I have always felt honored to be a CSB/SJU graduate, but I have to say that reading Faye Williams’ recent Facebook post and letter was one of my proudest moments yet as a Bennie.
It takes a lot of courage to write and publish an opinion in a school newspaper. It takes a lot of strength to withstand the words of someone who wants to silence you. And it takes a lot of boldness to publicly take a stand against such intimidation and bullying.
By doing so, you have captured the heart of what it means to be a Bennie, and I want to thank you for your words and your actions.
Unfortunately, there will always be people who want to frighten, chastise or threaten you when you speak your mind. In particular, there is a long and enduring history of this happening to women and other marginalized communities. But no matter who you are up against, I hope you and all the other Bennies and Johnnies will continue to stand up for your right to express your opinions, values, beliefs and ideas. It is well-known that we honor the Benedictine value of listening at CSB/SJU, so we must remember that our community only gets stronger with each new and diverse voice.
I may not know you personally, Faye, but I know and recognize your spirit. I hope you and your peers continue to stand up for yourselves and to freely express your ideas, and above all I hope it inspires countless others to do the same.
After all, they say that one spark can light a thousand candles. So let your light shine.
Bailey DeVetter ’15