LETTER: 'Lamentable' events does not represent culture at HWS

To the Editor:

After reading your Sunday Insight section of July 20, all the columns of which save one concerned the current terrible events chronicled by The New York Times at Hobart and William Smith, I need to tell you that they are all superb pieces: thoughtful, compassionate, temperate and heartfelt, each addressing in its own way the complexity of the situation, the need for patience and sober reflection in sorting this tragedy out, and in determining a helpful and just way to go forward.

Each also is especially noteworthy in pointing to the general excellence that has been, for the 43 years I have proudly taught there, these two small Colleges of the Seneca. That this awful event transpired here is terrifying and worrisome in the extreme. That such repulsive situations are happening nationwide and are by no stretch of the imagination limited to HWS is equally terrifying and worrisome. That this lamentable event is NOT representative of “the Hobart and William Smith experience” needs to be said clearly and often. You and your other oped writers did this and I, for one (I am sure I am not alone), applaud you for so doing.

Finally, and hardly incidentally, your Insight pages on this issue are a model of the sort of careful reflection that should - and often, as we know, does not - characterize responsible newspaper journalism in this country.


Professor of Sociology Emeritus at Hobart and William Smith


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