Swarthmore Volleyball Call to Action: Revoke Fraternity Leases

We, members of the Swarthmore Volleyball team, call on the College to immediately and permanently revoke the leases given to the fraternities on its campus. As athletes on this campus, we are given the responsibility of establishing and upholding the reputation of Swarthmore Athletics as well as ensuring the safety of the athletes within our program. The existence of fraternity housing is in direct contradiction with both of these responsibilities. As members of a group on campus that is disproportionately white, middle/upper class, able-bodied, and cisgendered, we have a greater responsibility to use our privilege to demand change.

How much longer will the College allow harm to come to students and student-athletes alike? We believe that the documents detailing past and current actions, conversations, photos, videos, events, and incidences in the fraternity houses as well as the countless testimonies of discrimination and sexual violence from alumni and current students are illuminating, and should be taken seriously. 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. This is not a situation that calls for further investigation, and we refuse to accept the administration’s continued tolerance and perpetuation of violence. 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 the College truly believes in the work and priorities of the Volleyball team and Swarthmore Athletics, and wishes to foster a campus life that might be free of such harm, it cannot wait to act any longer. We cannot “Wear the ‘S’ with pride” while Swarthmore continues to protect fraternities. The college 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. It must revoke the leases on these spaces so that our teammates will no longer be subjected to such harm. 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. We also want to acknowledge that should any current or former fraternity member choose to speak out in favor of terminating frat leases we will support them in doing so. 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 current and former Volleyball members:

Guinevere Mesh ‘19

Katie Silva ‘22

Liz Conca ‘21

Sarah Girard ‘19

Reed Orchinik ‘19

Emma Morgan-Bennett ‘20

Lelosa Aimufua ‘20

Emily Kibby ‘19

Hyeongmin Kim ‘19

Lucy Fetterman ‘22

Belle Andrews ‘20

Olivia Leventhal ‘18

Malia Scott ‘18

Alice Liu ‘18

Josephine Thrasher ‘21

Mehra den Braven ‘20

Amanda Reed ‘17

Kate Amodei ‘15

Chastity Hopkins ‘15

Bridget Scott ‘18

Anastasia White-Torruellas ‘16