At Sunday’s WSA meeting, further discussed the recent firing of Scott Backer. Students continue to be deeply dismayed by the Administration’s handling of the situation. Specifically, we are upset about the failure to proactively disclose the news and the narrow scope of the Pepper Hamilton review, which was conducted without seeking or allowing any input from survivors or the general student body.
President Roth apologized that the University hired someone about whom they did not have full information at the time; however, in this statement he failed to acknowledge the gravity of waiting to alert campus of the news. He failed to acknowledge that even a case ruled legally compliant by Pepper Hamilton could be immensely traumatizing and problematic under a higher, and more holistic, level of scrutiny. We are upset that no higher threshold was applied.
More broadly, we are upset that it took student input and effort to elicit the apology after the Boston Globe article was published. This is part of a recurring trend: it often takes large-scale student protest to get the Administration to consider our pain. The apology closed by recommending that students turn to CAPS, Student Affairs, and the Office of Equity and Inclusion if they needed support. That is the core of the problem: many students do not feel like they have allies in these offices and, as such, have no Administrative resources they can depend on as they try to make sense of this. We, members of the WSA, believe that fundamental changes need to be made to ensure administrative accountability and to rebuild trust between the Student Body and the Administration. Based on Sunday’s discussion, it is clear that students have different ideas about what those fundamental changes should entail, but, over the coming weeks, we will work to support the ongoing student mobilization and build consensus around specific proposals for change.
Rebecca Hutman ’17, Nila Ravi ’18, Keyonne Session ’17, Elizabeth Shackney ’17, Emma Austin ’19, Justin Liew ’18, Alessio Larios ’19, Izzy Linzer ’17, Josh Prywes ’17, Misha Iakovenko ’18, Eugene Smith ’20, Angel Riddle ’19, Joshua Nodiff ’19, Noah Kahan ’19, Jackie Manginelli ’19, Steven Kidder ’18, Azher Jaweed ’19, Justin Campos ’19, Jan-Carlos Pinales ’20, Henry Prine ’18, Dominic Vazquez ’19, Kimberly Ortega ’20, Christopher Jackson ’20, Serene Murad ’18, Jacob Maiman-Stadtmauer ’19, and Jack Ginsberg ’20