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A Message from the Provost

clothier in spring

Provost Sarah Willie-LeBreton shared the following message to the faculty on Sunday, April 28.

Dear Friends,

Many of you were able to join us at Friday’s Faculty Meeting. I considered it a very useful meeting both for President Smith to share her perspective on the fraternity situation, and for you to share questions and concerns about the student demonstrators and demonstrations in general. I know that we all heard the caution to continue to protect students’ rights to speech, dissent, and protest, as well as a desire among the faculty to engage in a conversation about our related policies.

Yesterday, students began a sit-in at the Phi Psi House. As President Smith said in her message to students yesterday, she has suspended all fraternity activities pending the outcome of an external investigation into the unredacted materials.

Phi Psi independently decided to called Swarthmore Police after learning that student demonstrators planned to remain overnight. The building itself is currently leased to Phi Psi for one year, and the lease allows it to be used as a residence for one current student.

Everyone involved, including students in the house, members of Phi Psi, and my colleagues and I were able to mediate a resolution that avoided escalation overnight, with an agreement that students would depart the building by 7 a.m. today.

As of my writing, despite the agreements reached last night, the students have not left the building and have indicated they are willing to escalate further. This situation is still ongoing and we continue to search for ways to resolve it in a way that reflects our values and our commitment to transformative justice.

I will continue to update you as conversations and events unfold, and, as always, I remain a resource should you need to be in contact.