November 2, 2020
Dear Women of Color House, Black Students Refusing Further Inaction, Black Student
League, and networks of the BIPOC community who have contributed to the HC Strike 2020
Statement & Demands document:
I write with deep respect and admiration for the passion and hard work with which Haverford
BIPOC students, and particularly the leadership groups Women of Color House, Black
Students Refusing Further Inaction (BSRFI), and Black Student League, are pursuing a truly
just and equitable society and systemic change at Haverford. The Senior Staff and I, and
many people at Haverford, share the goal of making Haverford College a racially equitable
institution, through visible and systemic institutional change, so that all BIPOC students,
faculty, and staff can thrive. The Senior Staff and I see much overlap between the demands
you have forwarded and our view of what can and will be done, whether immediately and in
the near term, or as part of sustainable, long-term efforts. I will articulate those ongoing
actions and efforts designed to yield real and tangible results in subsequent
communications to the campus.
Specific responses to your letter of October 29, 2020, enumerated below, are also grounded
in the College’s purpose to promote the personal and intellectual growth of students enrolled
at Haverford, and to foster the pursuit of excellence and a sense of individual and collective
The responses below include many acknowledgements of institutional failures and
shortcomings, gaps which, over many years, students themselves have worked diligently
and often unrewarded to fill. I cannot make amends for all the years of neglect of our BIPOC
communities at Haverford, but I can make a commitment to effect change.
Together, let us find ways—through alignment and difference—to enact our shared purpose
in having Haverford College leadership, faculty, staff, and students make structural,
systemic, policy, practical and cultural changes so that all BIPOC students can thrive at
Haverford and beyond, in lives of integrity and consequence. I am immersed in this work as
president, as are the Board of Managers and the Haverford Corporation.
As you and our community reads our responses, below, I hope you will see therein a good
faith and strong approach to meet you where you are, with substantive, tangible, immediate
To the extent that further work needs to be done before implementing any particular aspect
of the list, Senior Staff members and I will collaborate in good faith with student groups,
faculty, and staff— in and across relevant groups, departments, offices— to enact and
embrace change that improves the Haverford educational and holistic student experience
for BIPOC students. With the goal of racial equity, this work will build on common ground,
and participants will work with and through difference to expand common ground. This will
require focus, dedication, flexibility, and intentionality, which I will lead, as will faculty, staff,
student, Board, and Corporation leaders.
I have invited you to a Zoom meeting with me and Senior Staff on Wednesday, November 4
at 2 p.m. The invitation came earlier today from Joan Wankmiller, as a follow-up to my email
from yesterday. I look forward to being in conversation with you.
Wendy E. Raymond
We demand removal of President Raymond as “Chief of Diversity, Equity, and
I have publicly stated from the start that my role as chief diversity officer (CDO) was
an interim measure for the first two years of my presidency because this was not
envisioned or intended as a long-term approach. As president, I will convene by
December 1 a CDO Advisory Group of students, faculty, and staff to recommend the
best way forward for a CDO structure for Haverford. This will include budget and
organizational support, and how to fill that role at Haverford, with the goal of
appointing a new CDO effective no later than July 1, 2021. I invite students
interested in collaborating to design the CDO Advisory Group to work with me
directly on this process by filling out this form. Current protocols would turn to
Academic Council to recommend faculty appointments, Staff Association Executive
Committee to recommend staff appointments, and Students’ Council to recommend
student appointments, in addition to any direct appointments that might be made.
We demand that you follow in the footsteps of Swarthmore College and cancel
classes on Election Day and provide paid leave for college employees.
Responding to student initiative and demands, the faculty and the Staff Association
Executive Committee both support the recommendation that Election Day 2020 be
made into a paid holiday for all staff, with all classes canceled. The Senior Staff gave
their full support. Hourly (non-exempt) staff who will work on Tuesday, November 3,
will be paid "holiday pay," as would be typical College practice for any hourly
employee working on a paid holiday.
