Verbum Ultimum: One of Our Own

by The Dartmouth Editorial Board | 1/12/12 11:00pm

On Sunday, members of the Dartmouth community were notified of the tragic death of Crispin Scott '13 ("Student dies on Barcelona trip," Jan. 9). The news sent shock waves across campus as students, faculty and other members of our community grappled with the untimely loss of one of our own. Students and faculty immediately reached out to one another for support, organizing events such as the memorial gathering at Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and extending the availability of counselors, clergy and undergraduate deans. Through these efforts, students could seek comfort in the wake of this tragedy.

We commend the Dartmouth community for coming together to support one another during this time of grieving. Thus far, both the administration's reaction and the student response have been conducted with the appropriate level of gravity and respect. The College should be commended in its quick action in sending a representative to Spain, and members of the student community should also be acknowledged for their outpouring of emotional support over the past week. The students in Barcelona, many of whom knew Crispin personally, need support in this difficult time. The administration deserves praise for taking this additional step to reach out to students even those abroad who are coping with the loss of a peer.

As news of the tragedy spread throughout the community, some were quick to criticize the College's response, some claiming the administration responded insufficiently and others questioning the decision to send a representative to Barcelona. Now is not the time for criticism. We implore the Dartmouth community to continue providing support for one another and use this time to reflect on the loss of one of our peers. Although we recognize the importance of understanding the circumstances of Crispin's death, now is a sensitive time for remembering his life and reaching out to friends and family who need comforting. The investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death is underway and will conclude in due course. For now, let us focus on consoling those who are grieving and reflecting on Crispin's place in this community.

The level of response from our students, alumni, administrators, parents, faculty and staff is a testament to the strength of Dartmouth's community at home and abroad. There are few circumstances more trying for a college than the tragic loss of one of its own, and yet Dartmouth's collective response has been one of dignity and respect. For this, the College and our community as a whole deserve praise. Dartmouth prides itself on its strong sense of community, and Crispin will always be remembered as a member of our family.

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