9.28.18 | Dear Students: Kavanaugh & #metoo
I write to you as a student body at comings and goings with words of welcome, encouragement, and congratulations. And, at times, I write to you as a student body when there is something troubling out in the world that punctures our community bubble so severely that it cannot go unremarked. Unfortunately, this email falls into the latter category; whether you follow politics or popular culture, the news this week is full of stories about sexual assault, and I know this may be difficult for many of you.
Assault and sexual misconduct are not new, and yet we have been in a new era for the last year – this #metoo moment – where we more openly acknowledge the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and violence in our workplaces, educational institutions, and communities. As a society, we have begun to reckon with not only individual perpetrators but also a culture that has too easily excused the unacceptable with a sighed “boys will be boys,” an accusation directed toward the victim, a shake of the head that subtly admits a problem while seeming to say there’s nothing to be done.
I want you all to know that while CCAD will always support the ideals of free speech and artistic expression, the rights of the accused, and a fair and equitable process, we begin with the premise that individuals who come forward are telling the truth.
I firmly believe that college should be a place that pushes you and makes you uncomfortable. Becoming an educated citizen requires growth; expanding your mind means confronting new perspectives. These things are not always easy or comfortable. However, college should not be a place that puts you in danger or at risk. I want to affirm CCAD’s commitment to gender equity and your right to an education free of sexual harassment and harm.
If the news is bringing up hurtful personal issues, please know that you can turn to CCAD’s Counseling & Wellness Center for someone to talk to. And, if you have concerns about something that has happened at CCAD, please speak to CCAD’s Title IX Coordinator, Chris Mundell, or Title IX Deputy Coordinator, Athena Sanders. More information about your rights and reporting options are available here.
Finally, I want you to know that this issue is personal for me. It’s nearly impossible to live for more than four decades as a woman and not have a #metoo moment, and I am no different. It’s important for me as your president to remind you of the resources available to you and to say I support you. And, it’s important for me as a person to remind you to be kind and respectful to one another always and to say I believe you.