Exactly a year ago, the Diversity University forum was held to address diversity at Wesleyan in light of hateful comments on the ACB, the use of race in Public Safety Reports, and allegations of unnecessary use of force by Public Safety. The conversation also touched on many other points and became a three hour-long panel/discussion with over 400 students, faculty, and staff in attendance.
These were a few of the most salient points from the forum, summed up by pyrotechnics in his post from last year:
- We’ve got problems. Big, scary institutional and individual problems and shortcomings. We all do. Every one of us.
- There are a lot of people who really give a shit. Not only was this evident in attendance, but in the words, actions, and thoughts of many. This carries from those brave students who shared their own horrifying stories all the way to President Roth at the helm of the University, who remarked: “I take this very seriously. It’s so corrosive. It undermines the very fabric of this university. This can’t go on. … If we have screwed up, we will fix it. What you’re describing to me wrecks the University’s mission.”
- Dialogue is important, and this kind of forum needs to happen regularly, but actions speak louder than words. Right now, there is a real limit to the trust that our community affords itself and the administration to actually address these issues. Ostensible, and more importantly, tangible progress in institutionally healing our community is necessary to shore up that lack of trust.
The dialogue continued again this year with the Privilege and Policy forums, which happened over a five part series in the span of a month. Student Body President Nicole Updegrove ‘14 organized the series, and 1-4 Wesleyan students facilitated each talk. The goals were to more thoroughly address diversity issues, for a wide range of students to participate, and to explore potential policy solutions. The conclusive points from this series were similar to those of the Diversity University forum from last year, namely that these issues are incredibly complex and important, that they affect everyone, and thusly, we need to talk about them.
Tomorrow (Thursday) from 7 – 9 PM in Bennett (long live Fauver) Lounge, Rosy Capron ’14 and Brendan O’Donnell ’14 will be facilitating the final Privilege and Policy at Wesleyan discussions. The topic this week will be sex, gender, and relationships at Wesleyan.
Things that might come up include male-female ratios of faculty and students in different departments, treatment of male vs. female sports teams, gendered spaces (bathrooms, program houses, Greeks) on campus, the queer community, the privileging of males over females in admissions, services provided (or not provided, or costs not covered) at the Health Center for trans* students, treatment of queer students by faculty, staff, and students, sexual assault, and anything else you would like to discuss.
Please join us this evening for the discussion!
Date: Thursday Nov 7
Time: 7PM to 9PM
Bennett Freshman Fauver Lounge
Tomorrow, Monday, October 28th from 7 – 9 PM in Allbritton 311, LaNell Williams ’15 and Kayla Reiman ’14 will be facilitating the fourth of the Privilege and Policy at Wesleyan discussion series. Culture, ethnicity, and religion often fall through the cracks of conversations about privilege at Wesleyan, even though our student body comes from myriad different backgrounds that affect their time here. Wesleyan’s policies about both big topics like self-expression and the academic curriculum, and smaller (but no less important) issues like housing preferences and class attendance policies for holidays, tend to cater to a secular, white, middle-class, Northeastern American student. We aim to create a space to talk about the many different facets of identity that affect the Wesleyan experience and how policies can be changed to reflect our multicultural student body. Please join us tomorrow evening for the discussion!
With comments or questions, please email nupdegrove[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.
From Nicole Updegrove ’14:
Please join us on Thursday night from 7 – 9 PM in the DFC for the first of the Privilege and Policy at Wesleyan series. This discussion will center around the intersection of class and policy at Wes. Facilitators will be Kwame Adams ’14 and Leo Liu ’14.
Topics may include…