Letter to the editor, Re: "Speakers Bureau Chair Candidate Misrepresents Experience in Campaign Video"
I just wanted to write in and say that I believe the situation about Ms. Villarosa has been handled in an incredibly unacceptable manner. I know you have probably received dozens of opinions about this, but I thought I would add my two cents, because this school is built on the idea of being a community that shares and discusses ideas.
Someone in your organization wrongly accused Ms. Villarosa of purposefully lying about her experience. From the little I know about her, she is incredibly qualified and kind and honest. I have heard nothing but wonderful things from her friends and acquaintances. She has no reason to hide anything or lie. It would have been in much better taste and, quite frankly, kinder, if you had privately messaged Ms. Villarosa about your concerns with the incorrect information in her video. Publicly calling her out in such a harsh and accusatory way for an honest mistake is unacceptable, especially after the fact that today, your organization posted an entire article simply restating what was already said; there was no new news, just an attempt to perpetuate the idea that you believe Ms. Villarosa lied.
Even if she had lied, which I and so many of the students of Skidmore College truly do believe (for many good reasons) she did not, there is now a new concern; the fact that these two publications to your Facebook page were incredibly biased, assumptive, and uninformed. That is not the way to present a story, even if you believe it to be true. It is upsetting to see this type of bullying with the name Skidmore on it, under the label of “news.”
Another component that you need to understand is that Ms. Villarosa immediately responded to the accusations in an incredibly respectful way, saying she did not want to misguide the Skidmore community in any way. Yet even after this, your organization chose to post an article mentioning her response, but hardly focusing on it. Again, Ms. Villarosa was respectful and explained the situation eloquently. The least you could do is treat her with the same respect.
I hope that you all are able to understand where those who are concerned are coming from. I suggest you listen to what those who disagree with this publication have to say, because they are coming from a place of love and acceptance. It is so important. This school has always been a wonderful and accepting place, at least in my eyes, and it would hurt to have people see this and assume that this school runs on bullying, assumptions, and slander. Thank you for reading this. I hope it made an impact.
Emma Ziesing, 2019