A response to “A better CWRU is a safer CWRU”

Letter to the Editor

Andrew Petracca and Aliah Lawson

We write to respond to Rebecca Joseph, author of “A better CWRU is a safer CWRU” published on Jan. 24 in The Observer.

We agree.

A better CWRU is a safer CWRU, and we thank Ms. Joseph for her input.

However, she writes, “when I look at the Sexual Misconduct Committee members and the proposal, I cannot help but wonder if this [the For a Better CWRU task force] is just an attempt to better protect the university from liability.”

We are co-chairs of the Racial Justice Committee. We, like our colleagues on this taskforce, are students with no interest whatsoever in protecting the university from liability. In fact, we’re trying to hold the university accountable, and we have witnessed our colleagues on the Sexual Misconduct Committee fight to do just that.

Here’s the issue: Ms. Joseph is attacking the wrong people. For a Better CWRU is a student-led task force. Students, Ms. Joseph’s colleagues, drafted the proposal in question with the resources and experiences available to them. In the fall, the task force sent this proposal to the entire student body, asking for feedback. We didn’t receive much.

Additionally, on Feb. 2, Lou Stark and Robert Solomon—Vice Presidents of Student Affairs and the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity, respectively—sent the task force’s proposals to the student body again, requesting additional feedback. Please, everyone, check your emails. We want to hear from you.

Ms. Joseph’s feedback is valuable. She’s smart and experienced. We see that clearly, and we’re sure our colleagues on the Sexual Misconduct Committee do too. Instead of censuring her fellow students in a letter to the editor, why doesn’t she work with us as a member of the CWRU community? We know the task force would welcome the ideas of someone with such passion and experience.

In fact, we know that the co-chairs of the Sexual Misconduct Committee reached out to Ms. Joseph as soon as they saw her letter. Why? Because they’re committed to hearing all voices. Because they’re the people fighting for a better and safer CWRU. 

If you have ideas, please reach out. You can find our contact information on the For a Better CWRU website.

Teamwork begets progress. We will go nowhere if we tear each other down.