By Shawn Durrett
Chair of the History Department Karen Pleasant took a dozen SBS students, both domestic and international, to see U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speak at a “town hall” event in Greenfield on Sunday, Nov. 12. Also in attendance were many other SBS faculty, staff, and administrators, as well as other day students who attended the event with their families.
Dean of Faculty Shawn Durrett was among the few lucky people who got to ask Senator Warren a question (chosen by random lottery). Durrett asked for Senator Warren’s commentary on the default response that often follows mass shootings (“Now is not the time to talk about gun control”) and also asked or pointers on how residents of progressive states can most effectively participate in the fight for gun control.
Student Katie Reed, who was working on a persuasive speech about gun control for her Rhetoric class, was pleased to discover that she and Senator Warren agree with each other on many points.
“Today is the right day to talk about gun control,” Senator Warren passionately told the crowd.
While waiting in line for a photo with Senator Warren, a group of SBS 10th and 11th graders wrote her a note, essentially thanking her for her hard work and for being a strong female role model. The senator loved their note, eagerly posing with it and the students before tucking it into her blazer pocket.
SBS faculty were happy but not surprised to see this spirit of civic engagement, curiosity, and enthusiasm in the students who attended the event. It should be noted that civic engagement is very much alive among SBS employees as well, many of whom serve their local town government and public schools.