Dear the Editors of The Wellesley News,
On Tuesday, April 22, President Bottomly responded to the WAAM-SLAM II Movement. Members of WAAM-SLAM II think it is important for the Wellesley community to continue to follow this movement and be informed of any recent events. Below is the response WAAM-SLAM II sent to the administration on Thursday, April 24. We address misconceptions about the movement and our plans moving forward.
On Saturday, April 26, President Bottomly replied that she is “very pleased” with our response, but the Tuesday time we proposed did not work for her. She said she will email us back with a better time when she returns to her office on Monday.
On Monday, April 28, we followed up with her since we did not hear from her about a better time.
On Tuesday, April 19, we received an email from President Bottomly’s assistant, which described several rules for the meeting and included a 10 minute presentation and that only 10 student representatives be present. The email seemed to misunderstand the purpose of the meeting, which is to have an open dialogue about the demands listed in the Bill for Transformative Justice and Education for Wellesley College, an action that President Bottomly openly supported in her response to the bill on April 22. It requires more than 10 minutes of presentation to give credit to the hours spent writing the bill. All the administrators addressed in the bill need to be present since they each hold different responsibilities in addressing the Bill. The proposed meeting time is Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
We are currently waiting to hear back about a meeting time. In the mean time, we are working to build student, faculty, and staff coalitions. We would like to publicize our WAAM-SLAM II Teach-In: Organizing and Coalition-Building at Wellesley. This event will take place this Friday, May 2 at 4:00 p.m. in the Clapp Library lecture room for those interested in the movement to any extent. The “I, Too, Am Wellesley Campaign” will also be accepting submissions and taking photos. Please join us!
WAAM-SLAM II Response to President Bottomly
To: President Bottomly, Provost Chapman, Provost Shennan, Dean French, Dean Lynch, Dean DeMeis, Dean Desjarlais, Laura Daignault Gates, Ben Hammond, Cameran Mason,
Thank you for your response to the Bill for Transformative Justice and Education at Wellesley College. We really appreciate President Bottomly’s recognition of the importance to engage in conversation about the demands listed.
Select representatives of WAAM-SLAM II would like to meet with you to speak about the list of demands. We understand that there have been a lot of misconceptions about the WAAM-SLAM II movement, especially with the concern of “escalating physical actions” worded in the Bill. To clarify, this movement is non-violent and non-confrontational. The Bill’s delivery was misperceived as a protest. The intentions of the 65+ students were to deliver the Bill and show that many students, who make up WAAM-SLAM II, do care about these demands and are concerned. The Bill was purposely signed by the Concerned Asian, Black, Latin@, Native, Differently-Abled, LGBTQ-identified students because these concerns are not unique to any one student. Thus, the Bill was not anonymous.
We are not against the college or the administration. The Bill was written out of genuine care to see this college become a better institution. We would like to work with you all to engage in constructive dialogue about tangible ways to better serve our community. We would like to meet with you on Tuesday April 29 from 4-5pm during community time. Please respond by Monday April 28 4:30pm to let us know.
Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you and continuing the conversation.
In solidarity, The Concerned Asian, Black, Latin@, Native, Differently-Abled, LGBTQ-identified students of Wellesley College WAAM-SLAM II.
Thank you for taking the time to read our updates. Transparency
is crucial in this negotiating the process with administration and student coalition building moving forward.