Current Members of the Men's and Women's Swimming Teams Call to Action
Members of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming Teams of Swarthmore College call on the College to immediately and permanently revoke the leases given to the fraternities on its campus. As members of the athletic community, we believe it is our responsibility to speak out against the hatred and violence that occurs in fraternities that affects members of our Swarthmore Community.
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 values the ideals of our community, the same community that made us choose Swarthmore and the same community for which we proudly compete, it cannot wait to act any longer to take the actions necessary to preserve this community. 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. Ending the fraternity leases will do more to ensure the safety, wellbeing, and happiness of students on this campus than any individual could do alone. As role models, representatives, 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 members of Swarthmore Swimming:
Nigel Van Ha