This letter has been edited slightly with the author’s consent to ensure the anonymity of all parties. The title of the letter was chosen by the author, and it is our policy not to change titles of letters. Please refer to our “Submit a Letter” page to read more about our letter policies.

CW: sexual assault


It was one of my first Westco Discoes. It was also the first time that a random *person put *their hands down my pants without my consent. The room was dark, sweaty, and pulsating, and yet the action itself was unmistakable. Seared into my memory forever, I remember *their face, *their voice, and the undeniable manner in which *they continued to grope me. Disgusted with what transpired, I turned to my friends and said, “______________ just put *their hands down my pants!” Immediately weary, my friends pulled me to the other side of the room and we continued our night.

I thought that this would be the only time that I would have to deal with ___________ and *their perpy antics. I thought that I could continue on with my freshman year, putting this far behind me. The next month’s events shattered this naive fantasy that I had crafted for myself. Walking with my friends through Westco one night, I heard someone crying in the hallway. Sitting on the stairs with one of his friends, I could hear the friend trying to console him by saying, “___________ did the same thing to me also.”

I thought that this would be the last time that I would have to deal with _________ and *their antics. I finished my freshman year, not quite forgetting the incident, but willing myself to move past it. Returning back to campus my sophomore year, I was weary about seeing *them around on campus. [Several redacted sentences]. Before I knew it, I found myself face-to-face with *them at another party, in another dark, sweaty, and pulsating room. ___________ said hi to me and I cordially responded, not expecting to have another run-in with *them.

And then, the unexpected happened. I was confronted with the startling news that this same person had been elected *to a leadership position of The Eclectic Society. The same Eclectic Society that prides itself on being a safe space for those who have had experiences with sexual assault. The same Eclectic Society that claims to adhere to a strict “No Perps Allowed” Policy. The same Eclectic Society that tries to make their parties comfortable by posting designated numbers in case someone should ever find themselves in an uncomfortable situation. The same Eclectic Society that rejected all of the known perps from joining their group during this same rush season. The same Eclectic Society that seems so concerned with not letting perps join their exclusive group that they seem to have forgotten to remove the perps already in their ranks.

It seems like Eclectic has failed to be the one thing that they pride themselves on being: safe. Until they rectify this horrible mistake, all of the signs posted around their house dedicated to conveying their commitment to safety and dismissal of perpetrators serve no purpose. Eclectic cannot commit to protecting victims when it is run by the very assaulters that victims fear. Eclectic cannot claim to be a progressive organization centered around social justice until they recognize that their own leaders are the very problems that they are trying to fix.

How can a group that prides itself on being a safe space for sexual assault victims be so hypocritical so as to let a perp control the same group that is meant to protect victims? Last night was Eclectic’s first rush event and the members prided themselves on already having removed all of the perps from the attendance list. Except for one name. [Redacted sentence].


Any member of the Wesleyan community who has experienced sexual misconduct in any form (whether it comes in the form of intimate partner violence, non-consensual sexual activity and sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking or sexual harassment), is encouraged to speak with someone. For confidential conversations, please contact the Office of Survivor Advocacy and Community Education (SACE), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), and/or the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life. Anyone wishing to report an incident of misconduct is encouraged to contact the Title IX Office or Public Safety.

  • Anon

    As someone who has had unsafe experiences at this school, I think it is incredibly irresponsible for the Argus to publish a letter that implicates people beyond the author of the letter. How dangerous and retraumitizing. This a low point, even for the Argus.

  • anonymous

    What about all the known perpetrators in psi u? as someone who has been personally affected by that, i find it incredibly targeted that the argus would release this without considering and understanding all the mutli fasceted and nuanced conversations that take place aorund sexual assualt on campus. Not only does this letter implicate many others besides just the author, frightening (!!!!), and blatanlty unaware of respecting different servivor’s needs and wants during a situation like this.

    • anon

      it’s almost like….ALL frats have perp problems because the greek system is inherently incompatible with safety????

