It’s not as if they give you a free space to live, or that the people the university hires and compensates are entitled to use their positions as political bludgeons. But in a small, elite liberal arts school like Wellesley, does any of that matter?
Hello all, As of October 18th, 2023, the Palestinian-Israeli war has cost the lives of some 3,478 Palestinians and wounded 12,000. Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians, characterized by the displacement of 600,000 individuals, the dissemination of genocidal rhetoric by the Israeli government, and the illegal occupation of native Palestinian lands, have left our hearts heavy.
With all historical, political, and territorial aspects considered, Israel’s zionist government needs to be condemned. Furthermore, individuals who endorse the forced removal of Palestinians should be recognized as supporters of colonization. Munger Hall stands in strong condemnation of Israel’s actions and those who have supported their actions against Palestinians. We firmly believe that there should be no space, no consideration, and no support for Zionism within the Wellesley College community. In accordance with these beliefs, we plan on donating to a reputable organization that provides aid to the children and families whose lives have been destroyed. We will vote for the amount and organization in a future HoCo meeting. While Munger res staff want to support and make space for you through this devastating time, we also recognize that we may not be fully equipped to do so in the way each individual needs. Therefore, we’d like to point you to The Stone Center and The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) that may be able to help. ORSL is currently putting together processing spaces specifically for this issue, they may send an email soon regarding that. We care about each and every one of you, and please feel free to reach out with any ideas of how we can best support you during these difficult times.
Thank you, Munger Res Staff
–Moi Nee she/her Class of 2024
[Bold added by David Bernstein at VC.]
While Wellesley Res Staff have no tradition of paragraph breaks, Moi Nee she/her and the rest of the Munger dorm staff feel entitled to use their position as resident advisors to not merely express their opinion, but to let the students who attend Wellesley and live in the dorm under their theoretical protection and guidance know there is “no space, no consideration, and no support” for them in the dorm or at their university.
The role of resident advisor is a position worthy of a string of critical buzzwords.
Wellesley RAs “collaborate to create a vital and engaged residential community. Resident Assistants aim to foster a spirit of generosity and civic engagement within their community. Together, the residential team provides programs and services that support the mission, vision, and values of the Office of Residential Life and Housing and the Wellesley College community, with the goal of creating a transformative living environment.”
Not only do they wield some “transformative” influence among their charges, but they are paid with a free dorm room and a cash stipend, making it a pretty cool gig. But when they omit any recognition that terrorists just raped and murdered about 1400 Jews, and instead applaud the terrorists for doing the killing, it might convey a message to Jewish students that “no space” for them presents an unpleasant living environment, if not the possibility of harm should they not don Arab garb, join the mostly peaceful die-in and chant “from the river to the sea” with their classmates, or whatever else their RA demands they say.
Wellesley administration apparently realized that some students, and their parents and alumni (which is university-speak for donors) might not appreciate that the RAs were on the correct side of woke and sought to smooth over the problem.
The president of Wellesley, Paula Johnson, later sent an email to the Wellesley community, the salient part of which is this:
It recently came to my attention that a small number of student residence hall leaders from one dormitory sent a letter to their housemates in their capacity as resident assistants that expressed views on the Israel-Hamas conflict. Our Student Life team met with these students and talked about their role and responsibility to support all students. They have since sent an apology to all students in the residence hall. That these young leaders were able to learn from this episode gives me hope.
That *might* be adequate if the students had actually expressed true remorse, and showed that understood why this email was problematic beyond the fact that they shouldn’t be issuing policy statements as RAs.
Did these “young leaders” learn from this episode, which was obviously of great value to the university learning experience than the fact that they just informed their Jewish students that there is “no space, no consideration, and no support for Zionism within the Wellesley College community”?
Date: Fri, Oct 20, 2023 at 12:41 PM
Subject: addressing the email I sent last night
To: Munger Fall 2023 All Hall <email@example.com>
I would like to address the email that was sent last night on behalf of the Munger HP and 4 Munger RAs.
We regret any harm our words have caused to our residents, parents, alumni, or others in the community. We are also truly sorry if it has dissuaded anyone from coming to us as RAs or an HP. We overstepped our roles as reslife staff in making this statement and apologize for that.
The views expressed do not reflect the views of Paula Queenan (our CD), Cathy Bickel, the Office of Residential Life and Student Housing, Wellesley administration, the Munger community as a whole, or anyone else in the college.
If you’d like to process this situation with other resources on campus, we would like to continue pointing you to The Stone Center and The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL).
We want our residents to know that while we never intended so, we understand how making this statement has caused hurt to specific populations in our community. We as a staff are committed to rebuilding trust and repairing relationships in the Munger community.
If anybody has felt affected by the message sent last night, please feel free to reach out to us to talk. We hope to hold a community space for Munger residents soon regarding this issue.
All my best, –Moi
As David notes, nowhere in this vapid but wordy email does Moi she/her express any remorse for her tacit approval of the rape and murder of Jews or her and the rest of the “res staff” at Munger telling students that there is no room for them in the dorm or at Wellesley. On the other hand, this is in all likelihood true that there is no longer room for Jewish students who support Israel at Wellesley. And despite denials of indoctrination at elite liberal arts colleges, it’s also likely that few if any Jewish students will risk the hatred, scorn and shunning of their fellow students by not donning a kuffiya and marching in support of the oppressed rapists and murderers.