Students For the Removal of Winthrop Dean Sullivan
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Winthrop Dean Ronald Sullivan is representing Harvey Weinstein in his sexual assault court case. There is also evidence to believe Sullivan has defended Professor Fryer, an Economics Professor who allegedly engaged "in unwelcome sexual conduct stretching back years and that he created a hostile environment for women at the Education Innovation Labs" (quote The Harvard Crimson, linked below).
If you believe that someone in the role of a Faculty Dean, a role that encompasses making sure that students of their House feel welcomed, supported, and encouraged to raise their voices against any form of discrimination, should NOT be involved in defending such a high profile figure (Weinstein), who has repeatedly been accused of sexually assaulting and raping women, I urge you please to mark yourself as attending this event.
For those of you who are members of Winthrop House, do you really want to one day accept your Diploma from someone who for whatever reason, professional or personal, believes it is okay to defend such a prominent figure at the centre of the #MeToo movement? Regardless of Dean Sullivan's intentions, his role as a community leader, and as someone who should first and foremost value the safety of the students he lives with in Winthrop House, should always come first. If he does not wish to put student need ahead of professional projects, he should step down as Winthrop House Dean immediately.
For victims of sexual assault and rape on this campus who already feel disempowered by the sheer lack of activity in reprimanding such behaviour, the developments of Dean Sullivan's professional work are not only upsetting, but deeply trauma-inducing.
To be perfectly explicit: I am not saying Dean Sullivan should not be defending Weinstein. I am saying that in his role as a House Dean, his defense of such a figure induces a great amount of fear and hurt in victims of the crimes that Weinstein is accused of, and although anyone facing the law is innocent until proven guilty, the scope of the Weinstein case still literally shakes people on this campus to this day. His role on Weinstein's team, and position as a community leader, are NOT mutually exclusive and the former has incredibly harmful implications for the latter.
We, as Harvard students, should not wait for the administration or faculty to make a decision. They have thus far remained silent, which really isn't surprising at least in my opinion. It is time for us to make our voices heard.
As of right now, I am unsure what will happen at 11am on Sunday (the time marked on this event), but we can figure that out together as a group. Please make your voice heard, and end the perpetuation of institutional ignorance towards sexual assault and rape on campus that has now reached new, unparalleled heights.
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