Resident Assistants Call to Action: Revoke Fraternity Leases

The Resident Assistants (RAs) of Swarthmore College call on the College to immediately and permanently revoke the leases given to the fraternities on its campus. As RAs, we are given the responsibility of ensuring the safety, wellbeing, and happiness of each and every student. This responsibility is incompatible with the existence of fraternity housing.

The documents detailing past and current actions, conversations, photos, videos, events, and incidences in the fraternity houses, in the words of Dean of Students Jim Terhune, describe “vulgar and offensive language used and behavior [… that] contradicts the stated values of our community and is in direct violation of our policies.” The well-documented evidence of homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, racism, classism, ableism, and sexual violence that has occurred in and around fraternities and the houses they lease leave no room for interpretation. The culture that would allow such behavior is toxic to a healthy, safe community – and yet the College has failed to remove the symbolic and literal nexus of that culture for many years. The time to do so is now.

If Swarthmore College truly believes in the mission of Resident Assistants, and wishes to foster a campus life that might be free of such harm, it cannot wait to act any longer. It must revoke the leases on these spaces so that our campus may begin to heal from the harm done historically and with every passing day. That will do more to ensure the safety, wellbeing, and happiness of students on this campus than any individual Resident Assistant could alone. As role models and cultivators of an inclusive and welcoming community, we have a responsibility to hold the administration accountable for their lack of action against the fraternities. We join the Swarthmore Coalition to End Fraternity Violence and demand the College act in the most concrete way to make its students safer. To join the Coalition, please click on the following link, which allows you to submit a letter to the College calling on them to revoke the leases.

Sincerely, the following Resident Assistants:

Gilbert Orbea

Ethan Yoo

Istra Fuhrmann

Amanda Carrillo-Perez

Kathryn Restrepo

Jeffrey Tse

Caitlin Strachan

Marin McCoy

Lizzy Stant

Saskia Bock

Tarzan MacMood

Kyra Harvey

Riya Garg

Guinevere Mesh

Alexander Jin

Chanoot Sirisoponsilp

Hannah Thompson

Dakota L. Gibbs

Gilly Gehri

Kerry Sonia

Sagnik Gayen

Hyeop Song

Seetha Davis

Emily Kibby

Rose Ridder

Jack Cote

Salima Bourguiba

Connor Hodge

Krista Smith-Hanke

Harsha Sen

Arya Jemal

Dan Siegelman

Rohit Nair

Saadiq Garba

Peter Miklas

Gillie Tillson

Christopher Smith

Jared Hunt

Amelia Tomei

Sarah Solomon