Assault Response Troubling

To the Editor:

I just finished reading Molly Ryan’s letter to the Editor titled “Don’t Leap to Judgement Quickly” that was in the April 27 Review. Like Ryan, I have been troubled by the events that have transpired over the last few weeks. I have also followed the information regarding this incident closely because, like Ryan, I have a friend that was involved with the assault. However, my friend was the one assaulted.
I am not writing to try to convince you that there is a right or wrong way that the administration should handle this because I could almost guarantee you that everyone involved in this will not be satisfied. The reason that I am writing you is so that hopefully you will take the time and think about some of the things Ryan wrote about from a different perspective.
First, please imagine yourself in the victim’s shoes. Imagine waking up from your sleep with some unknown person, hiding behind a mask, attempting to beat you up. Imagine the fear for your life that you may have as you attempt to flee the room and scream for help. How would you want the school to deal with the situation? Would you want to encounter these people every day on campus?
In her article, Molly wrote that the victim “apparently suffered no injuries.” Do all injuries have to be physical? How would you feel going to bed every night having to worry about your safety?
Was it really, as Molly suggested, a “lapse of judgement” by our fellow classmates? From what I understand, this was not the first time that they felt that the victim should be beaten up. Maybe some of our classmates just lack judgement?
Like me, I’m sure that you value your Oberlin education. On our graduation day, when we accept our diplomas, what will they mean knowing that there are two other students, receiving their diplomas, that at the age of 22 have not learned to treat others with respect, who have not learned how to appropriately or legally deal with their anger, who feel that it is their responsibility to beat up people who joke about things they believe in, and who feel that they have the right to negatively affect the entire community? Are these the individuals that we want representing the image of Oberlin College? I hope not.
I hope that you take the time to think about some of these ideas.

–Daniel Schwartz 
College senior


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