Around 4 PM today, President Roth sent out an email update notifying campus that Daniel Handler ’92 has stepped down from delivering the Commencement Speech for the Class of 2018. Dr. Anita Hill will instead be delivering the address at the event.
This decision follows Sarah Chen Small ’18‘s write-in as well as the her leading a student response which involved #CancelHandler posters put around campus earlier this week. This is a great example of how student activism can pressure the administration to check their actions. Honestly, this is amazing.
Read past the jump for the full text of the email:
On Monday, posters like the one above were put up all over campus, including on most (if not all) senior house doors. The posters call for the removal of Daniel Handler ’92 as Commencement Speaker after repeated instances of racism and sexual harassment. They also call attention to the fact that Dr. Anita Hill, who is known for speaking out against workplace harassment, will receive an honorary degree (a lesser honor and a shorter speech) at the same event.
The poster also links to Wesleying’s Write-In: “Commencement 2018: Lemony Snicket, Anita Hill, and Silencing Women of Color in the Age of #MeToo” and a recent article in Pacific Standard by David M. Perry ’95 detailing Handler’s history of sexual harassment.
Two weeks ago, Antonio Farias emailed out some updates to Wesleyan’s policies and support networks relating to issues of sexual assault on campus. In the email sent on February 1st, which can be read in full on the Equity & Inclusion blog, Farias announced the hiring of Johanna DeBari, M.A. as the director of the new Office of Survivor Advocacy and Community Education (or SACE, for short).
DeBari partially fills the role of Alysha Warren who, before she took a job at Williams beginning Fall 2017, was in charge of survivor advocacy, running the We Speak We Stand performance during New Student Orientation and bystander intervention training programs, and worked in CAPS as a licensed therapist specializing in trauma resulting from sexual violence.
After the email was sent out, I reached out to Johanna for a Wesleying feature on the new office, her goals for the position, and her past research on sexual violence on campus. We ended up doing an email interview. Here’s what we talked about:
University Provost Joyce Jacobsen and President Roth emailed the entire campus earlier this semester about two “facilities forums.”
You: “Wesleying, wtf is that?? It sounds like a snoozefest!”
Wesleying: “It very well might be, but we do think it’s going to cover a lot of important issues and we wanted to liveblog so that other folks who can’t attend know what’s going on.”
According to the email, the folks in North College “are reaching out for broad input” on what improvements to make to different physical spaces around campus. The email mentioned a list of things being considered:
- Moving the DAC collections into Olin Library
- Expanding the current digital design studio into a larger digital design commons
- Renovating the south gallery in Zilkha
- Building the third phase of the Center for Film Studies
- Renovating the PAC and building
- A new science building to replace Hall-Atwater
Yeah, it seems important. So here we go:
In perhaps the most momentous chapter of a saga dating back to the Fall of 2014, the Wesleyan chapter of DKE (Delta Kappa Epsilon) has just won another huge victory in its lawsuit against the university.
Just before 6PM today, President Roth sent out yet another email with the subject line reading “Campus Update.” This time, it was to inform us that a judge ruled that Wesleyan must allow DKE access to 276 High Street at the start of the Fall 2018. Three classes of students have never set foot in the fraternity, located directly across the street from President Roth’s house, but it may soon be open to undergraduates once more.
Wesleyan plans to file an appeal, but the exact path forward remains shrouded in mystery as of this evening. Read past the jump for the full email, and our key takeaways.
Yesterday, Joyce Walter, Director of Davison Health Center sent an all-campus email alerting the campus that DHC is moving forward with the search for a director of Survivor Advocacy and Community Education, ostensibly to replace Alysha Warren, who was the inaugural Sexual Assault Resource Coordinator/Therapist until she left Wesleyan earlier this fall.
Wesleyan solicits donations from alumni year-round to support the many fundraising campaigns that keep Wesleyan afloat (but somehow still not need-blind…). Over the summer, I spoke with Cade Leebron ’14 about her own campaign for alumni to speak up about the many issues that students and alumni alike see at the school. She began Text Wes Back to collect actual responses that she and other alumni sent back when Wesleyan texted them to donate money to the school.
Read below the jump for the full interview.
Content warning: This interview discusses sexual assault.
If you’re on campus, you likely received an all-campus email from Joyce Jacobsen, Wesleyan’s provost, earlier this afternoon with the news of University Librarian Dan Cherubin‘s passing after a battle with cancer. His passing is a tremendous loss to the Wesleyan community, and to almost all who knew him.
Dan came to Wesleyan at the beginning of last year and made explicit commitments to make the library a space for all. His Twitter, @skalibrarian, was like none other. We interacted quite frequently through the social network, and I came to know how committed he was to Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff. The full text of Provost Jacobsen’s email is after the jump.
You have worked, implicitly and explicitly, directly and indirectly, to make Wesleyan a hostile environment for people of color, students with disabilities, trans students, survivors of sexual assault and pretty much any student who does not fit into your image of the “conservative oppressed by the liberal arts.” What’s more, you have repeatedly refused to engage with students in any meaningful way about the ways in which you’ve created this hostile environment. So I have resorted to engaging with you on your own terms: in a blog post.
This afternoon, President Michael Roth ’78 sent out an email informing the campus community that DKE has won its lawsuit against the University. The trial, which was public, began on June 6th, and President Roth testified on June 7th.
The original suit was filed by DKE and Kent Literary Society, which is DKE’s alumni chapter. DKE accused the University of discrimination and deceptive practices in its handling of DKE after the decision that all fraternities on campus must be co-educated. DKE had submitted plans for co-education that did not meet the University’s requirements.
The University has not said what will happen with DKE’s house, or whether it will re-achieve program housing status. Roth states that the University is searching for further legal avenues to pursue, and the University must also decide what to do in terms of its plans for coeducation.
The full text of the email is below: