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.