We demand academic leniency for BIPOC and/or FGLI students who are
traumatized by the effects of COVID and constant police violence in their
Many BIPOC and FGLI students have been disproportionately impacted by the
traumatic effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic, of repeated violence against
Black and Brown bodies continuing and throughout US history, and of the political
instability in our country. It is expected that deans and faculty consider these impacts
while teaching and guiding students. I acknowledge that while there are formal
systems at Haverford designed to provide close, individualized support for all
students (e.g., Office of Academic Resources, peer tutoring, Writing Center, deans,
ADS, CAPS, GRASE, Customs People, UCAs, the Chesick Scholars program,
Horizons, etc.), some BIPOC and FGLI students’ experiences demonstrate that we
can and do fall short of what is needed in practice. I will ask our Task Force on
Retention & Persistence (discussed further in Section XI below) to devote a portion
of its research work to learning more from these student experiences. Dean Joyce
Bylander, Provost Linda Strong-Leek, and I will engage with faculty and deans on
long-term structures as well as immediate efforts to create failsafe means of support
for BIPOC and FGLI students. Some of this work has already begun within both the
Dean's Office and FAPC (Faculty Affairs and Planning Committee), focusing on
reorganizations of support structures and changes to the language and resultant
framework of CSSP, respectively. I know that some faculty are taking extraordinary
measures to ensure that students are able to complete their work under extenuating
circumstances. I applaud this and encourage all faculty and deans to likewise find
creative avenues to student success at this time when BIPOC and FGLI students are
experiencing the impacts of these ongoing traumas.
We demand that the school encourage and protect student participation in
supporting direct action.
The College supports students in living out their values with integrity. I want
Haverford to be a place that encourages and supports students to act on their values
in service of a more just world, and that includes through direct action.
There are many steps Haverford has taken and will take to support students’
engagement with surrounding communities, including West Philadelphia. As a nonprofit, educational institution, those investments often take the shape of civic
engagement opportunities for students—curricular, co-curricular, or extracurricular—designed intentionally to have bilateral benefit to community organization
partners. For example, building upon long-standing work by the Center for Peace
and Global Citizenship (CPGC) and others, earlier this fall the College announced a
new Philadelphia Justice and Equity fellows program for students made possible by
a new endowed fund created by the Board and Corporation of Haverford College. I
am interested to learn about opportunities students see to use specific “unused
campus resources to directly support impacted communities in West Philadelphia”;
direct payments by Haverford College to other not-for-profit organizations is not
consistent with our own status as a not-for-profit institution with a mission to provide
a liberal arts undergraduate education. While I understand the desire to have
Haverford demonstrate its commitment to anti-racism through charitable
contributions to worthwhile causes, this is not an avenue the College will take.
I affirm students’ right to protest as called by their consciences, and I understand
that students undertake such acts knowing the risks that have been demonstrated
around the country where white supremacist groups and police have escalated
tensions and promoted—directly and indirectly—violent outcomes. As Dean
Bylander and colleagues previously communicated, the College has been
providing—and will continue to provide—necessary health-supporting measures for
students who engage in protest, including COVID-19 testing and campus isolation
spaces. There will be no disciplinary consequences from the College for students
engaging in protests provided they meet the College’s health and safety guidelines,
including the Travel Policy.
We demand the institution recognize and resolve that the increased surveillance
and policing amongst students in regards to COVID-19 primarily affects
students of color, who have always been more prominently surveilled by the
Disproportionate surveillance of BIPOC is a systemic and national injustice; I
recognize that Haverford operates within this context. The College is committed to
ensuring that its own processes are free from, and have zero tolerance for, bias and
will investigate and follow up on any specific concerns and/or issues raised about
surveillance or policing of the campus BIPOC community. Students may submit
concerns or suggestions via their dean or, if they wish to remain anonymous,
through the web-based tip line. The College does not currently have data that point
to bias against BIPOC students within campus efforts to monitor and respond to
health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. This does not mean that we are
free from such bias. I have asked my colleagues in the Operations Planning Group
to evaluate and revise our monitoring and response systems around student health
and safety so we will be better able to understand the extent and nature of any
patterns of bias and then address them.
We demand Haverford honor and credit the work of Black women driving
institutional change instead of taking credit for their continued labor and
erasing their contributions.
I wish always to give credit and am mindful of previous errors of omission, of coopting, and/or being perceived to co-opt others’ work. In this, I recognize the
extraordinary efforts and commitment to antiracism on the part of Black women and
Trans people across the Haverford community and pledge to be attentive and
appropriately generous in acknowledging the work of others in all of our
collaborations, and I will expect the same of my faculty and staff colleagues. The
Libraries and Archives are actively working with the Multicultural Alumni Action
Group (MAAG), Alumni Affairs, the community, and specifically with BIPOC student-
colleagues to more fully illuminate the work of these individuals and, further, to
correct and address absences where the records of that work are less evident.
We demand that the school creates a framework to deal with problematic
professors and generates spaces of accountability– the honor code is not enough
and it never has been.