  • Anon

    This article just seems like a gross manipulation of someone’s narrative. This is not journalism. The Argus continues to be nothing more than a gossip column. This is reductive in the works of how we should deal with sexual assault/misconduct. Shame on you Argus.

  • anonymous

    Horrible that Eclectic elected a perp and let that perp control the group. My thoughts go out to this victim. Shame on Eclectic!

  • anonymous

    I think the perp should be implicated. If they want to sexually assault people, they should be prepared to deal with the ramifications. No place for sexual assault and certainly no place for perps in positions of power. Believe survivors.

  • John

    This is a crazy story. Perps should not be allowed anywhere on Wesleyan’s campus IMO.

  • Amy

    I know Eclectic members. Their commitment to safety is real; it’s now codified in house policies; it’s taught to every incoming member. Why wouldn’t the author go to the society first? Give them a chance to take action. Instead, the author waits, then blasts the entire group in a public forum. How does that help her or others? And c’mon Argus! You print a serious charge without comment or verification from Eclectic?

    • anon 2019

      It’s a letter to the editor, not investigative journalism. If you have a problem with the way that a person shares their experience with sexual assault, you should criticize them. But don’t delude yourself into thinking you’re doing anything but victim blaming. If Eclectic is really committed to safety as you say, then this heavily redacted experience with sexual assault should cause them to make internal changes. And they shouldn’t really be bothered with how the survivor shares their truth.

      • anon

        “Internal changes”? They have a zero tolerance policy and already enacted it, what else do you suggest they do?

      • Anon

        Clearly the zero tolerance policy did not work in the first place, as they still had a perp in their midst.

      • anon

        if they were unaware of the allegation how exactly did the policy not work? they received an allegation and enacted their policy. period.

  • Samantha

    Eclectic should really think about their membership practices, as well as their vetting process. Letting perps rise to the top of their ranks is absolutely not okay. With that being said, I wonder if any action has taken place. While this perp is definitely a problem, I’m not sure if they are THE problem. How could this have happened? Why did this happen? Makes me feel unsafe for my children.

  • Jacqueline Buskop

    This letter is slander and vindictive. Shame on the Argus, especially William Halliday, for publishing this. This isn’t journalism, nor is it insightful. The Argus only benefits from this libel that pushes more people to their website.

    The Eclectic Society immediately enforced their zero tolerance policy and the individual was removed from the society.

    Eclectic society has severely changed their image from who they were a few years ago; they are now an inclusive, POC dominant group of students that wholly reject perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment. I am not a member of the society and I feel 100% safe and welcome in Eclectic spaces.

    • anonymous

      Go you, Jacqueline; you signed into FB for this. I agree with and second your points.

    • T

      Great for you, white woman. As a person of color, I do not share the same view.

    • Alexis Jimenez

      Someone’s life has been drastically changed as a result of assault, and they have chosen to express their views in the Letters to the Editor (which are not libel as they are not edited or investigated by staff) – and you really choose to just defend an institution on campus?

      Being PoC does not negate people from having fucked up views on sexual assault. The moment we assume a space is safe because of who populates it, as opposed to their continued actions, we choose to tokenize people’s identities, and create places where perps go by, unnoticed. Perpetrators often place themselves in spaces where they can use the reputations and identities of others as a way to go “I am not a perp, how could I be? Look at where I am, who I’m friends with, where I volunteer!” There can be good PoC who were used as covers, bad PoC who are complicit, worse PoC who are perpetrators – being PoC is not a fucking Get Out Of Jail Free Card.

      That’s all shit. I have been the person in this letter – the one assaulted by someone in woke groups with “good” ethics and kind friends and diversity and all that jazz. Groups that address it publicly and swiftly and continue to discuss it long after it occurs are the only spaces that are at least transparent and restorative. Groups that eliminate the issue and don’t call into question how that person got “in” are ones that will have this issue happen again.

