked yourselves what you really expect this article to accomplish, and whether, if the roles were reversed, you would want your community to turn its back on you so quickly.
Maggie McGinnis and