This was of course an exciting year that included the 150th Lafayette-Lehigh game at Yankee Stadium; the kickoff of our Capital Campaign; the men’s basketball team’s Patriot League championship; and the opportunity to celebrate our namesake in the series of events surrounding the voyage of Lafayette’s Hermione. We will remember and cherish these events for many years to come.
But we have also had some less dramatic, but equally important successes. At a time when a lot of media attention has been focused on problematic behavior on college campuses, we have made significant progress in our efforts to address issues such as alcohol abuse and sexual assault. We experienced a decline in alcohol violations and hospital transports this year, and major events such as the Lafayette-Lehigh game and the Spring Concert were enjoyed by hundreds of students without the kinds of problems that have plagued some of these large gatherings in the past. We successfully launched the new Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment (SASH) advocacy program to combat sexual assault and sexual harassment through education, prevention, and response. Increased discussion of these issues, whether in classes, meetings, or in conjunction with film screenings or lectures, is part of our shared commitment to confronting them as a community.
As an environment dedicated to the education, growth, and development of young people, we have an obligation to use the extraordinary learning environment that Lafayette provides to help cultivate a spirit of responsibility and respect. So while we certainly have good cause to celebrate our more obvious wins, I believe we should also be proud of our successes in this important area as well.
We were deeply saddened as a community when the year ended with the tragic loss of Brian Keller ’16. But if there is anything that made me proud to be President of Lafayette this year, it was not seeing the football team win at Yankee Stadium, it was seeing the team come together to spend days at the hospital with Brian’s family, and to see the entire community, near and far, rally to express their support and sympathy. That is what it means to be a Pard.