The relationship with faculty plays a critical role in student success. In order to
ensure that Haverford is doing all it can to foster a climate of thriving, the provost is
now reviewing faculty personnel and grievance systems, including the processes
situated in the Dean’s Office and the Office of Human Resources. The provost will
include Associate Provost Rob Manning in this work, as well as the Faculty Liaison
for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ben Le. These processes must be consistent,
robust, and widely—and clearly—communicated. Given the requirements for faculty
input via campus shared governance, the provost will provide an initial progress
report no later than March 1, 2021.
The provost will work with Academic Council, Faculty Affairs and Planning
Committee (FAPC), and others to provide support for both tenure-track and visiting
BIPOC faculty. Haverford College has a robust program of faculty support that
includes a pre-sabbatical leave for eligible tenure-track faculty, as well as generous
resources for research. However, it is also true that many BIPOC faculty take on
disproportionate “shadow service” in mentoring and advising BIPOC and FGLI
students. Academic Council began conversations this fall about how such “shadow
work” might be considered during the faculty review processes. The provost also
commits to individual meetings with all tenure-track and visiting faculty to provide
early opportunities for mentoring that may lead to the goal of greater retention of
BIPOC faculty here at Haverford.
We demand that the school continue to pay the students who are participating
in the strike.
Student workers who elect not to work will be eligible to receive up to 20 hours of
compensation for scheduled but lost work; guidance to managers will be forthcoming
from the Office of Human Resources about how to handle this payment and enter
the compensation appropriately. Supervisors will accommodate students who
choose not to work, with no questions asked. Further, the College will continue to
pay additional compensation to all hourly employees who work overtime during the
strike or otherwise, consistent with state and federal law.
We demand that no student, staff or faculty partaking in the strike face
financial, academic or professional retribution, or penalties of any kind.
In consideration of students engaging in the strike toward effecting productive
change at Haverford, the College has taken steps to provide extra flexibility. This
includes accommodating students who miss work shifts and compensating them for
up to 20 hours (per the above). Professors have discretion about whether and how
to accommodate striking students in their individual courses, understanding that
faculty are responsible for delivering the education they and the College are
committed to providing you this semester.
In acts of civil disobedience, individuals must and do make decisions of conscience
and consequence. A community premised on trust, concern, and respect, is not
premised on a framework of penalties or retribution. In the event that individuals fall
short of our health, safety, educational, or other rules and guidelines, the College
pursues remedies that seek to address the concern within a humane and restorative
To underscore the spirit in which Haverford operates in times of disruption, I note
that during the COVID-19 crisis, the College went to great lengths to support staff
members, including continuous employment (i.e. no furloughs) even when specific
jobs were significantly disrupted or impossible to fulfill. The College paid student
workers who were unable to work through the Spring of 2020 because of forces
beyond their control.
We demand that the Bi-Co stop its violence against disabled students.
Access & Disability Services (ADS), Facilities, Counseling and Psychological
Services (CAPS), and other departments will be key partners in making tangible
change in support of disabled students. ADS and Facilities conducted an
accessibility deficiency survey of our campus and have been making annual
investments in accessibility based on the survey’s recommendations. There is more
work to be done. CAPS is constantly striving to be available and accessible to any
who need treatment. For instance, as a result of changes made between last year
and this year, CAPS currently does not have a wait list for students while having
more sessions than we had at this time last year. There, too, more work remains to
I will work with campus partners to improve support for disabled students including:
Continuing the process above, Facilities and ADS will coordinate to make
additional priority improvements to the physical accessibility of campus next
year. The director of ADS welcomes student suggestions for specific
CAPS will foreground the priority of reflecting our diverse student body in its
current search for a senior CAPS staff member and in its ongoing selection of
Pennsylvania licensing laws require CAPS staff to be 'mandated reporters' for
issues involving child and elder abuse. CAPS also must report information if
there is clear and present danger to self and/or others. Within these
strictures, CAPS will only report when absolutely necessary and, whenever
possible, with students’ consent.
ADS considers each student’s history, experience, and accommodation
request. While students are a vital source of information, some
accommodations legally require documentation. If providing documentation is
a financial hardship, ADS works with the student to help fund testing, if
testing is necessary, and/or assist in finding a health care professional for an
Faculty are required to implement the accommodations identified in a
student’s accommodation letter. If a student opts not to implement
accommodations in a course, the student should notify the director of ADS
immediately. If a student prefers not to speak directly with a professor on
their own, ADS can assist in notifying professors of a student’s
accommodations and/or meet with students and their professor to discuss
accommodations. The provost, in her review of faculty personnel systems
above, will ensure that there is accountability for faculty who provide
inadequate attention to this responsibility.
