September 23, 2019
Dear President Johnson, Cc: Andrew Shennan, Sheilah Horton, Debby Kuenstner, Tara Murphy, Megan Núñez, Piper Starr Orton, Anne Velenchik, Debora de Hoyos, Joy St. John, Helen Y. Wang, Michael Lane, Board of Trustees
As concerned students, we have been working closely with thousands of members of the Wellesley community over the last two weeks regarding the conditions of student life at the College. We feel it is in everyone’s best interest to be transparent with administration now that we have formed a student coalition surrounding key issues within the following:
○ Student Housing and Maintenance
○ Academic support
○ Dining (Services and staff)
○ Physical, mental, and emotional health services
○ Accessibility and Disability Services
○ Student leadership
○ Student Financial Services
We wish to firmly rebuke the notion that individual student, alumnae, staff, and faculty testimonies on these issues are intentionally “incorrect,” “misleading,” or “disparaging,” as you wrote in official communications to Trustees, Emeritae/i, and Alumnae on September 18, 2019. We believe the insinuation of a deliberate attempt by students and alumnae to denigrate the College and spread misinformation is harmful. This language instills a sense of fear and distrust between students and leadership that could result in the breakdown of respectful communication and open dialogue in the future.
To inform the broader community and engage in productive discussion, we are explicitly requesting the attendance of Wellesley College senior leadership at an urgent Town Hall to be held on Wednesday, September 25th at 7:00pm in the Academic Council Room, Green Hall 440. We strongly encourage the attendance and active participation of the Wellesley student body, concerned alumnae, faculty, and staff.
In addition, we are attaching a live document containing signatures of members of the Wellesley community who are aware of the concerns expressed in this letter and are committed to making Wellesley a better place.
Wellesley is our home. In addition to 2,400 students, it is also home to 360 full and part-time faculty members, 800 staff members, and over 34,000 alumnae. We want to protect and advocate for Wellesley by working together, guided by the deeply-held shared value to make a difference within our world, our campus, and our community.
We hope to see you on Wednesday to continue this conversation.
The Student Coalition of Wellesley College