Wesleyan Community Demands a Staff Position Dedicated to Sexual Violence

The following is also published as a Wespeak in today’s Argus. Keep an eye out for a response from the administration:

The one-year anniversary of Johanna Justin-Jinich’s murder is fast approaching. This Thursday, May 6th will mark for the Wesleyan community one year that has passed since we lost Johanna in what was undeniably one of the most horrific acts of violence this campus has, and ever will, experience. Her murder was a hate crime, a ruthless act of gender violence and anti-Semitism.

Gender violence is a persistent problem on this campus, as was once again brought to the fore by the recent Wespeaks written by students who have been sexually assaulted at Wesleyan, as well as those written by staff and students calling for greater administrative accountability to issues of gender violence prevention and response. Additionally, at the forum on campus violence on Tuesday, April 27th, students, staff, and alumni came together to discuss possible improvements to Wesleyan resources.

Students have been working with the university for years to improve University policy, response, and prevention around issues of sexual and gender violence on campus but still have found little sustained administrative support. The only way more effective resources, policies, and prevention efforts can be put into place is to establish a full-time staff position that would be responsible for advocating on behalf of survivors of sexual and gender violence, heading sustained prevention efforts, and helping all members of the Wesleyan community work together to build a campus that is safe for everyone. Safety means a community in which everyone is accountable for creating an environment that promotes respect, consent, critical thinking, and sex-positivity.

Persistent student pressure on the administration resulted in the creation of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Intern, but this position alone cannot adequately address a campus climate of gender violence. The intense responsibilities of the position are too demanding for any one student to carry out effectively. Although there are various support systems in place for students (i.e. the faculty/staff on SART & OBHS), it is unfair and unsustainable that the only person on campus who is paid to be specifically knowledgeable about sexual assault and gender violence is a ten hour per week student position that isn’t even written into a specific departmental budget. The Intern position currently gets its funding through the SBC.

The University has a responsibility to invest in a staff position which would allow us to address this pervasive violence. This isn’t a question of available funding, but a question of priorities. Comparable schools such as Barnard, Amherst, Trinity, Bates, Bard, Skidmore, Bowdoin, Colorado College, Lewis and Clark, Whitman, and Brown have invested in at least one staff position, and it’s time for Wesleyan to follow suit.

The above document circulated via the internet for only three days and, in that time, received formal support from 536 members of the Wesleyan community: 405 students, 47 alum, 37 parents/family members, and 27 members of the Wesleyan faculty/staff.

Current Students:

