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On April 15, 2013, I spent the morning in the library writing papers at the last minute like any good freshman does. Not long into the day, I abandoned my papers to search for my friends and reach out to my family. At first I noticed that there were far too many ambulances going in the same direction. By the time I knew what was happening, communications had been shut down by authorities. In my attempt to remember that day, I would swear to you that the fear lasted for far longer than it really did.
That same fear struck back during the weekend. I was out of town with Emmanuel’s Model UN team and learned about Sean Collier over the phone. We spent the rest of the night huddled together in one hotel room praying we would not hear of any more tragedy. News of one Tsarnaev’s death and the other’s arrest was hardly a condolence.
My experience with the Marathon Bombing is disconnected, but still immensely painful. I cannot imagine the feelings aroused by thoughts of that day for those who were there, or those who were affected. It is this fear, and these feelings, that drives my revolt towards Emmanuel College’s administration for allowing Mark Wahlberg and his crew to film “Patriots Day” on campus. Receiving the email from Dr. Rissmeyer warning students of “simulated gunshots” during the filming of this abhorrent film immediately sent me into a rage tempered only by a sober recollection of the events of the day.
There are students who watched the bombs go off, who were caught in the chaos, and will never forget the images now seared into their memory. I am fortunate enough to be close with a student who in the face of danger ran towards the emergency and rushed visitors and runners unfamiliar with Boston back to their homes and hotels. We all remember the names, the places, and the time. These students have been disrespected.
Emmanuel College has demonstrated time and again that the needs of their current students are a secondary concern to the bottom line. This was not a “teachable moment,” as I have heard it called, but a complete lapse in judgement. The senior class is preparing to celebrate their Commencement but instead many of us have spent valuable emotional energy on handling our feelings from that day, and mitigating our outrage towards administration. The administration has a significant hill to climb to mend its relationship with many members of the senior class after this violation of our trust. I am very uncertain whether Emmanuel is capable, or willing, to correct its mistake.
With the damage done, there is little the administration can do in regards to this event. However, anything short of an apology to the community would be too little of a response. The administration must show better judgement in their decision making in the future and guarantee to us that this will not happen again. I have lost faith in Emmanuel’s decision making, but I still hope positive changes are coming.
We pledged that we would never forget Krystle Campbell, Lu Lingzi, Martin Richard, Sean Collier, and Dennis Simmonds.
Joseph Ouellet ’16
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