Letter to the editor

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Dear Linfield Students,

In light of the articles published by the Linfield Review and the Oregonian regarding sexual assaults and sexual misconduct on our campus, this is a collective statement by the Gender Studies faculty at Linfield College.

We, the undersigned Gender Studies faculty at Linfield College, affirm the American Association of University Professors’ statement: “that the freedom to teach and to learn is inseparable from the maintenance of a safe and hospitable learning environment.”

We, as Gender Studies faculty, stand in solidarity with the many students on our campus who have felt hurt, injured, deeply offended and unsafe as we strongly and univocally condemn sexual misconduct, sexual assaults and a continuing pattern of such behavior that harms our Linfield students and their well-being.

We, as Gender Studies faculty, also condemn any failures by Linfield College to address issues related to sexual misconduct directly and candidly, while also respecting the rights of the accused and the accusers as outlined under Title IX investigations.

We, as Gender Studies faculty, stand against all forms of Institutional Betrayals: “wrongdoings perpetrated by an institution upon individuals dependent on that institution, including failure to prevent or respond supportively to wrongdoings by individuals (e.g. sexual assault) committed within the context of the institution.” Institutional betrayals reinforce student perceptions that Linfield College is not concerned with meaningful resolution of reported sexual assaults. Institutional betrayals also undermine the safety of our students.

We, as Gender Studies faculty, uphold the safety of our students as our greatest priority and stand in solidarity with our students and survivors to end sexual assaults and violence on our campus.

We urge our administration to practice “Institutional Courage,” which includes institutional accountability and transparency to engage in the kinds of moral actions needed to bring restorative justice and healing to our survivors. To do anything less is to admit our collective moral and ethical failure as educators.

 

Signatories of Gender Studies Faculty:

Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, Co-Coordinator of Gender Studies and Department of English

Amy Orr, Co-Coordinator of Gender Studies and Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Sonia Ticas, Global Languages and Cultural Studies

Dawn Nowacki, Department of Political Science

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, Department of English

Jennifer Williams, Department of Religious Studies

Hilary Crane, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Sharon Bailey Glasco, Department of History

John Sagers, Department of History

Lindsey Mantoan, Department of Theater Arts

Mindy Legard Larson, Department of Education

Lissa Wadewitz, Department of History

Andrea Reinkemeyer, Department of Music

Yanna Weisberg, Department of Psychology

Jamie Friedman, Department of English

Brenda DeVore Marshall, Department of Theatre & Communication Arts