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WAAM-SLAM II Transformative Justice and Education Bill for Wellesley College

WAAM-SLAM II Transformative Justice and Education Bill for Wellesley College

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Wellesley College WAAM-SLAM II Transformative Justice and Education Bill
Wellesley College WAAM-SLAM II Transformative Justice and Education Bill

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Published by: waamslam2 on Apr 15, 2014
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04/18/2014

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 Wellesley Academic Action Movement 
Siblings Leading Action for Multiculturalism
WAAM
SLAM II:
Demands for Transformative Justice and Education at Wellesley College APRIL 14, 2014
For the Immediate Attention of:
Laura Daignault Gates,
Chair of the Wellesley College Board of Trustees
H. Kim Bottomly,
 President of Wellesley College
Andrew Shennan,
 Provost and Dean of the College
Debra DeMeis,
 Dean of Students
Jennifer Desjarlais,
 Dean of Admission and Financial Aid
Ben Hammond,
Vice President for Finance and Administration
Cameran Mason,
Vice President for Resources and Public Affairs
Robbin Chapman,
 Associate Provost and Academic Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Richard French,
 Dean of Academic Affairs
 Kathryn Lynch,
 Dean of Faculty Affairs
We, the Concerned Asian, Black, Latin@, Native, Differently-Abled, First-Generation and LGBTQ-identified students at Wellesley College “seek to eradicate systems of oppression as they affect marginalized communities on this campus. These systems--which include racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and ableism--are deployed at [Wellesley] and beyond as forms of institutional violence. We demand that [Wellesley] challenge these systems by redistributing power and resources in a way that is radically equitable. Dialogue and resistance are both legitimate and necessary ways of disturbing the status quo and forcing parties to deal with the roots of the issues.” The institutional violence that 
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exists at Wellesley is manifested via the lack of academic equality, the lack of resources and support for  students and faculty of color, and the lack of academic disciplines that speak about the histories of  marginalized and oppressed groups in our society. Institutionalized oppression exists at Wellesley and is manifested by the inadequate financial and institutional resources and support for students, particularly students of color and other marginalized communities. This lack of resources and support from Wellesley directly contradicts the pledged values and mission that Wellesley publicly states on its website and official publications. This inconsistent and false representation on the part of the college will no longer be tolerated. The diversity that Wellesley claims to value is not systemically present in the curriculum, student demographics, and support systems. The very students who are expected to possess pragmatic leadership to enact positive social change in the real world have not acquired the necessary education in understanding social constructs and systems of  oppression such as race, class, gender, and sexuality. Through the motto “Women Who Will,” Wellesley presents itself as an institution that encourages students to act as agents to empower their  communities and enact positive transformation in the real world. But, as of now “Women Who Will” only pertains to the outside world, not within the Wellesley bubble. If Wellesley claims to produce educated graduates who become world leaders, the change must begin here.
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The Plan for Dartmouth’s Freedom Budget: Items for Transformative Justice at Dartmouth ." Dartmouth Students, 02 24 2014. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. <http://www.dartblog.com/Dartmouth_Freedom_Budget_Plan.pdf>
 