CAPS will review the use of Campus Safety during mental health
emergencies and explore alternatives to ensure that students are able to
access the on-call counseling services they need, in a safe way.
All of our campus partners are open to dialogue and committed to accountability and
partnership. I have invited them to produce expanded documents about the
concerns you have raised that they will make available to the campus community for
fuller engagement of these important issues.
We demand more robust aid and support for queer and trans students of color.
I share your concern about the experiences of LGBTQ+ students and BIPOC
LGBTQ+ students. Last year, building off our learnings in the 2018-19 Clearness
Committee’s report, I convened a Task Force on Retention and Persistence with
leadership from Associate Director of Institutional Research Kevin Iglesias and
Professors Matt McKeever and Ben Le. This group is undertaking a detailed study of
student experiences especially among student cohorts identified by the Clearness
Report, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students, in order to identify causes of
student attrition and ways Haverford can better support thriving.
Consistent with Section X above, CAPS will prioritize the identification of
candidates with demonstrated successes in support of LGBTQ+ clients in its
current and future hiring processes in order to better reflect the needs of the
In direct response to this request, we will immediately provide new, ongoing
financial support to enable BIPOC and LGBTQ+ students to access
therapeutic practices off campus with diverse professionals.
Students must be able to identify and work with clinicians of their choosing
and have that priority be supported by CAPS through its intake procedures.
CAPS will explore the possibility of reserving specific hours for LGBTQ+
identified students and other strategies to ensure that CAPS meets LGBTQ+
The College will support students working through trauma. In cases when an
accommodation is legally documented, it will fall under the framework
discussed in Section X above. In other cases, the work I described in Section
III above about mechanisms to support students’ academic work under
extenuating circumstances will apply.
This summer, our new BiCo Title IX Coordinator developed and implemented
a new comprehensive Sexual Misconduct Policy that applies to students,
faculty, and staff. This policy and the accompanying procedures provide
multiple options for addressing and resolving complaints, including an
alternative resolution option. The College is committed to equitable treatment
for any community member who has experienced sexual misconduct or
gender-based discrimination. Our BiCo Title IX Coordinator is available to
meet with students to further understand concerns about policing.
We Demand that the college terminate all relationships with the Philadelphia
Police Department (PPD), and actively work toward police and prison abolition.
The (college) will also divest, both in and of themselves, from any partnerships
that may exist, with companies that rely on prison labor.
The College does not maintain a relationship with the Philadelphia Police
The endowment has no direct investment in prison companies and does not seek to
invest in such companies. Our Investment Office also performed a look-through
analysis to the underlying holdings of investment funds in the endowment to
determine any indirect exposure to prison companies. The endowment has no
indirect exposure to prison companies based in the U.S. Underlying holdings of an
international equity index fund, which is meant to provide broad exposure to all
international equities and holds approximately 4,000 companies, results in effectively
zero, or about 0.001%, exposure to internationally-based prison companies in the
endowment. This exposure is due to the nature of index funds' investment in all
publicly-traded companies. The endowment maintains no actively-managed funds
that seek to invest in such companies, as the College maintains open dialogues with
investment managers regarding our condemnation of such investments. With
respect to prison labor, the College does not invest directly in any companies at all
and are unaware of any indirect exposure through investment funds; the Investment
Office will continue to investigate how we can learn more.
Our Investment Office has been engaged with students interested in these issues
and has already been in the process of completing a DEI and ESG survey of all
investment managers in the endowment. Findings from this survey will be shared
with the community through our annual endowment letter, which will be released by
the end of November 2020 and discussed by the Investment Committee of the Board
of Managers by December 15, to determine the impact of our investment policies
with regard to these areas and to determine additional steps for further progress.
Wendy Raymond's Response to the HC Strike 2020 Statement & Demands, November 2, 2020
Haverford President Wendy Raymond's response to student strike demands issued on November 2, 2020. Raymond responds to each of the twelve demands issued by strike organizers. This letter was also published in the Bi-College News and saved on the public student strike Google Drive. A link to this letter was also included in the daily strike update for November 2, 2020.
Raymond, Wendy (author)
2020_11_02_Wendy Raymond reply to HC Strike November 2, 2020