To say that things on campus have been chaotic lately would be like saying that Michael Jordan was just some basketball player, apple pie is just a dessert, or that I am just a little stressed for my TOM exam tomorrow. The results of Tuesday’s election were certainly what set this chaos in motion, as an unexpected victory by real estate mogul Donald Trump has, rightfully, ignited some doubts and fears over the relative stability, and tranquility, of our country.
Of course, Mr. Trump does not take office until January, so we have two months until our whole world might be flipped upside down, but part of that tranquility was shattered almost immediately, thanks to Edward Tomasso and Parker Rand-Ricciardi, who decided that it would be a good idea to drive around Wellesley College yesterday in a pick-up truck, waving a Trump flag and accosting the students of Hillary Clinton’s alma mater, all while documenting the entire thing on Snapchat. Exactly what occurred is up for some debate, but there are a couple things that are pretty clear. The first is that these… classmates of mine (that’s a difficult thing to write, believe me) were acting so unbelievably poorly and so unbelievably wrong. The second is that their actions have definitely shaken everyone on campus.
The entire environment at this Babson maintains a delicate balance, whether it is election season or not. We are a business school, which makes us, largely, inherently economically conservative. Our leadership largely consists of people are also economically and, to some extent, socially conservative. This environment would, naturally, attract some students that are conservative socially, as well, and hail the election of Trump as something that will right the political ship, so to speak. Our student body, though, is, I believe, as a whole, more culturally aware than any group of people our age anywhere else in the country, and our diversity in race, religion, and gender makes that student body more forward-thinking than any other college campus I know of. That being said, there are enough people that embody the archaic views that Edward and Parker revealed in their escapade that openly condoning their motivations could be viewed as an infringement on free speech and an insult to their values. This is a sad reality. It’s also a sad reality that I don’t expect them to be expelled in a timely manner, as they should be, for bringing shame upon themselves, their fraternity, their school, and their voting base, all while doing irreparable harm to our dear friends at Wellesley College, because of the contentiousness surrounding their actions.
This is why I think that the dialogue that arises from what occurred yesterday should not be one that takes away any hope that Edward and Parker have for a future, but should make it abundantly clear that their motivations and actions are not something that can be tolerated on this campus. Most importantly, though, I think that in this time when the tensions on this campus are at an all-time high, that the people that believe that this will simply blow over, that any aspect of what these boys did can be explained in any way, shape, or form, need to take a hard look at themselves and give some serious thought to whether or not they belong in our community.
Our community is a place where the craziness of the last few days should be made at least a little bit easier to bear. A place that should be a safe haven for any person, regardless of where they are from, what gender they identify with, or who they voted for, where love reigns supreme over not just hate, but selfishness and arrogance, as well. A place filled with thoughtful discussion about how each and every one of us can contribute to allowing everyone to have the college experience that they deserve.
Our community is a place that is, and should, embody the intelligence, the thoughtfulness, the kindness, and the respect that Babson has come to be known for. And we need to come together in whatever way we can—not just for the sake of unity, but to make sure that nothing, not the divisiveness of the election, nor the anger surrounding Edward and Parker, nor anything else, ever changes that. We owe it to ourselves, and to each other, to allow this amazing campus to be the best place that it can possibly be.
I have been embarrassed and humbled at multiple points today, reflecting on my own thoughts, seeing the social media comments surrounding everything that has gone on in the last day, and seeing our campus come under fire. I have cried, multiple times, on account of the role my privilege may have had in perpetuating what occurred yesterday, and for the state of our campus. I would like to take the chance to thank the friend that encouraged me to write this article, for showing me what it means to be a real Babson student. I also encourage anybody that has any concern with any of my thoughts here to write to me here, so that I can better understand the issues that you are facing here on this campus, because to compensate for my past ignorance, I would really like to help you in any way I can.