Tag Archives: sexual violence

Film Series: Alien

1979. USA. Dir: Ridley Scott. With Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt. 117 min.


In space, no one can hear you scream…
but the Goldsmith Cinema has great acoustics. Rest assured, between the eerie atmosphere, conniving corporate plotting, and one of the most memorable monsters to ever stalk the screen, this movie is still grade-A nightmare fodder. And don’t forget Weaver’s star turn as science fiction’s ultimate heroine.

Tonight / 8 p.m. / Goldsmith Family Cinema / $5

Sexual Health Week

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From WesWell comes this announcement:

Check out all of the sexy events during Sexual Health Week (April 20-24)!  Brought to you by WesWell & your friendly Peer Health Advocates!

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Unofficial Orientation Series ’14: Rage Update

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(Image: Catherine Avalone, The Middletown Press)

You’ve now arrived on campus, and we hope that you find your time here enriching and transformative. In that hope, we feel that it would be ill-advised to allow you to not have at least a foundational understanding of the things that have forced us as a community into dialogue, disagreement, and action.

This is not to scare you or to give you a negative impression of the University. However, we are certain that most if not all of you were told about the “passion” that Wesleyan students have and the issues that we care about on campus are at the forefront of those passions. While there is certainly no requirement to take an activist stance on any of these issues and it is in fact easy to sink beneath the radar on these issues and all the others not covered here, we would plead with you to be engaged in the community that you are now a part of.

Read this, ask questions, and reach out to students and faculty that have been here before you. We hope that as you begin your time here, you fully invest yourself as a community member committed to making Wesleyan as good as it can be for you and for those after you. Caring about Wesleyan does not foreclose critique on Wesleyan and as you read this, and other things like it, we hope you understand that too.

Letter to the Campus Community: A Call to Action

A letter from students, alumni, staff, and faculty to the campus community.Now

 TRIGGER WARNING: The following discusses the issue of sexual assault at Wesleyan and may be triggering for some readers. Community and official support resources can be accessed here, here, and here.

At the present time, there is an unprecedented political atmosphere on campus that affords our community a tremendous opportunity to take meaningful and effective action to combat campus sexual assault: co-educate and drastically reform our campus’s three all-male residential fraternities or forbid them use of their residential facilities.

This action has long been necessary, and in pursuit of this action there are a few facts that require illumination:

Sexual Violence, Spaces, and Privilege

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Amidst the celebration and festivities that are the end of theses this past weekend, a conversation surrounding sexual violence continues to rage through our community, a topic this publication has covered many, many times before. These last few weeks, however, the discourse has intensified and fraternities, or more importantly the spaces in which they occupy, has become the center of attention and controversy.

There are a lot of angry people on campus right now, including me. More specifically, however, what bothers me the most about the way this conversation has taken place is that people continue to talk right past each other, and many times seem to completely disregard what others have to say.

So let’s talk about privilege for a little bit. Buzzfeed recently had another one of their typically useless quizzes going viral lately, this one asking, “How Privileged Are You?” It might be worth taking a look at the 100 point quiz and the contents of the criteria. Or go ahead, to take the quiz. “I went to an elite college,” for example, is something pretty much all of us should be checking off.

It may be kind of useless and just internet-buzz material, but for me, the quiz reminded me of two things: all of us have some form of privilege, and that sometimes we forget what privilege we hold. More importantly, however, it reminded me that some of us have significantly more privilege than others.

Hold on just a second. I hope you do not think I am digressing from the issue of sexual violence in this post, because privilege is an immense component of how we speak, what we say, and even how we say it. It shapes our views and beliefs, and those with privilege typically have a much easier time getting what they want compared to those who have much less. And in the discourse surrounding sexual assault at Wesleyan, privilege plays a huge role.

Silence is Violence

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I will preface this post with a few undeniable facts as reminders to this campus regarding sexual violence. First, rape culture does exist throughout campus, thus sexual assault occurs throughout campus—and it is not limited to any part of campus. Second, addressing sexual violence is everyone’s responsibility—as a member of the Wesleyan community, this issue is your issue.