  • Anonymous

    This is a shameful tabloid piece of slander that, ethically speaking, should never have been published by the Argus, especially without any accompanying comment or verification from the Eclectic Society. Had due diligence been done, this entire piece would be rendered a moot point; the member in question is no longer in the Society per their Zero Tolerance Policy. Shame on the Argus for publishing something so irresponsible.

  • Anon

    Not really sure why people are saying that this is slander. The perp has still remained anonymous and all the victim is saying is that Eclectic should be held responsible. A survivor is speaking out against their abuser and all of you are victim blaming. Let them speak out how they choose to. They intentionally did not reveal who the perp was. And as for the “zero tolerance” policy: was there ever really one to begin with? Had there been one, the perp would have never been elected.

    • anon

      eclectic is being held responsible. why are dke and psi u not? both have rapists and perpetrators of sexual assault currently in their ranks and don’t have zero tolerance policies. why the discrepancy?

  • anon

    while i value the importance of survivors having a platform where they can share their story however they need to, i think it is important to stress that eclectic was unaware of the allegations and immediately enacted their zero tolerance policy. The idea that members of eclectic would knowingly allow a perpetrator of sexual violence in the society ignores the work that members of eclectic are doing to create and foster safer spaces. no individual is incapable of harm (no matter how woke), and no society or institution is incapable of enabling sexual assault. that being said, to claim that eclectic knowingly elected a perpetrator of sexual assault into a position of power and then failed to adhere to their zero tolerance policy is simply untrue and fails to grasp the nuance of these situations and of the conversations being had on campus.

  • Anon

    Eclectic was informed less than a week ago of the accused perp. They immediately kicked this person out, after which point this article was posted. Eclectic is composed predominantly of women, most of which are women of color. This article implies that they somehow knew about the perp and did nothing about it (again: the accused person was kicked out IMMEDIATELY after accusations were brought to the society). No group can magically know all of the actions of all of its members: that’s why their house has posters everywhere with the contact info of the zero tolerance policy point person so that people can go to them about any perpetrators. Eclectic is one of the few spaces on campus that actually stands by its sexual assault policies (looking at you, Psi U) and the way this whole thing is being framed is borderline libel.

    • Anon 2019

      Maybe we read a different article, but it doesn’t seem like the author was implying anything. If the perp was elected to a leadership position in Eclectic, they then become the overall representation for that organization. No group can know all of the actions of their members, but it is odd that this person made their way to a leadership position, while being a perp. I can’t speak for the author, but I would certainly feel abandoned by the lack of vetting and oversight that transpired. It does feel hypocritical for the leader of an organization to talk about being a safe space for sexual assault, all while being a perp. I don’t think that this problem is uniquely Eclectic’s, but this is this victim’s experience. Both Psi U and DKE should follow Eclectic’s example, but I think that Eclectic should still try and rectify this mistake by making sure that it doesn’t happen again.

  • anonymous 2019

    people seem to forget that eclectic has always been a rape-enabling space. let’s not forget the reason they lost their house in the first place. their whole rep is based off of being exclusive and they exclusively pick and choose when to protect survivors.

    • Anon

      That’s actually not why they lost their house. The “official”reason was for not filling the space completely a couple of semesters in a row lolz.

  • anonymous 19

    this situation is horrible, and my heart goes out to this survivor. the eclectic members in the comments worried about protecting the reputation of a Greek society with a remarkably dark history to begin with rather than survivors tells us everything we need to know about eclectic’s so-called “changes.” the only way to contend with that legacy and move forward as an organization is by acknowledging the harms done and be accountable to those who have been hurt and that seems to be the LAST thing members and their friends are interested in doing right now.

  • 2019

    Apparently Eclectic kicked out the perp after receiving this information, but I wanted to check for myself. You can’t find that information anywhere on the internet. How am I supposed to trust the leadership of Eclectic when I don’t even know who they are? How am I supposed to know they kicked the perp out when that information is no where to be found but this comment section? Eclectic’s lack of transparency is what landed them in this position in the first place. Perps thrive in secrecy, and I have very little sympathy for Eclectic here.