Page 1 WAAM-SLAM II April 14, 2014
 
By withholding financial and institutional support for a diverse student body and lacking vital Ethnic Studies and Latin@ studies curriculum, Wellesley is in fact perpetuating institutional oppression and racism. It has done so in the act of using students as diversity statistics to promote itself as an inclusive institution, while providing under-funded resources, part-time advisors, and deficient support for  marginalized students who live and work in an intensely rigorous academic environment. Being recognized as one of the most diverse colleges in the United States is meaningless if Wellesley does not truly act in manners that support its diverse student body.
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 According to its website, “Wellesley’s full-engagement academic philosophy extends to the running of  the College itself. The student voice is central to decision-making here.As central decision-makers, 
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we have outlined the various demands that highlight the institutional flaws, including those demands from the WAAM-SLAM movement in 2001 which have been overdue for more than 10 years.
WHAT IS WAAM-SLAM?
“WAAM-SLAM started as a small group of Asian/Asian American students [who] organized over 200 fellow students to protest the denial of tenure to Professor Elena Creef, a decision that hurt the development of an Asian American Studies curriculum at Wellesley, and other issues that had frustrated students for years. The demands presented at Senate included: an improved curriculum that included Korean language, South Asian Studies, and Asian American Studies offerings, an increase in hours for  the Advisor to Students of Asian descent from part-time to full time, and a space on campus that could accommodate all 13 Asian/Asian American student organizations.” These efforts proved the strength of  
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student organizing to demand equality and greater potential in our educational experience. We are continuing the WAAM-SLAM movement as Wellesley Academic Action Movement-Siblings Leading Action for Multiculturalism. As students who commend the incredible achievements of WAAM-SLAM, we also recognize the failure on the part of the administration to meet the full demands of WAAM-SLAM. As students who aim to highlight the institutional flaws of Wellesley, we present our list of demands with an explanation of  what our demands are. This List of Grievances below outlines the specific demands, presented by we, the Asian, Black, Latin@, Native, Differently-Abled, First-Generation, and LGBTQ-identified students at Wellesley and must be met to correct the injustice and the systems of oppression that exist at Wellesley and in our society.
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“Campus Ethnic Diversity National Liberal Arts Colleges.”
U.S. NEWS 
. N.p.. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. <http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-liberal-arts-colleges/campus-ethnic-diversity >.
 
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Trustees of Wellesley College.
 About.
Wellesley College. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. http://www.wellesley.edu/about
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 Wordpress.
WAAM-SLAM Oral History Project 
. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. http://waamslam.wordpress.com/history/
Page 2 WAAM-SLAM II April 14, 2014
 
THE DEMANDS OF WAAM-SLAM II I. REIMAGINE THE ACADEMY TO INCLUDE ETHNIC STUDIES & LATIN@ STUDIES
 
II. PHYSICAL MULTICULTURAL SPACE: LATIN@ HOUSE AND ASIAN AMERICAN HOUSE III. COMMITMENT TO INCREASING DIVERSITY IN STUDENT BODY ADMISSIONS AND FINANCIAL AID IV. COMMITMENT TO MEETING THE NEEDS OF STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES V. COMMITMENT TO MEETING THE NEEDS OF LGBTQ STUDENTS VI. COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY TRAINING OF FACULTY, STAFF, CAMPUS POLICE, AND ADMINISTRATION VII. COMMITMENT TO DIVERSIFY FACULTY THROUGH HIRING AND RETAINMENT OF FACULTY OF COLOR VIII. COMMITMENT TO CHALLENGING AND ERADICATING SOCIOECONOMIC INEQUITY AT WELLESLEY COLLEGE IX. COMMITMENT TO SUPPORT THE DINING HALL WORKERS AND CUSTODIAL STAFF X. DIVESTMENT FROM FOSSIL FUELS I. REIMAGINE THE ACADEMY
 Wellesley is severely lacking from its curriculum two fields of study that are necessary and highly relevant: Latin@ Studies and Ethnic Studies. Wellesley’s lively academic community places a high value on rigorous, probing inquiry and creative, cross-disciplinary thinking.” Our immediate demands are 
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four-fold:
A. Implement an Ethnic Studies Interdepartmental Major
 
 What is Ethnic Studies?
Ethnic Studies is established as an interdisciplinary field that focuses on “the specific experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Chican@s and Latin@s, Native Americans and other  racialized peoples in the U.S. and on the lessons of comparative ethno-racial studies for  generalizing about American society, history, and about the contemporary global order. [Department of Ethnic Studies, U.C. Berkeley]. Ethnic Studies is framed in the context of  minorities in the United States because of their history in the U.S. and the unique process of  racialization that they experience. Additionally, a comparative framework is what is largely lacking in Wellesley’s curriculum. We are also welcoming transnational courses, namely from area studies, to recognize the influence of indigeneity, diaspora, and migration on the creation of  group identities and power dynamics to fully understand the racialized experience in the United States
.
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 Trustees of Wellesley College.
 About.
Wellesley College. Web. 1 Apr. 2014. http://www.wellesley.edu/about
Page 3 WAAM-SLAM II April 14, 2014

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