Letter to the Editor
by Samantha Dietel '23 on November 3, 2022
On Oct. 28, students from the Class of 2023 were sent an email about an incident that occurred in an off campus group chat. We were informed that the incident involved hateful messages directed at the LGBTQ+ community. While it stated that the college “unequivocally condemn[s]” this type of language and that all “Friars deserve to feel safe,” how can we feel safe if the whole community isn’t informed? The email was only sent to the Class of 2023. Simply because the messages were shared in a 2023 platform doesn’t mean that other classes weren’t impacted. Even if they could not see the messages directly, many heard rumors about what was said. To avoid misinformation and make everyone aware, this message should have been sent to the entire Providence College community.
Since we are a small school, word travels quickly about everything that happens on and off campus. In many ways, it is nice that our student body is strongly connected.. However, in times like these, it can be heartbreaking when we see a member of this community threaten and ostracize an entire group. Numerous people have expressed confusion and fear at why other classes were not notified about these hateful messages. I can understand not sharing the messages themselves. All that matters is that they were hateful, hurtful, and threatened the safety of our LGBTQ+ students. Everyone has the right to know if they are being targeted.
We do not feel safe. How can we if there is no transparency from the College, and the classes need to rely on each other for important updates that impact our safety? By only sending this message to the seniors, it seems like an attempt to sweep the incident under the rug. When incidents like these arise, it is important to ensure the whole community is involved and that the College states its expectations to everyone, not just those with whom the incident initially occurred. I hope we never experience another incident like this again, but if we do, I hope we are mindful to inform everyone who may be affected.