“We believe it is is not ethically responsible at this time for us as alumni to financially support an institution that is not willing to properly ensure the safety and respect of its student body.”
Confirming reports from Homecoming Weekend that a significant number of alumni are aware of and unhappy about recent campus controversies surrounding sexual assault and need-blind admissions, Wesleying received the following letter from members of the class of 2010. The note has been circulating via email among recent alums. In it, Anonymous ’10 expresses “serious concerns regarding two recent, unsettling missteps taken by Wesleyan University” and asks hir classmates to pledge not to donate. No doubt this suggestion will be controversial on campus (particularly in the arena of need-blind, where Wesleyan’s meager alumni giving rate is especially pertinent). No doubt it will also grab attention.
Some alumni have already defended their unwillingness to donate in the comments section of recent posts. Wesleying is interested in following up with a longer feature. If you’re an alumnus who won’t donate to the school and want to talk about it—or a caller for Red & Black—please contact us at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org.
Here’s the letter:
Dear fellow alumni,
We are writing to express serious concerns regarding two recent, unsettling missteps taken by Wesleyan University, and are asking you to reconsider the type of support you currently offer to our alma mater.
In the past year, Wesleyan has failed to provide proper support for survivors of rape and sexual harassment that occurred on campus. It appears to us that university officials are allowing their public relations concerns to take priority over the health and well-being of their students by attempting to diminish the criminality and severity of cases of sexual abuse and harassment for the sake of lessing the public visibility of these offenses. They have quietly stood aside while acts of rape and sexual harassment occurred out of concern for negative publicity—and this displays a hypocritical and disgusting failure to combat rape culture.
We are additionally frustrated by Wesleyan’s decision to no longer be a need-blind institution in its admissions decision process. This is an act of racism and classism. Wesleyan’s choice to implement this new policy will act as a detriment to the dignity and quality of the education and community offered by our former school.
We believe it is is not ethically responsible at this time for us as alumni to financially support an institution that is not willing to properly ensure the safety and respect of its student body. In this moment, money given to Wesleyan is money given to supporting rape culture, racism, and sexism, as the university itself has made it clear that financial concerns take precedence over combating these things.
When Red & Black calls you in the coming months, we beg you to give nothing. While our donations are not a major source of financial support for the University, they do play a large role in the very public relations that the university is attempting to maintain by sweeping these cases of abuse and discrimination under the rug. And please, when you refuse to donate, explain why to the caller. If enough of us refuse to donate, and offer a clear explanation of why we currently feel donating is unethical we may be able to counteract Wesleyan’s abhorrent actions.
For more information about the specifics of the events of the year, please look to the links we have listed below. Please forward widely.
Courant: “Federal Lawsuit Says Wesleyan Failed To Protect Woman From Assault At Fraternity House Called A ‘Rape Factory'”
Wesleying: “Wesleyan is Great, Unless A Professor Sexually Harasses You”
Courant: “Faced With Rising Costs, Wesleyan University Drops ‘Need-Blind’ Financial Aid Policy”
Select Members of the Class of 2010