(Updated with what two sources told me is an Instagram admission by the main RA in question that even her unapologetic apology wasn’t sincere.)
Resident advisors are upper-class college students who live in the dorms. In exchange for free and arranged housing, Wellesley RAs “collaborate to create a vibrant 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. In short, RAs are not only students, they are also employees of the college, and one of their main responsibilities is to foster a comfortable and welcoming community environment for all students. However, the RA staff in one of the halls sent the following a few days ago, and it is reprinted here thanks My friend Jake Novak, who first reported it on Twitter:
Hello everyone, As of October 18, 2023, the Israeli-Palestinian war has claimed approximately 3,478 Palestinian lives and injured 12,000 others. Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians, characterized by the displacement of 600,000 people, the spread of genocidal rhetoric by the Israeli government, and the illegal occupation of indigenous Palestinian lands, has left our hearts heavy. Taking all historical, political and regional aspects into consideration, the Israeli Zionist government must be condemned. Furthermore, individuals who support the forced displacement of Palestinians should be recognized as supporters of colonialism. Munger Hall strongly condemns the actions of Israel and those who supported its actions against the Palestinians. We firmly believe that there should be no space, consideration, or support for Zionism within the Wellesley College community.. In keeping with these beliefs, we plan to donate to a reputed organization that provides assistance to children and families whose lives have been devastated. We will vote on the amount and organization at a future HoCo meeting. While the Munger res staff wants to support you and hold space for you during this devastating time, we also realize that we may not be fully equipped to do this in the way that each individual needs. Therefore, we would like to direct you to the Quarantine Center and the Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL) who may be able to help. ORSL is currently compiling processing spaces specifically for this issue, and may send an email soon regarding this. We care about each and every one of you, and please feel free to reach out to us with any ideas on how we can best support you during these difficult times.
Thank you, Munger Race Team
-Mui Ne is her/his class of 2024
Note both the implied dehumanization of Israelis and Jews, in which the initial massacre is never mentioned, and the featured sentence, which suggests that Zionism, the basic meaning of which is that Israel should exist, should be eradicated from Wellesley. To say the least, writing such a position is not only morally repugnant, it is completely inconsistent with the role of resident advisors in making all students feel welcome. This is especially true, of course, for Jewish students, the vast majority of whom are “Zionists,” and for many of whom this is an important part of their identity. Let’s remember, this is it no Just students expressing their opinion, these are student employees of the college, who wrote this email in their capacity as employees.
Wellesley’s president, Paula Johnson, later I sent an email To the Wellesley community, a prominent part of which is:
It recently came to my attention that a small number of student residence leaders from one dormitory sent a letter to their roommates as resident assistants expressing their views on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Our Student Life team met with these students and talked about their role and responsibility in supporting all students. They have since sent an apology to all students in the residence hall. That these young leaders can learn from this episode gives me hope.
It *may* be enough if the students have actually expressed genuine remorse, and shown that they understand Why This email was problematic other than the fact that they should not be issuing policy statements as RAs. Instead, they issued a non-apology, “we’re sorry you were offended” type apology (see below, again with credit to Jake Novak’s reporting).
This is a completely unacceptable response from President Johnson, and leaves Wellesley wide open to a Title VI complaint or lawsuit. In fact, if I can find the time, I’ll submit the first file in person.
Date: Friday, October 20, 2023 at 12:41 pm
Subject: Processing the email you sent last night
To: Munger Fall 2023 All halls
I would like to address the email sent last night on behalf of the Munger HP and 4 Munger RAs.
We regret any harm our words have caused to residents, parents, alumni or others in the community. We are also truly sorry if this has discouraged anyone from coming to us as RAs or HPs. We have gone beyond our roles as Reslife employees in making this statement and apologize for that.
The opinions expressed do not reflect the opinions of Paula Queenan (our CD), Kathy Bickel, the Office of Residence Life and Student Housing, the Wellesley administration, the Munger community as a whole, or anyone else at the College.
If you would like to address this situation using other resources on campus, we would like to continue to direct you to The Stone Center and the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL).
We want our residents to know that even though we never meant it, we understand how making this statement hurt certain demographics in our community. We as staff are committed to rebuilding trust and repairing relationships in the Munger community.
If anyone feels affected by the message I sent last night, please feel free to reach out to talk. We hope to provide a community space for Munger residents soon regarding this issue.
All my best, -Moy
Update: According to two sources, she then posted this message on Instagram.
I was told that the Munger Hall Group also organized this protest: