The Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life.

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – As the campus community joins the rest of the country in trying to reckon with the senseless violence in a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead, students and administrators sent messages of support to students, faculty, and staff. Mark Orten, dean and director of the Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, in a message to the full community, acknowledged the horror of the killings and called for the community to renounce violence, while maintaining hope. Later, the Student Government Association, in partnership with Community Council, sent a message to students, expressing grief and a desire for meaningful change.

“We hope that there comes a day where this email does not have to be sent,” wrote the SGA and Community Council. “We hope that we can reach a point where religious groups do not have to seek extra protection in order to practice and pray. Until then, SGA, Community Council, and Middlebury College will work to make sure that students feel like they have a community of support and understanding. We encourage all members of the community to join.”

“In this moment, let us re-commit to full inclusion of all religions, races, sexes, gender expressions, sexual orientations, and abilities,” wrote Orten. “And let us always speak up against hateful and discriminatory speech or actions, wherever they occur.”

Following is the text from the two messages:

Message from Dean of Spiritual Life Mark Orten:

SGA & Community Council