Former VP for Equity & Inclusion Antonio Farias and Interim VP for Equity & Inclusion Debbie Colucci
On Thursday, September 20th, Dean Mike Whaley sent an email out to the student body with an update on Wesleyan’s search for a new Vice President for Equity and Inclusion, following the departure of Antonio Farias last May when he accepted a job at the University of Florida. Whaley’s email announces that he and Professor Nicole Stanton will chair the search committee to replace Farias, and that they would like input from the student body on our “aspirations for the position.” They will be hosting a “group visioning exercise” for the job position description this Thursday in Usdan.
During his tenure on campus, Farias was a controversial figure among the student body. His job was to oversee the Office of Equity and Inclusion, whose mission is to “[provide] leadership and accountability to resolve systemic inequities for all members of the Wesleyan community.” Despite this lofty description, events on campus in the past few years repeatedly led students to call the priorities of Dean Farias into question.
“I think it’s a starting point. Even with the center, it will hopefully be an immediate resource that people can turn to and will be a lot more reliable than the administration has been in the past.” – Justina Yam ’19
The creation of a Gender Resource Center has been a long time coming at Wesleyan. Students have been lobbying for identity-based resource centers as far back as 1969, when a group of students demanded the university create cultural center dedicated to black students. In the 1980s the first iteration of a gender-based center emerged in the form of a Women’s Resource Center at 190 High Street (now the University Organizing Center). Unfortunately the center had a touch and go existence. Within two decades of its creation, the center dissipated, went through a period of revival, and dissipated again. Here is some of that recent history and the current status of establishing a permanent Gender Resource Center at Wesleyan:
Earlier today, posters appeared in Fisk calling out various facets of the Wesleyan administration, ostensibly in reaction to the recent revelations about the perpetrator status of Scott Backer. The posters call out University Relations, Michael Roth, and Antonio Farias.
Here are photos of the posters: