I wish I wasn't writing this email under such sad circumstances. I'm sure by now you've all heard about the tragedy in Orlando. As Hansjochen and Mel have already notified you, there is a vigil in New College Chapel at 9:30 tonight, where the Gentlemen of the Choir will sing Compline, and where prayers will be offered. Unfortunately due to train delays I won't be able to make it, but New College wants to particularly welcome LGBTQ+ and American students.
This Wednesday the OUSU LGBTQ+ Campaign is holding another vigil at 8:30pm on Radcliffe Square. We'll be meeting at 8:15pm in the lodge if you would like to walk over with us. More info on the event can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/522462964613072
More personally, I want to extend my deepest condolences to anyone who might have been affected by this heinous act. I will be in Oxford from tomorrow on and am available to talk to for anyone who would find this helpful. I will try to organise a more formal opportunity to sit down and talk with one another later in the week.
In times like these, it is vital that we visibly stand together, proud and defiant. Too often our community suffers losses such as this. This attack comes on the back of a troubling period for LGBTQ+ and Latinx people in America. We must not allow the same people who would prevent trans people from using the toilet they feel comfortable with or who would build a wall and split up innumerable families prey upon our fears and turn us against our Muslim brothers and sisters. Hate will never triumph over love, and that includes islamophobia. We stand together, all of us.
I know in times like these that I feel particularly frustrated by how impotent I feel and how unable I seem to be to respond in a real and meaningful way to prevent this sort of attack from happening again. If any American students feel similarly and want to act, I suggest you read this article on how to contact your representatives about gun control: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicole-silverberg/guide-elected-representatives-gun-control_b_8708154.html
You can check how your state's senators voted on expanded background checks in 2015 here: http://everytown.org/senate-votes/?source=etno_ETActPage&utm_source=et_n_&utm_medium=_o&utm_campaign=ETActPage
Love and peace to you all.