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  • Madison Lazenby

A long-documented history of mental health issues

Originally emailed to the Dean of Students Office and Dean of Students Chris Card


I hope that everyone in the Dean of Students Office is doing well after the events of yesterday. I and multiple of my friends, sadly, are not.

I am writing to share my experience yesterday: After initially getting the alert to shelter in place, I isolated in my dorm room alone. Both of my roommates were away. When it became clear that there was more of a threat than I first thought, I locked myself in my bathroom, giving myself about 3 feet by 6 feet amount of space to sit, stand, or pace. I eventually needed to relieve myself but I was so afraid to flush the toilet that I did not and had to wait until the all-clear message to flush. I know at least one more person with a similar experience.

I am still incredibly numb from the experience. By no means will "the structure and routine of classes and the resumption of normal activities" be "helpful" to me or my friends, as President Wippman described. To suggest that returning to the same rigorous classes that Hamilton offers would potentially be relaxing or therapeutic at a time like this is simply ridiculous. I came to Hamilton because I wanted a challenging education, but by no means would I describe my classes as a salve to my mental health after experiencing something as traumatic as a threat of a shooting on campus.

To not have classes canceled or to make attendance optional in classes today or any day this week is disappointing, frustrating, and further straining on my mental health—and I know that is also the case for many other students on campus. I have spent all morning so far reaching out to professors to know what their plans are for classes this week, trying to advocate for my needs. Students should not have to bear this responsibility when we have just experienced an enormous collective trauma.

I implore you to listen to the advocacy of Student Assembly, remember the long-documented history of mental health issues on campus, and do better for the students, faculty, and staff.

Thank you.


Madison Lazenby

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