Student Snippets A Window Into The Daily Life & Thoughts of SLIS Students

GSLIS is great, and everything. But let’s talk about Community.

There have been a lot of events going on at the main Simmons Campus this week.  On April 15, Boston experienced two bombs that rocked the famous Boston Marathon.  Then, just this past Thursday and Friday, there was a city – district? – wide manhunt for the two suspects. 

I personally live in the Cambridge area, very near MIT.  My husband works at the Whitehead Building, only a block away from where the valiant MIT Police Officer, Sean Collier, lost his life.  I was terrified – my husband was still at work when MIT was put on lockdown – and I felt helpless and confused. 

Of course, eventually the manhunt was relocated to Watertown with a whole other set of terrors.  But you all know the story of what went down recently – I want to talk about all of Boston’s reaction to it, and more specifically how Simmons reacted. 

Community is a strong word.  Community, in my mind, evokes thoughts about people holding hands and having a strong bond tied to a location or a shared characteristic – i.e. the “GSLIS Community.”  I have a hard time feeling like I “belong” to many communities; they are often cheesy and overly social, just not my cup of tea.  But now, after this terror that has consumed so many different aspects of my world, I honestly and truly feel proud to call myself part of the Boston, and Simmons, Communities. 

Boston’s community celebrated the end of the manhunt with national anthems.  Random strangers were hugging, people were unabashedly crying.  The streets were flooded with people toasting the BPD; people all over the world sent our police officers pizza in support of the amazing job they had done.  I have never seen a Community come together in that way – and I doubt I ever will again. 

The Simmons Community reacted in a different way: they were practical, caring, and cautious of the students’ needs.  We had an incredibly touching moment of silence between the two events, after the Boston Marathon Bombings, where speakers were given a chance to address the crowds.  I could only stay for a few minutes, but there was barely a dry eye in the whole audience.  And then, after the conclusion of the manhunt, my phone and computer were flooded with messages from friends, teachers, fellow students, and Simmons administrators.  They were all truly caring about my well-being (of course, the feeling was mutual), which is an experience I have never had before from such a large organization as Simmons. 

I know that people who have lived in Boston for their entire lives had no doubt that Boston would survive and prosper in the face of this incredible travesty; however, I have only lived here for two years, and I had my doubts. I know never again to doubt what I now believe to be the greatest city on planet Earth.  Thank you, Boston Community.  And thank you, Simmons.