There is a cool breeze today and the weatherman tells me it’s a harbinger of fall. I can see the excitement of students checking out new classes, and faculty are being re-energized by the thoughtful questions posed in seminars or in sessions with advisees. This week also marks the beginning of the fall sports schedule, and we start off by hosting Williams in men’s and women’s soccer and field hockey on Saturday. Come out and cheer the Cardinals!
But the air is also filled with mixed messages. On the faculty list-serve this week Wesleyan’s Muslim Chaplain, Marwa Aly, sent a thoughtful, heartfelt message deploring the hate speech being directed at Muslims in many parts of the country. She asks for something as basic as it is important: that we act with care and understanding toward members of our community, and that we stand up to hate when it is expressed around us. At Rosh Hashanah services yesterday Wesleyan’s Jewish Chaplain, David Teva, reminded us of some of the many intersections of Jewish and Islamic rituals. He spoke of the importance of taking care of one another, and of taking a stance against injustice. As we turned ourselves toward the gates of the new year, we also remembered the work for peace and understanding that must continue as we enter 5771.
The ideals of peace and understanding aren’t just large abstractions to which we pay lip service. They can be part of our everyday lives, part of our community. Want an example? Check out the celebration of Wesleyan’s Green Street Art Center’s new North End Mural this evening at 5:30. For new students, this will be an opportunity to get to know the great programs at GSAC. For old timers, it will be an occasion to celebrate the arts and education (and delicious food!) with friends and neighbors.
Cool fall breezes, to be sure, and they carry lots of hope for a great year.