Liz Krushnic `10, Arielle Tolman `10, Sarah Abbott `10, Camara Awkward-Rich `11, Monica Vitti `12, Joanna Bourain `12, Brenna Galvin `11, Monica Fuhrmann `12, Michelle Garcia `10, Anne deBoer `12, Stephanie Hucker `11, Darien Combs `11, Eliza Jane Gordon `11, Jeanne McPhee `13, Jane Petzoldt `13, Zak Kirwood `12, Mica Taliaferro `11, Emilia Levitas `11, Stephanie Quainoo `10, Caitlin MacLeod-Bluver `11, Elizabeth S. `12, Lauren Wynn `12, Genelle Faulkner `13, Toni Zosherafatain `10, Aaron Khandros `13, Carolyn Cohen `12, Melody Oliphant `13, Jourdan Hussein `11, Stephanie Huezo `13, Dana Pellegrino `12, Adrienne Russman `10, Mikhail Firer `13, Julissa Peña `12, Eric Stephen `13, Cristine Khan `13, Dan Ping He `13, Cheryl Walker `12, Kerry Klemmer `13, Barbaralynn Moseman `13, Alexandra Ketchum `12, Noah Heau `12, Katherine Eyster `10 Sarah Gokhale `13, Julia Black `13, Franz Spillenger `13, Hannah Berkman `12, Bryce Hollingsworth `13, Frank Fineis `13, Martha L. Liskow `11, Melanie Hsu `13, Michael Cifuentes `10, Evelina Pierce `10, Angela Ei Hay Mann `13, Marjorie Dodson `13, Anna Susman `13, Hannah Cressy `13, Deena Godfrey `12, Cara Tratner `12, Hannah Marqusee `10, Samuel Roth `13, Evan Jay Baum `13, Adina Teibloom `10, Katherine Marcus `13, David Shor `13, Katherine Kitfield Bascom `10, Nicholas Davenport `10, Paulie Lowther `13, Marsha Jean-Charles `11, Abigail Major `11, Paolo Speirn `10, Meyer H Meyer `10, Katie DiBona `11, Julia Christie `13, Noa Wotton `10, Kelsey Townsend `11, Rudisang Motshubi `11, Olivia Postell `10, Elizabeth Damaskos `12, Charlotte Christopher `12, Susanna Myrseth `10, Margo Tercek `13, Janine Wiley `13, Menherit Goodwyn `11, Kerry Klemmer `13, Trevor Michelson `13, BJ Lillis `12, Meggie McGuire `12, Peter Myers `13, Nicholas Orvis `13, Arielle Berrick `10, Peter Hull `10, Ariel Schwartz `12, Julianne Edwards `13, James Gardner `13, Emma Leonard `13, Charlotte Heyrman `13, Ro Seidelman `10, Elizabeth Reagan `13, David J. Thompson `11, Katherine Yagle `12, Lex Horan `10, Ellika Healy `10, Kayla Rodriguez `11, Ariana La Porte `10, Miriam Berger `12, Charlie Kurose `10, Indee Mitchell `10, Jake Schofield `12, Meera Bhardwaj `10, Emily Caffery `10, Allegra Stout `12, Alexandra Patrick `13, Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn `13, Sarah Brown `10, Sara Shor `10, Ellika Healy `10, Asa Horvitz `10, Sylvie Stein `12, Jessica Steinke `10, Sierra Bintliff `12, Jessica Steinke `10, Leslie Pyne `12, Leah Aronowsky `10, Kira Akerman `10, Franni Paley `10, Emma Burrows `10, Shauna Pratt `13, Dan Schniedewind `12, Susannah Young `11, Nellie Triedman `13, Caitlin Colasacco `11, Julianne Hall `10, Deepti Sood `10, Kaitlin Ashley `11, Nora Christiani `11, Lesley Faulkner `11, Mary Lauran Hall `10, Meredith Holmes `10, Taylor Morales `13, Emily Iversen `11, Emily I. Kianka `13, Daniel Mendelsohn `11, Kiah McAndrew-Davis `10, Rayna Edwards `10, Eli Timm `13, Joseph O’Donnell `13, Kate Finley `13, Antoine Cadot-Wood `10, Cara Colker-Eybel `13, Nick Petrie `12, Sarah Tracy-Wanck `10, Guy Geyer `13, Alex Pfeifer-Rosenblum `10, Rebecca Lange `13, Jelisa Adair `13, Benjamin Abravanel `13, Samantha Melvin `13, Laura Scholten `10, Marjorie Rivera `12, Elizabeth Waugh `13, Madeline Caldwell `10, Sabine Vilsaint `10, Kelly Morgan `11, Alexandra Wang `12, David Barach `12, Joseph Cribb `13, Matias Seijas `12, Sydney J Berkman `10., Jordana Hoyt `11, Jennifer Corcoran `12, Samantha Santaniello `13, Emma Kravet `09, Lydia Kring `13, Benjamin Firke `12, Hannah Monk `12, Matthew Carney `13, Rebecca Koppel `13, Dorisol Inoa `13, Ryan Sheldon `13, Eliana Theodorou `12, Miriam Leshin `10, Katherine McDonald `11, Hilary Burke `10, Kim Segall `10, Rachel Miller-Howard `10, Emily Pontecorvo `11, Eduardo Gomez `13, Sophia Duncan `13, Nicholas Fesenko `10, Emily Brown `12, Alyssa Bogdanow `11, Sam Bernhardt `10, Rachel Merzel `12, Charlotte Cef `11, Gianna Palmer `10, Miriam Rosenau `11, Emily Hoffman `10, Elizabeth Malkin `11, Anthony Hinds `12, Vernie Chia `11, L. Mamut `13, Jaimie Huntly `10, Matthew Fox Larkin `11, Melina Aguilar `10, Liz Wojnar `12, Jiun Kimm `10, Ravy Uong `13, Janine Zaltsman `11, David Markowitz `11, Graham Richman `11, Estee Rubien-Thomas `13, Anna McKinsey `12, Miriam Kwietniewska `13, Max Perel-Slater `11, Kaylin Berger `13, Emma Drew `10, Jennifer Cheng `11, Eugenie Carabatsos `10, Miles Tokunow `10, Mandela Kazi `12, Danielle Mor `10, Kenny Feder `12, Liam Stansen `10, Kaitlin DeWilde `13, Sena Ito `11, Rebecca A. Snelling `12, Wendy Jacqueline Escobar `12, Jake Nussbaum `10, Liza Goodstein `13, Alix Haber `11, Reiss Clauson-Wolf `13, Austin Cotant `13, Hyo Jeong Lee `13, Linnea Damer `10, Shamar Chin `13, Alexandra Ellerbeck `13, Alanna Badgley `13, Matthew P Motta `13, Micah Geurin Weiss `10, Matthew Perry `11, Greer Dent `12, Claire Tradewell `11, KaYa Lee `13, Guangshuo Yang `11, Naakai Addy `12, Linda Mondschein `12, Hannah Bailenson `13, Carolyn Sinclair McCalla `10, Leigh Stewart `13, Katherine Wolf `12, Katherine Scahill `11, Kathryn McConnell `13, Sherry Cho `10, Danielle Adam `13, Zuleikha Hester `11, Laura Heath `11, Katherine Rodriguez `10, Joyce Wong `12, Steven Scarborough `11, Daniel O’Sullivan `11, Grace Kredell `10, Phillip Ross `12, Greta Hartenstein `11, Lotus Thomas `13, Susanna Banks `13, Ruby B. Hernandez `11, Leah Shesler `11, Ellen Bartolini `11, Samuel Cohen `10, Samantha Pop `11, Evelyn Israel `10, Nora Hansel `11, Aileen Rowan `11, Laura Yim `13, Erin O’Donnell `12, Emily Kossow `11, Scott James `10, Gus Seixas `10, Yelena Niayzan `11, Meghan Twible `12, Alexandra Bean `11, Nichola Samponaro `11, Michele Markowitz `10, Sarah Ann Shackleton `13, Ned Bean `11, Elizabeth Fossel `11, Ravenna Neville `10, Kimberly T. Prosise `11, Emilie M. Knight `10, April Trovillion `10, , Jared Blake `10, Lucas Guilkey `10, Adeneiki Williams `10, Alexander Hoyle `13, Joseph Chadwick `10, Nomi Teutsch `11, Jon Myers `11, Elissa Martel `10, Alex Ray `13, Andrew Pfeiffer `13, Valerie Pucilowski `13, Kristen Salustro `13, Rachel Santiago `12, Molly Friedemann `11, Jadeene Gabay `10, Nicole Bonneau `13, Eli Meixler `13, Chalmers Morgan Hamill `11, Tess Parker `10, Amelia Tatarian `13, Elizabeth Busch `10, Sara Quinn `11, Ashleigh Corvi `13, Alexandra Beatty `13, Drew Flanagan `10, Anna Cash `11, Pushpa Neupane `10, Hannah Barber `10, Carina Kaufman `10, Sara Thomas `11, Lila Murphy `13, Todd C. Keats `11, Ann Wheeler `12, Sarah Chrystler `13, Juliet Nebolon `11, Navpreet Sidhu `11, Stephanie Lee `11, Michael Yu `11, Allana Kembabazi `11, Samara Ressler `13, Sarice Greenstein `10, Eleanore Pankow `12, Sarah Hoefle `10, Jean Pierre Valette `10, Eliza Fisher `13, Zoe Jick `11, Adrian Hernandez `11, Jeremy Keim-Shenk `12, Jonna Humphries `10, Kevin Walters `12, Stephanie Clemente `11, Averill Roberto `13, Margaret R. Cohen `12, Mariel Matze `10, Matt Nestler `10, Inslee Coddington `10, Gideon Finck `11, Charles Baron `12, Catie Steidl `11, Margaret Aldredge `11, Teju Adisa-Farrar `13, Bonnie Quach-Wong `12, Sophia Hussain `13, Aaron Greenberg `11, Maia Weiss `11, Eric Sherman `10, James Gardella `12, Madelaine Jane Woolfrey Harrington `11, Kalen Flynn `10, Miles Bukiet `11, Graham Richman `11, Michael Gaines `11, Miranda Becker `11, Carley Russell `12, Patrick O’Brien `12, Zachary J. Libresco `13, Madeline B Holland `13, Jorge G. Delgado `10, Hanh Le `12, Frank Melendez `12, Erwin Dwi Saputra `11, Mairead Maguire `10, James Wong `11, Claire Randall `12, Leslie Tan `11, Oluwayimika Taiwo-Peters `12, Emma Daniels `13, Michelle Kae `12, Jiaxin Xu `12, Christina Boyd `10, Gloria Fanchiang `10, Zachary Rosen `11, Craig Ewer `10, Justin Schwartz `11, Alessandra Stachowski `11, Chantal Ferguson `13, Rachel Levenson `12, Hortencia Rodriguez `10, Aaron Freedman `10, Nicholas Wenpin Quah `12, Sarah Stein `12, Maren K. Ellingboe `10, Priscilla Bustamante `10, E. Rose Agger `10, Louis Russo `11, Bryan Marsh `13, Andrea DePetris `10, Katherine Shervais `13, Ariana Todd `13, Ari Fishman `13, Melody Chang `12, Zachary Rebich `11, Melody Wang `10, Emily Wenzel `10, Caitlin Kent `10, Jeffrey Bizinkauskas `10, Catherine Reed `12

