I am writing in response to Ms. Julia Shenkar’s letter to the editor on Sept. 1. While I respect her opinions and am pleased to hear alumni take a vested interest in our college I disagree with some of her points on the culture of our diverse campus.
A college which does not attempt to exceed its obligations to cater to its students needs is a college I have no interest in attending. The campus that I have found myself on, while not without flaws, is one which attempts daily to improve itself by extending new services and opportunities to each individual student. These opportunities are created by our professors, our students and our staff working tirelessly together to find gaps in student need and work to fill them. A community does not work if we do not serve every member of it with every single support we can offer.
Providing these supports is part of Knox College’s mission statement. In promising to “extend [Knox’s] ongoing commitment to a diverse community of students, faculty and staff with each new hiring …” our college has promised to provide supports for religious students who are struggling with their faith. I, personally, will never use the services of Ms. Seiwert; I too do not subscribe to any faith. However, I also do not use the mental health services, CTL’s services or attend the international student orientation; I have no need for those services but I expect to Knox to provide them in order to help bolster our diverse community.
On a private, liberal arts campus students are incredibly privileged to not only have academic support but also support examining their own identities and cultures. It would be foolish to believe religion is not a part of a student’s identity and culture.
In order to promote tolerance on our campus we should welcome Ms. Seiwert onto our campus. She has years of experience working with diverse multicultural groups in areas of race, sexuality and faith. Our alumni and current students should allow her to settle in to our campus before attempting to attack her abilities.
Class of 2017