It is important to know that not all Goshen College students feel at home at Goshen College. 

After racist and homophobic slurs were found in front of the science building on Nov. 3, and posters promoting Prism, a confidential support group for LGBTQ+ students, were removed from the residential living areas, it is obvious that not all Goshen College students are welcoming. 

I am one of the many privileged students on this campus. Goshen is a place I feel comfortable. I seldom worry about my safety while on campus. 

But many students — those who are not white, straight, middle class, cisgender, American — do not feel safe. 

Rachael Klink, the Record’s funnies editor and a senior, summed up the severity of the recent hate speech on campus and how it affects her:

“Hate crimes are horrible because they say that we aren’t welcome here just because of who we are. Who are we to trust? How are we supposed to know who’s an ally or who hates me because of the color of my skin.”

I would hope that after these events, Goshen College students realize just how violent words can be — our language have the power to exclude, to tear down and to violate others. 

But conversely, our words have the ability to comfort, to build up and to protect others. 

We can choose to use our words to stand up against hate language, like that found in front of the Science Building. 

We can choose to use our words to stand up against our friends and family members who use violent and oppressive language in passing. 

Maybe most importantly, we can choose to use our words to educate one another. 

As the Goshen College community, it is our duty to our peers to create a fellowship rooted in empathy and growth. We must be accountable for each other. 

When one student feels unsafe or violated, we must all work towards creating a safer environment. When one student acts hateful against other students, we again must work towards creating a safer environment. 

As a Goshen College student, I see the recent hateful language against my peers as a personal issue. You should too.