This post is part of a series of reflections on the recent events on campus. If you have anything that you would like to contribute, please feel free to reach out to us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org.
The past few weeks have seen a lot of turmoil within our community, most notably the hospitalizations and arrests, and reactions to them, both within and beyond Wesleyan. I hope to speak to the ways that we have addressed these events, as well as other contentious issues, namely the DKE lawsuit and the recent WSA meetings concerning first generation students and institutional structure.
At times like these, it is important to talk to each other, in order to process, to heal, and to examine the needs of our communities. These are events that we should discuss, both as individuals and community members. All too frequently, however, the way we’ve been discussing them has led to more pain, frustration, and division within our community.
Rather than creating spaces to support each other while addressing problems, many of the discussions I’ve witnessed, both in person and in online forums, have allowed ideological and experiential differences to further divide us, leaving many students, myself included, feeling hurt, angry, or cynical. It’s important to note, though, that I have also heard many calls for kind and supportive dialogue. It is in that spirit that I share the following observations and requests.
This post is the first in a small series of reflections on the recent events on campus, to be published over the next few days. If you have anything that you would like to contribute, please feel free to reach out to us.
I am writing this in response to the traumatic and overwhelming events that have happened over the past few days – the hospitalization of a dozen students and the arrest of four others, as well as the media and institutional reactions. I hope that this can be a space of positive dialogue and solidarity, where we share our thoughts and reflections with compassion and humanity. I hope to counter the intense and destructive negativity and inappropriateness of some of the language being used to address these events in our own community, in person and online, in the media portrayals and in the administration’s emails. These events remind of us of the importance of fostering a supportive community, one that we must build on our own, as the student body. These thoughts hope to help support that process of reconciliation, healing, and empowerment.
Alysha Warren writes in with a wonderful opportunity for survivors of sexual violence to utilize the arts as a method of healing:
Come create art in the company of other survivors. Paint, draw, collage or do your own thing. Supplies will be available, but feel free to bring your own. Open to ALL survivors of sexual violence. RSVP to Alysha B. Warren, LPC at awarren[at]wesleyan[dot]edu by Thursday, April 25th for location details and so we can ensure we have enough supplies! Space is limited.
Date: Saturday, April 27
Location: Announced via E-mail
RSVP: By April 25th to Alysha Warren
Alysha Warren is offering survivors of sexual violence a chance to complement their healing process by integrating the mind, body, and spirit through yoga this semester:
Many survivors of sexual violence find yoga to be a helpful complement to their healing process. “Befriending Your Body” is a new 11 week support group that incorporates yoga and discussion of self-care, mindfulness, body awareness, and other topics to assist survivors in their healing process. The yoga session will be facilitated by a teacher who specializes in working with trauma survivors. Don’t let Rusty deter you- no yoga experience required.
The group begins meeting on Tuesday, February 12th – Tuesday, May 7th from 5:30-7:15pm. Space is (very) limited and registration is required.
Contact Alysha B. Warren, LPC, Therapist/Sexual Violence Resource Coordinator, for details and more info at awarren[at]wesleyan[dot]edu. Reference “Befriending Your Body” in the subject line. The group will be facilitated by Alysha B. Warren, LPC, Therapist/Sexual Violence Resource Coordinator and Cheryl Hughes, RYT. The deadline to sign-up is Friday, February 8th. Space is limited, apply soon!
Deadline: Friday, February 8th
Meets: Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7:15 p.m.
From Camara Awkward-Rich ’11:
On Friday October 16th, there will be an anti-violence symposium to address varying issues of violence in relation to the Wesleyan community. It will include workshops, speakers, and a reception that deal with practical responses to, and systemic conceptions of, violence and healing. Please come, and invite your friends!
1 pm – CONVOCATION (Beckham Hall)
Michael Roth, President, Wesleyan University
Dr. Karen Singleton, Director, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Program,
Dr. Suriya Baluch, Director, Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources, and
Education, Princeton University
2 – 3:15 pm – SESSION I
– Personal Safety Awareness (PAC 022)
Former Police Chief of Middletown Lynn Baldoni
– Stalking Awareness and Response (PAC 004)
Middletown Police Department & Wesleyan Public Safety
– Relationship Violence Awareness and Prevention (Usdan 108)
Karen Singleton and Suriya Baluch (see convocation info above)
– Hate Crimes (2:00) and Cultural Awareness (3:30) (PAC 001)
Azekah Jennings, U.S. Dept. of Justice
– Conflict Resolution (PAC 125)
Alex Fernandez, Women & Family Center
– Healing (PAC 107)
Pastor Joan Burnett
– Calling Men: Being an Ally (Usdan 110)
Emily Rothman ’94 and Marc Bergeron, Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health
3:30 – 4:45pm – SESSION II
All workshops will be repeated, with the exception of Hate Crimes (2:00) and
Cultural Awareness (3:30), both in PAC 001
5 – 6pm – “A Call to Action” Closing Reception (Daniel Family Commons)
Beth Ann Morhardt, Prevention & Training Coordinator, CT Sexual Assault Crisis Services