Recently, Mari Jarris ’14 and Chloe Murtagh ’15 have made bold moves in addressing sexual assault. In a fantastic post here on Wesleying, entitled “Don’t Assume ‘She’s Lying'”, they remind us:

We need to show that we take this issue seriously by combating rape culture on campus. We need to speak up when we hear responses such as “it seems like she’s creating a problem out of nothing” or “but she went home with him.” These reactions reveal three dangerous misconceptions. First, that there is a likelihood of false reporting (in reality, there is the opposite problem of significant underreporting). Second, and closely related to the first, is the tendency to blame the survivor. Third is the misconception that sexual assault is always perpetrated by strangers in unfamiliar places and accompanied by other physical violence (in fact, 90% of sexual violence on college campuses is perpetrated by someone the survivor knows).

This past week, the two launched a website, silence-is-violence.org, which serves as one online community for survivors to anonymously speak out about their experiences. The site also features quotes, submitted by any member of the Wesleyan community, that demonstrate how rape culture is perpetuated on campus through language. I highly recommend you check the site out—but this recommendation also comes with a strong trigger warning, as the site archives survivor testimonials and direct quotes.

Guest Post: Don’t Assume “She’s Lying”

Warning: readers may find the contents of this article triggering. All quotes and anecdotes used in this article were experienced or overheard by the authors.

“She’s lying.” “It was her choice to go to the party.” “But frats raise money for charity.” The response to the recent lawsuit against Psi Upsilon fraternity reflects the extent to which rape culture pervades our community. Sexual assault is by no means an exception at Wesleyan: one out of every four college women is a victim of rape or attempted rape and one in every seven college men is a survivor of sexual assault. But only lawsuits like these draw national and international attention.

In light of the reaction to the most recent lawsuit, specifically the focus on fraternity community service and fundraising, victim-blaming, and “misreporting,” we would like to redirect conversation to the real issue: how to support survivors of sexual assault and how to prevent sexual assault on our campus. Fraternities are relevant to this imperative only to the extent that we must eliminate environments in which the much wider problem of sexual assault is exacerbated. This is not a solution, but it is an immediate first step toward preventing sexual violence.  

Lawsuit Filed Against Psi U

Read on for several community responses, including from Students for Consent and Communication and from President Roth.

From Wikipedia Commons. Where else?

A student filed a lawsuit against Psi Upsilon, the Wesleyan Xi Chapter, and several Psi U members on Tuesday. The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of the defendants regarding a sexual assault perpetrated last spring against the student in the Psi U common room. This lawsuit does not name Wesleyan University itself as a defendant, unlike the previous lawsuit against a Wesleyan fraternity regarding a sexual assault. Instead, the lawsuit states that Psi U and its members violated its contract with Wesleyan which requires the fraternity to manage its events and keep its guests safe.

Wesleyan has, however, emailed all of us an official statement just this afternoon. President Roth’s email notes that the perpetrator of this particular sexual assault was dismissed from the University after disciplinary proceedings, in addition to sanctions against Psi U. President Roth’s statement in full: 

The Atlantic, Fraternities, Wesleyan, You

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Image via The Atlantic

The Dark Powers of Fraternities” was published this morning by The Atlantic. The article is the culmination of a yearlong investigation into the systemic power of fraternities and the tragedies derived therein, and prominently (ignominiously) features our very own Wesleyan University and Beta Theta Pi. In brief, the article describes fraternity organizations’ thoroughly American heritage, their roles in transforming the nature of higher education from the priest-factories of yesteryear into the often-outrageous party scenes of the modern day, and the complex trade-lanes of power, litigation, fundraising, and tragedy that have allowed the fraternity infrastructures to survive and thrive among even the most progressive of Universities. The article gets many, many things right, and I thoroughly agree with the sentiment of the authorthat colleges and universities are institutionally and structurally threatened by powerful organizations with outdated (and morally detestable) principles and priorities.

The article also gets a few minor points wrong, and misses a larger point: the cultural attitudes weas Wesleyan students, as American collegians, literally as humansaccept and collectively promote bears as much responsibility for the horrors described as do unscrupulous power structures protecting that culture. In other words, I am responsible for the continuation of awful events like those brought to light in “The Dark Powers of Fraternities,” and so are you. 

Sexual Assault Survivors Support Group

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From Alysha Warren:

HEAL IN THE COMPANY OF OTHERS:

The Sexual Assault Survivors Support Group (SASS) will be held on Tuesdays beginning September 24th –December 3rd from 5:45PM-7PM. SASS is open to female identified survivors. Meetings will follow an open support group format and participants determine group topics each week.

Contact Alysha B. Warren, LPC, Therapist/Sexual Violence Resource Coordinator, for more info at awarren(at)wesleyan(dot)edu. Reference “Support Group” in the subject line.

Sign up by Friday, September 20th.