HC STRIKE FAQs
In this document you will find answers to FAQs. Many of the questions were developed after
compiling anonymously submitted questions and many of these questions were taken right from
the submissions. This document will be updated regularly. A section relevant to faculty and
classes will be included on November 2nd.
Email any questions/comments/concerns to email@example.com
Table of Contents:
STRIKE SCOPE + SPECIFICS
BMC MOVEMENT + INVOLVEMENT
WORKING WITH ADMIN
FACULTY + CLASSES
BULLYING & INTIMIDATION
MONEY, JOBS, DONATIONS
What has happened to initiate a strike? What attempts have been made to identify, address
the issues with faculty before it was concluded that voices were not heard?
Please refer to the Timeline of BSFRI initiatives + President Raymond’s Response for the
reasons behind the strike and the past actions the students have taken to communicate the need for
structural changes that have not taken place. Some faculty have communicated their support, but
our ask is not just for the faculty but also for the institution.
How much time was given to allow faculty to create a resolution? How realistic were the
We are aware that not every demand can be implemented immediately and in the short term.
That’s why we’re asking for concrete commitment to meet our demands through clear budget
allocations to the structural changes and clear timelines that can hold everyone accountable. We
believe this planning-short term and long term-can planning can be completed during the duration
of the strike.
Why is it important to address these issues during such social unrest? If everyone has been
traumatized because of all the social unrest, can you trust the desired outcome? What do
the students hope to realistically accomplish in the midst of uncertain times?
You are right, we are in a time of a lot of social unrest and a lot of pain. But you have to ask
yourself, who feels the burden of the social unrest? We also have to recognize that police
brutality and systemic racism did not just start when people had access to the media or in 2020. It
is important to address these issues now because the harm being done to BIPOC students cannot
continue. This is continuation of past grievances and demands to make institutional change.
Nothing new. It does fall on a time where the United States is struggling and many (not all) white
and privileged people are starting to get a glimpse of the ugliness that the country is founded on.
That said, you can’t wait for “calm times” to demand social change because Black and brown and
indigenous communities have never gotten a moment of calm through the current structures and
institutions. Please refer to the above question for our realistic expectations.
Can you say more about the black women leaders whose work was instrumental in BSRFI,
BSL, ALAS, SWOL, SALT, and AOCC? I don't know anything about that and I would
You can learn more about each of the organizations on their instagram pages. The Black women
are also listed at the bottom of the Open Letter to the Bi-College Community.
○ BSRFI: @bsrfi_haverford
○ BSL: @havefordbsl
○ ALAS: @alas.haverford
○ SWOL (twitter): @HaverfordSwol
● On-Campus / Off-Campus
We urge everyone to re-read “What Does Striking Mean.” We want to reiterate that this
is not a vacation; this is not a time to throw your critical brains out the window. We
actually need your critical brain more than ever. You’ve probably had the thought
sometime along your academic career that you don’t have time to do things you really
want or things that are important. Right now, what’s important is meeting those list of
demands. Within this striking period, you have to actively support those demands and
uplift the work of organizers by reaching out to faculty, reminding students and your
circles why this is important–again, not a vacation. The longer we strike, the more
pressure administration feels to swiftly meet our demands.
There’s also worry that remote/off campus students don’t have a feasible way of
supporting the strike. Honestly the same things that on campus students are doing can be
done by off campus students: emailing professors, forming awareness groups to have
critical discussions about what is happening. Please do not rely on just the organizers to
do something. Take the initiative. Use your brain and get creative
● As a non-Haverford/non-BiCo student
We plan to reach out to other colleges to extend their support too. To support our strike,
we are not asking you to go on strike (especially if you are not a bi-co student, but come
from another college); that is up to you and the demands of your students and failures of
your college. The ways you can show up for us is to know what’s happening, support us
through social engagement, have conversations with students and professors on your
campus, create your own mutual aid networks. The bico mutual aid fund has received an
overwhelming amount of support and is no longer requesting funds. Instead of donating
to this mutual aid network, please consider donating to the local mutual aid networks
listed at the end of this response.
Understandably, this is a tough situation to be in, especially if you’re the only Haverford
student in the class (whether it’s at Swat or Bryn Mawr). In this case, it is more important
than ever for non-Haverford students, specifically, to be the ones to advocate for the
strike on your behalf. The onus should not be on you to commit to the strike, but for the
Swarthmore students and Bryn Mawr students to be aware of what's happening at
Haverford and knowing that what happens on campus is a symptom of what's happening
outside. For non-Haverford students who want to support, these situations and dynamics
is where your help is most necessary.
