On March 11 of this year, Luther students and faculty members received an email informing us that the letters KKK and a swastika were stomped in the snow the night before. I remember receiving the email and feeling a wide variety of emotions. I was angry, confused, sad, and scared. I feared for my brothers and sisters affected by this hateful act. The email included an invitation to stand as a community on the football field and walk together to the CFL for constructive dialogue. I attended and heard many stories of those affected while coming up with ways to respond. It is very important to listen to those affected by a specific issue because they are the ones directly affected.
It’s easy to respond to a message of hate with more hate. When it comes to messages directly against who you are, it is incredibly difficult to remain hopeful and optimistic when you feel so targeted. However, the opportunities to speak out against prejudice should not be taken for granted. Administration has offered a variety of platforms for students and faculty to attend and learn more about how to be a better ally. A couple days ago, a group of Luther students found it fit to stomp something more productive and positive into the snow. The words “hope over hate” were stomped in the snow a few days ago. Finding this out brought me so much joy. While the hateful message still lies heavy in my heart, it makes me happy to see that Luther students and faculty are taking the necessary steps to ensure that Luther is a place for hope and love.