A Letter From Adele Wolfson, Interim Dean of Students: Coming Together as a Community

November 15, 2015
The French flag against blue sky

The following is adapted from a letter Adele Wolfson, Interim Dean of Students, sent to the Wellesley Community:

We are all deeply saddened, shocked, and impacted by the recent violence throughout the world.

Following the attacks in Paris and Beirut, many members of the community have asked about the wellbeing of our students there. Wellesley's Director of International Study has been in touch with all students studying in Paris; they are all accounted for and safe, as are any students studying elsewhere who were on holidays in Paris. Wellesley does not currently have any students studying in Beirut. The college has also been in touch with all of our students studying abroad and has also sent a message to parents.

College leadership has reached out to students on campus from impacted countries to offer support and services. Further, the student leaders of the Slater International Center opened their doors Sunday evening as a place of community and comfort. Staff members from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Counseling were on hand. A wider campus event is being planned for later this week.

Our sympathies are with the people of France and Lebanon, especially those most directly affected by the attacks. Our thoughts are also with members of the Muslim community, in France and elsewhere, who have been subjected to mindless hatred in the wake of the attacks.

The events of the last few weeks—whether terrorist attacks, continued examples of institutional racism, acts of war, or natural disasters—serve as reminders that Wellesley is not separate from the world.  We can and must continue to build a more perfect community here, but cannot shut out what is happening elsewhere.

We all bring our concerns into the classroom, residence halls, and workplace, and these impinge into our work even when we think they will not. Wolfson urged faculty and staff to remember that students are also carrying the burden of these events and advised them to offer as much support as they are able.