Since writing my post about drunk driving at W&L, my little blog has welcomed most of the student body, a good number of the faculty and countless alumni. I have received many emails all with the same heartfelt thanks and solidarity around a student body pledge.
Welcome my new friends. Your notes, anonymous or not, have given me resolve that in the Generals’ community – we do in fact belong to each other. There was a resounding “yes!!!” heard all across the country in response to the call to action. The administration has commented they’ve read it and understand its significance. For that I’m also grateful.
What we must do now as a community is to keep the conversation alive. After the memorials or funerals I attended as a student, we grieved and then we tried to move on. One foot in front of the other, and one day at a time. On campus, things progressed forward. Classes and exams were taken. We all, one by one and as a group moved on. We stopped mentioning the students’ names because it was too painful. Or we felt guilt because it was so easy for the injured or worse to have been us. Some wouldn’t go see our friend in UVA’s ICU because it was too painful and they were too scared. We didn’t continue to have the sober ride conversation. And life… happened.
The response I’ve had from you current students indicates that you want things to change. That you want to learn from our mistakes and lack of real action before this moment. I’ve heard from many kids who were at that party or hosted it. I’ve heard from some mothers of girls in the car. All of you were grateful there was someone who said what you were feeling. Everyone has been in agreement that this must happen and you will do something to make sure it does.
So here is my reminder to do so. Keep talking about Kelsey. Keep talking about those in the hospital and go see them. And please, please keep talking about this pledge. Keep mentioning it to the administration.
MAKE. IT. HAPPEN.
Only you can. You are there and I am here. I only have a computer- you have their ears. You can see them in person. You can do this. I know you can do this because W&L students can do great things. Hard things. It’s in our DNA.
And to those of you who have emailed wonderful things about my daughter- thank you dearly. She has been the focus of our story on here as you could all tell from reading. It’s wonderful to continue to have such a positive response to her story.
With so much love and gratitude,