This week at Trinity College has been the most inspiring I’ve seen in all of my four years here. The shocking and senseless attack against Trinity student Chris Kenny this past Saturday has inspired an active movement uncharacteristic of the Trinity student body’s “apathetic” nature—a description given to us by others. Disgusted with the disregard for the severity of Saturday’s situation, many members of the community have come forward demanding change. This first wave came in a bout of powerful emails sent by Chris’s comrades shaming campus safety for the glazed-over report of Saturday’s incident and relaying the grim truth to the college community.
It wasn’t until Tuesday that President Jones e-mailed the student body about the incident. For many, this gesture proved to be too little too late. The administration called forth an “open forum” to be scheduled that Thursday so students could discuss their thoughts and concerns with the administration. We all know how that turned out from the social policy forum that took place at the beginning of the semester, and many students felt that like the rash email sent out on Chris’s behalf, a faculty-run forum would not be sufficient. Kenny’s fraternity brothers decided to take matters into their own hands by organizing a rally to take place at the same time as the scheduled forum as an alternative environment for students to discuss safety issues on campus.
The “mission statement” of the rally reads as follows:
“The mission of this rally is two-fold. It is first a showing of support for Chris Kenny and his family, whose recovery is in all our prayers. It is second a student-run forum that seeks to give a voice to the student body in improving our safety and security. The rally has no initiative other than to provide students with the ability to make their concerns and ideas known. The views that will be expressed by the individuals in the forum are personal, and should not be taken as the views of the entire student body. Please come show your support for Chris and his family, and share your ideas that will help us to build a campus in which people feel safe. The rally will be held during common hour, starting at 12:00 on the main quad in front of the statue.”
-Benjamin Green ’14 and Matthew Tesone ’13
The first part of the rally’s “mission” is a beautiful gesture to the victim and his family to reassure them that the powerful support from the Trinity College community extends far beyond emails and hospital visits. The second part of the rally’s “mission” is a charged motion towards the administration from the student body asserting that it will not let yet another infringement on student’s safety go unnoticed.