Writing Associate (WA) Letter of Support for Organizing for Survivors’ Title IX Policy Change Demands
We, the undersigned Writing Associates, fully affirm our support for O4S and their Title IX policy demands, and our support for all survivors at Swarthmore.
As WAs, it is our job to listen to our peers’ words and narratives, and as such, we feel that it is necessary to publicly state that we commit to supporting survivors and uplifting their stories. We also acknowledge that there is no singular model for what someone’s experience of sexual violence is, and that each narrative and healing process is valid. We see you, and we are here for you.
We further recognize the need for transparent policies in the WA hiring process. Our roles on campus place us in positions of authority, especially in spaces such as the Writing Center where we do our work, and as such, we expect that those in our program are able to serve in our roles ethically and responsibly. In accord with the RAs, DPAs, and other peer leadership groups, we as WAs demand that the Writing Program set forth clear policies to prevent accused and responsible respondents from serving in the WA position. We believe that these steps are necessary in order to fully support survivors on campus, and in order to hold the program accountable to its vision of providing trusting, community-centered spaces for writing on campus.
We encourage anyone who is able to demand accountability from the administration, and to read and familiarize themselves with O4S’ policy demands and plans, as well as various groups’ letters of support and the pieces that have been published from a multitude of perspectives on the movement by survivors and allies. That said, we want to emphasize that it is crucial for everyone, especially those who have been affected by sexual violence, to do what they need in order to practice self-care, and we recognize that for some, that may not look like joining this movement in an active and public way. We encourage our fellow peer leaders to exercise compassion in their interactions with students, and to understand that the healing process looks different for everyone. For Swarthmore to heal as a community, we must prioritize the healing of individuals.
In love and solidarity,
Jonathan Hamel Sellman