Alumni:

Emily Avener `09, JM Jaffe `09, Lindsay Kukona `07, William C. Franklin III `09, Thea De Armond `09, Arielle Edelman `06, Elaine Lauriat `09, Michele Nichols `09, Priya Ghosh `09, Erik Underwood ’09, Samantha Hurley `09, A. Sofia C. Warner `09, Claire Greenwood `09, Elana Baurer `09, Hannah Jackson `09, Ross Heinemann`09/Grad`11, Alex Sirois `09, Isaac Maddow-Zimet `09, Lisa Zweigenhaft `09, Elizabeth Kolod `08, Aviva Tevah `09, David Altabef `08, Deirdre Salsich `07, Jennie Ehrenhalt `09, Kate Ottaviano `09, Ruby-Beth Buitekant `09, Miller Nuttle `09, Lauren Cruz `09, Daniel Latzman `09, Jessica French Smith `09, Jeff Clewell `06, Madeline Thomson `08, Jessica Houghton `08, Katie Bofshever `09, Jacqueline Cruz `07, Erin Clark `09, Stephanie Sheehan `08, Mairead Salsich `04, Nina Roma Agvanian `06, Andy Zack `09, Jessica Young, Esq. `03, Emily Rothman `94, Aram Sinnreich `94, , Vicki Cohen`80, Becky Peters-Combs `75, Tristan Taormino `93, Jaclyn Friedman `93

Parents/Family:

Nina Davis-Millis `76 & P’12, Sophia deBoer P ’12, Monica Valenti P’12, Luellen Lucid P’10, Marcia Bourain P`12, Linda Hertzberg P ’12, Steven Price P ’10, Naomi Koller Fishman P’13, Patricia Sidman P `14, Susan Fishman P ’12, Margie Bogdanow P `11, Joan Tedeschi P ’12, Melanie Melia P’12, Dan Bogdanow: Family `11, Stephanie Fins P’11, Susan Patrick: Parent, Susan Markowitz P` 10, Karen Peterson P `12, Alice Dub P`12, Laurie Steinke P`10, Rosalind Wolf P ’12, Kate Ramdin: Parent, Betty Phuong Quach P`12, Sandy Clark P ’09, Deborah Fox: Parent, Lauren Rich P`11, Robin Grossman P ’10, Ilene Schwartz P `12, Randi Kaplan P’06, Susan L. Halper: Parent, Eda Spielman P`10, Barbara Harris P`11, Wendi Gordon P ’11, Lisa DiBona P’11, Frank Gordon P `11, Donna Weinberger P ’07/ ’10, Richard Krushnic P’10

Faculty/Staff:

Patricia Beaman, Joseph Drury, Matthew Garrett, Alex Dupuy, Elizabeth Willis, Margot Weiss, Melanye Price, Marc Hertzman, Natasha Korda, Susanna Fusso, Gillian Goslinga, Mary Ann Clawson, Anu Sharma, Lina Meruane, Marianna L. Litovich, Henry Abelove, Manju Hingorani, Elizabeth Traube, Ishita Mukerji, Amy MacQueen, Tushar Irani, Octavio Flores, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, Erika A. Taylor, Clare Rogan, Patricia R. Hill, Ann Wightman

15 thoughts on “Wesleyan Community Demands a Staff Position Dedicated to Sexual Violence

  1. a Wes mom 06

    A new position for crisis intervention and prevention is absolutely essential. A collaborative of creative Wesleyan students, in consultation with administration, behavioral health professionals, faculty, parents, community agencies can write a grant for federal/state/local money to finance this much needed service.

  2. Student

    I think that many of you would be shocked at how many incidents of sexual abuse and rape happen on this campus every year, dozens or even hundreds that go unreported. While I would hope that a full time staff member would take on a much more preventative role, including organizing lectures, activities, promoting awareness and dialogue, even literature, I do believe that the combination of psychological counseling and even disciplinary/investigative/legal follow-up might require a permanent staff member.