    • anon

      they issued an official response via the Artifex outlining that they immediately enacted their zero tolerance policy

      • 2019

        That came after the Argus published this and long after these commenters posted. If the Argus didn’t publish this, I promise you they wouldn’t have said anything in the first place. Oh and by the way, where did they apologize and take responsibility in that response letter? Not once did they admit they screwed up for harboring a perp, knowingly or not. And maybe if their organization wasn’t so secretive, they would have known sooner that a perp was in eclectic.

  • anonymous

    This is incredibly upsetting and re-traumatizing for many survivors — including the 80% of Eclectic members that have survived sexual assault, rape, and abuse.

    The idea that there can be any space on Wesleyan’s campus that is entirely safe from people who abuse their power by exploiting and hurting people is absolutely absurd. No space is safe from sexual violence. I have learned that up close and personal. All people can do is put in processes to ensure that we are doing our absolute best to create the safest space possible. And Eclectic does that.

    Commenters, let me know when you first experience one of your friends or family members being an abuser. Let me know how it hurts you. Let me know how confusing and difficult it is to process or deal with. If 1 in 4 people are assaulted in their lifetime, I can assure you it is not a select few of evil individuals who cross those painful boundaries. We will always be shocked. We will always be surprised by who causes us pain, where and when. And all we can do is take immediate action after the fact and create spaces for ourselves to heal and move forward. Stop shaming all the individuals who were incredibly hurt by the news that their close friend and leader had assaulted someone. Look into yourself to try and understand the emotional complexities that accompany this kind of breaking of trust.

    All I know for sure is that learning and CHANGE necessitates DIALOGUE and COMMUNICATION.
    and @Argus, where is the article about that basketball player who had 6 Title IX cases against him last semester? And all the students who organised against him? Argus, how do you define restorative justice? How are you helping start necessary dialogue about consent on campus? What events are you hosting?

    • 2019

      This is the letter of a survivor that wanted their story in the Argus. The survivor wrote this. Is your suggestion that The Argus not publish this to make Eclectic comfortable?

    • 2020

      I find it incredibly disgusting and appalling that you, a friend of said perp, are trying to position yourself as the victim. The person you cared about did a bad thing to another human being. Try showing some compassion to the person who was hurt rather than making this about yourself and your shitty friend.

  • 2020

    To all the commenters who are more concerned about the reputation of an UNNAMED person than the wellbeing of a survivor: shame on you. Also please note that a letter to the editor is NOT investigative journalism. Stop blaming a publication and starting blaming the perp.

  • Amy Ox

    This is painful. The deflection and defensiveness exercised so freely in the comments section speak to a deep misapprehension of what disclosing sexual violence is for. Yes, there are a million things to say about whether the Argus is consistent in its coverage of Title IX, etc. But that’s not for this comment section, for this letter.

    I am deeply sorry to hear about the author’s experience. I hope that the Eclectic leadership has the compassion to apologize, to pivot, to recognize its failings and affirm its intentions, to invite community input. And, hate to be controversial, but… perhaps to ask whether hierarchical, exclusive societies with 4-year memory are fundamentally compatible w/ safety from sexual violence and the cultures that facilitate it. Whether hooking up high and drunk is an ambient culture (this goes to all of wes) compatible with any kind of accountability.

    Assault can and will happen in all places. I have no doubt that the current membership of Eclectic is composed of caring people, many of them probably survivors of abuse. The events recounted in this letter happened nonetheless, in public, (it is implied) to multiple people, multiple times. This should be addressed not by guilt or shame or defensiveness, but by honest inquiry re: Eclectic as an institution and social body, its role, failures, responsibilities in this situation. All with an eye toward the future.

    Can we work towards better? Is it so impossible to envision social spaces where disclosure happens not as a last resort? Without distress over being ignored? Before shame, before fear? Can we build cultures of affirmation and solidarity? Where repetitive behaviors of sexual abuse are seen, noticed, and if they aren’t, where we can admit this as a failing? Can we cultivate care?