Letter to the Editor: Senior Experience Planning Committee condemns students who jumped off boat

Dear Senior Class:

We as members of the Senior Experience Student Planning Committee write to you concerning the alarming incident that occurred last Friday at the end of our inaugural Senior Boat Cruise on the Portland Spirit. Just minutes before the boat was scheduled to return to the dock, two student passengers were discovered in the Willamette River near the Morrison Bridge. The Multnomah County River Patrol, Portland Fire & Rescue, and Portland Spirit staff all assisted in getting the students back on the boat.

It is important to know that the two students rescued from the water are safe, but these actions, if intentional, were reckless and put their lives and the lives of the rescuers in danger. The incident has also reflected poorly on the planning committee, the senior class, the student body as a whole, and the reputation of Lewis & Clark. Businesses may choose not to work with Lewis & Clark if they determine there is too much risk in keeping students safe. Portland resources called to respond were diverted and therefore possibly delayed from responding to other city emergencies. In other words, student actions affect the community as a whole.

The committee does not in any way condone such behavior. We recognize that these actions do not represent the Senior Class as a whole, and there were nearly 300 seniors on the cruise who represented Lewis & Clark in an exemplary fashion.

Making ourselves accountable for our own actions as well as for our peers is the most appropriate way to prevent such terrifying and embarrassing incidents from happening in the future, and this idea applies to more than just the Senior Experience. With the Spring Fling this Saturday, and additional campus events coming up, let us strive to respect the efforts of administrators, volunteers, and our peer leaders, who all work really hard to create meaningful campus events for students.

Senior Experience is meant to connect the senior class with events that successfully culminate and celebrate memories and friendships built during your years at Lewis & Clark. We thank you for coming out and taking part in what has otherwise been a successful slate of senior activities. We look forward to hosting future events, but we ask that students who choose to participate behave appropriately and respectfully to ensure a positive experience for all.

Cordially,

The Student Planning Committee for Senior Experience

Glenna Andrews ’15

Brenda Barnum ’15

Kathleen Burckhardt ’14

Laura Christensen ’15

Justin Gallen ’14

Khethiwe Gumede ’14

Asraa Jaber ’14

Leann Knapp ’16

Drew LeDonne ’14

Nikhil Mahapatra ’14

Rita Ombaka ’14

Owen Phillips ’16

Stephanie Tsingos ’14

Lame Ungwang ’14

Tricia Brand, Associate Dean of Student Engagement & Senior Experience Co-Chair

Jason Feiner, Director of Student Activities & Senior Experience Committee

Andrew McPheeters, Director of Alumni & Parent Programs & Senior Experience Co-Chair

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