It was at Sewanee where I learned to think for myself, communicate my thoughts eloquently and convincingly through writing, and, when my own words fail me, reflect upon the words of other great thinkers and writers. Here, in my frustration, disappointment, disgust, and despair at the actions--or rather, lack there of--of Vice Chancellor McCardell and Board of Regents, I turn to the words of Elie Weisel, uttered during his speech, The Perils of Indifference:
"Of course, indifference can be tempting -- more than that, seductive. It is so much easier to look away from victims. It is so much easier to avoid such rude interruptions to our work, our dreams, our hopes. It is, after all, awkward, troublesome, to be involved in another person's pain and despair. Yet, for the person who is indifferent, his or her neighbor are of no consequence. And, therefore, their lives are meaningless. Their hidden or even visible anguish is of no interest. Indifference reduces the other to an abstraction."
During my time as a Sewanee student, several of my close friends and sorority sisters experienced sexual assault, mustered the courage to report those cases to the administration, and were met with seeming indifference from the administration. Sorrowfully and naively, I hoped that their lack of action was due to situational circumstances of which I never fully understood the details, as I did understand that cases of sexual assault are inherently fraught with areas of grey. However, upon realizing that they are continuing to refuse to revoke Charlie Rose's honorary degree, despite the cases against him, the administration has moved past indifference towards condoning sexual misconduct and perpetuating rape culture.