An Open Letter to Students from Women's Studies:
November 16, 2015
Dear Colgate Community,
We in Women’s Studies are troubled by the culture of sexual violence on campus. We have been deeply moved by survivors’ testimonies over the course of last week, accounts we have heard repeated for too many years. We affirm that many of our students are hurting. We are present with you; we are listening. We support your activism.
As faculty and staff who have long been engaged in the struggle, we reaffirm our commitment to creating a campus culture that does not tolerate sexual assault, harassment, or bias, and that supports survivors of these incidents in their healing process and actively works to prevent and end sexual violence.
While many of us have worked for improvements in violence prevention and equity policy, we know this is not enough, because sexual violence continues to be a major problem on this campus.
We want to continue to create spaces of solidarity and cultural awareness in order to shift cultures of silence and violence.
We believe that ongoing dialogue and action is crucial.
In the following ways we will continue to work towards justice on campus:
- We will encourage dialogue among student survivors and allies by facilitating a weekly reading group that supports survivor’s healing processes.
- We will encourage critical dialogue among faculty on the topic of sexual violence through offering teaching resources and teach-in opportunities.
- We will raise awareness about historical dimensions of activism to end sexual violence at Colgate, by creating social movement timelines and materials that are easily accessible to the campus.
- We will work to build campus understandings of the intersectional dimensions of sexual power and violence and the ways that gender-based, class-based, racial, sexual, etc. hierarchies have long been maintained through social and political systems.
With dialogue and collective action we can do better to prevent sexual violence and support survivors. We are all in this together.
Women’s Studies Faculty and Staff (alpha-order signatures below)