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Moving Forward From Hateful Graffiti Written in O’Brien Suite

By Jillian Blanco ’19

Staff Writer


The walls have been painted over, the damage has been erased, but the bad taste is still left in the mouths of the entire Merrimack community. How can the community heal from a  graffiti incident that happened in an O’Brien suite just over one month ago?

On Oct. 15, a party in an O’Brien suite led to hateful terms being written across a wall.

The Rev. Ray Dlugos previously spoke about how Merrimack as a community needs to stand up against these types of situations. Dlugos asserted that to stand by and to not say anything is just as harmful as committing a horrible act as the one done in the O’Brien suite. He expressed, “It is always important to say something when you see something that isn’t right.”

He also didn’t fail to mention that partaking in ignoring a situation like this will soon “take over the community” if the community as a whole does not change.

So how will this change come about? What can Merrimack do to heal from the wounds of this horrible act?

Sophomore Julia Flanders, a resident of O’Brien, believes that the student body needs to come together.

“The student body needs to try and understand how [something like this] makes other people feel, and to enlighten people toward how their actions/words affect others,” Flanders said.

Some students believe that the best way to move forward is to remember the value of forgiveness. In fact, Merrimack is often known for having the nicest groups of people who are always willing to step in and lend a helping hand.

Others believe that moving forward is equally important to remember as Merrimack’s values as a whole.

“We have a pretty good community of standards, enough to say that we’re a good group of people. When you first come to Merrimack, you want to come here because everyone is nice, helpful, and good in general,” Sisson said. “Based on our values, it’s OK to mess up, as long as we learn from it.”