COLLEGE FEMINISMS: Dear UConn Social Justice Community… – The Feminist Wire

COLLEGE FEMINISMS: Dear UConn Social Justice Community…

We are calling for your support in an escalating situation on the UConn campus.  A student published an open letter to the UConn President on The Feminist Wire on 24 April 2013. In it she critiques the new Husky logo as part of the corporatization of the university at the expense of attention to issues of violence. The “Open Letter” also underscores the need to create an accepting, open campus culture.
Since its publication, the student has received rape and death threats online and been verbally attacked on campus.  The “Open Letter” has been decontextualized, misused, and presented in ways that single her out for further attack. For instance:
While there has been an outpouring of online, personal, and University services support for her, UConn President Susan Herbst (the first women president of UConn) has yet to make a public statement condemning violence or supporting the student. Please see The Feminist Wire’s subsequent publication, “Urgent: An Open Letter to President Susan Herbst, the UConn Community, Barstool Sports, and others on Behalf of Carolyn Luby.”
As you receive this letter, our community is also struggling to find our student colleague from Eastern Connecticut State University, a young woman who has suspiciously disappeared. As residents of Eastern Connecticut and members of various communities, we constantly strive to draw our attention to the devaluation of life and varying forms of violence that unfold on campuses nationally. We uphold the physical, economic, and psychological safety of all students and members of our communities and we feel it is urgent to understand the links between incidences like these. Thus, we ask the larger social justice community to continue to refuse the individualization and silencing of deep historical and structural conditions of violence that allow such terrifying events to occur.
PLEASE JOIN US in calling upon the administration of UConn to voice a strong message that violence of any form is not acceptable by:
  1. Signing The Feminist Wire’s online petition at
  2. Sending an email directly to President Herbst:
  3. Attending the student-organized event at UConn: “Paint the Rock: Support Critiques on Violent Culture and Corporatization at University of Connecticut” on 1 May 2013 at 6pm. See for details: Please note that this is International Workers and Immigrant Rights Day and a moment to stand in solidarity.
  4. Publishing/posting writings on social media, news media, academic journals, etc. that offer structural and historical analyses of this (these) moments
  5. Circulating this widely
Thank you,
Heather M. Turcotte (Assistant Professor), Judy Rohrer (Assistant Professor in Residence), and Michael Gill (Assistant Professor in Residence) at the University of Connecticut