    We have employees at this university who do a WHOLE lot less, believe me.

  3. Student

    I think that many of you would be shocked at how many incidents of sexual abuse and rape happen on this campus every year, dozens or even hundreds that go unreported. While I would hope that a full time staff member would take on a much more preventative role, including organizing lectures, activities, promoting awareness and dialogue, even literature, I do believe that the combination of psychological counseling and even disciplinary/investigative/legal follow-up might require a permanent staff member.

    We have employees at this university who do a WHOLE lot less, believe me.

  4. willburfisk

    Dear 5,

    Please read the letter above. It’s actually in bold.

    “The only way more effective resources, policies, and prevention efforts can be put into place is to establish a full-time staff position…”

  5. willburfisk

    Dear 5,

    Please read the letter above. It’s actually in bold.

    “The only way more effective resources, policies, and prevention efforts can be put into place is to establish a full-time staff position…”

  6. 5

    no one said anything about 40 hours a week year round. it would be perfectly reasonable to build this kind of work into the WesWell director’s job description, especially since a) we don’t have one of those right now and b)that position is already written into the budget and we are currently in the process of looking for a new hire.

    Realistically, no one expects that we would be able to add a new fulltime staff position without looking for grant money, which is honestly always around for this kind of work but would require someone to take on the project of applying for it.

    This is a Wespeak, not a formal proposal.

    anyway, if you still want to sign it even though your name won’t be attached to it on the argus, the link is:

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDE3UVdlaTRTaGF3c2c4dlBCU3ljbUE6MQ

  7. 5

    no one said anything about 40 hours a week year round. it would be perfectly reasonable to build this kind of work into the WesWell director’s job description, especially since a) we don’t have one of those right now and b)that position is already written into the budget and we are currently in the process of looking for a new hire.

    Realistically, no one expects that we would be able to add a new fulltime staff position without looking for grant money, which is honestly always around for this kind of work but would require someone to take on the project of applying for it.

    This is a Wespeak, not a formal proposal.

    anyway, if you still want to sign it even though your name won’t be attached to it on the argus, the link is:

    https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dDE3UVdlaTRTaGF3c2c4dlBCU3ljbUE6MQ

  8. Anon II

    A fulltime position when our school is cutting staff elsewhere is hardly reasonable or realistic. What exactly would this person do for 40 hours a week, year round?

    This proposal was not thought out very well.

  9. Anon II

    A fulltime position when our school is cutting staff elsewhere is hardly reasonable or realistic. What exactly would this person do for 40 hours a week, year round?

    This proposal was not thought out very well.

  10. Anon

    While I agree that the fundamentals of how we think of gender issues cannot be greatly affected or improved by a new staff position, I do think that a faculty position dedicated to sexual violence response is highly necessary. The fact that this position is not dedicated to a full time employer automatically puts sexual violence on the back burner. Currently, the work is on students (SART interns) who have other responsibilities and who can only maintain the job for a maximum of four years (and more realistically, probably only hold the position for one or two). If someone is sexually assaulted on campus, there should be a specific faculty member they can go to whose job is solely dedicated to addressing issues of sexual violence.

  11. Anon

    While I agree that the fundamentals of how we think of gender issues cannot be greatly affected or improved by a new staff position, I do think that a faculty position dedicated to sexual violence response is highly necessary. The fact that this position is not dedicated to a full time employer automatically puts sexual violence on the back burner. Currently, the work is on students (SART interns) who have other responsibilities and who can only maintain the job for a maximum of four years (and more realistically, probably only hold the position for one or two). If someone is sexually assaulted on campus, there should be a specific faculty member they can go to whose job is solely dedicated to addressing issues of sexual violence.

  12. Dan

    I think that’s a really good point. I’m not convinced that another staff position is going to affect a transformation of student attitudes about gender domination. Time to take more individual responsibility as people capable of changing the ways those closest to us think. Let’s get more creative. Then again, that so many women supported ought to be taken as an important indication.

  13. Dan

    I think that’s a really good point. I’m not convinced that another staff position is going to affect a transformation of student attitudes about gender domination. Time to take more individual responsibility as people capable of changing the ways those closest to us think. Let’s get more creative. Then again, that so many women supported ought to be taken as an important indication.

  14. Big Bird

    Is more bureaucracy really going to help? We have a diversity intern but I still see so many friend groups that are almost exclusively one race.

  15. Big Bird

    Is more bureaucracy really going to help? We have a diversity intern but I still see so many friend groups that are almost exclusively one race.

Comments are closed.