Local Mutual Aid Networks:
○ @blacklgbtqrepararions: Philly Reparations: LGBTQIA+: We are a group based
in Philadelphia that helps give reparations to Black LGBTQIA+ in Philadelphia!
○ @mutualaidphilly: Philly neighbors providing mutual aid to Philly neighbors
○ @phreethemall: phillyphreedomnetwork: Trans&2Spirit&Femme&Indigenous
Autonomous Collectively Caring Occupied Lenape Land and “West Philly”
○ @blackandbrowncoalitionphl: A Philadelphia volunteer-based alliance,
established to protect the vested interest of our Black and Brown communities.
○ @groceries4philly: This group was formed by Black women organizers during
the summer 2020 uprisings. In October, G4P became an official initiative of
Racial Justice Philly. Donate through venmo @PhillyROJC and cashapp
$PhillyROJC with the note G4P to make sure the funds are properly allocated!
● “Where are all the previous emails from the administration other than the first email. Bryn Mawr students do not know about the e-mails, which makes the strike
feels like just a Haverford thing.”
Firstly, the strike is not “just a Haverford thing.” What’s happening on campus to BIPOC
students is a symptom of what’s happening outside of campus. While we try to share all
of the important emails, especially in terms of what we’re responding to (Wendy’s first
email, follow up email, and post letter email) we are still on day four of the strike (as of
today’s date, November 1, 2020).
Please refer to this Timeline of BSFRI initiatives + President Raymond’s Response and
the HC Strike Updates document for historical contextualization of this strike and the
greater movement it supports.
STRIKE SCOPE + SPECIFICS
Demand X.E. states that "Campus Safety should never be called during a mental health
crisis, unless the student expressly consented prior." I don't understand the reasoning here.
Sadly, we live in an era of school shootings. If I see a student acting agitated and threatening
other people or threatening to harm themselves, am I supposed to somehow check first to
see if that person has "expressly consented prior" before I call Campus Safety?
Equating those experiencing mental health crises with active shooters is incredibly ableist and by
your logic of sweeping generalization regarding who could be a school shooter, it is just as
legitimate to call campus safety everytime you see a white man as it is to call campus safety
everytime you see someone experiencing a crisis. Anyone (including but by no means limited to
those who are Disabled, mentally ill, neurodivergent, or Mad) can harm others and it has much
more to do with power structures than individual pathologies/diagnosis (which contrary to
popular belief are not objective but rooted in white supremacy, capitalism, transphobia, etc.).
Your mobilization of the very legitimate fear of armed men who inflict racial violence to actually
bolster the presence of police officers (armed men who inflict racial violence) on campus exposes
a revealing hypocrisy. Time and time again it has been proven that cops don’t prevent mass
shootings and have even run away when shootings do happen. Even if campus safety could
prevent a mass shooting in no way does this outweigh the brutal, daily violence inherent and
enacted by their presence. What violence is deemed sufficiently legitimate? Police violence vs.
what is labeled a school shooting is determined by the racial makeup of those harmed. It would be
primarily Black Disabled folks impacted by the presence of untrained police officers as
“solutions” during mental health crises as shown by the murder of Walter Wallace Jr, Deborah
Danner, Saheed Vassell, and the incarceration of Saraya Rees and countless others. They are “the
reasoning here”. It is liberating to imagine a future where we care for each other more than false
notions of security that are rooted in private property and ableism. If someone is experiencing a
crisis and you feel you have to call someone, call their friends and community members who
know them best, as a very last resort you can even call the emergency member of CAPS (which
after these demands have been met will not be white and queerphobic or eager to call the police
as they have been in the past). Above-all prioritize and respect the self-determination of those of
us with mental illness.
In the list of demands, item X.B. states "The abolition of mandated reporting of mental
health details to police, CPS, and/or administrative authorities." Maybe I'm
misunderstanding, but isn't "mandated reporting" by definition legally required? Are you
asking the college to do something counter to the law?
As Angela Davis teaches us, abolition does not have to mean eliminating a law it can also mean
rendering it obsolete. Though Haverford should work tirelessly against laws that endanger its
most vulnerable students (especially since Pennsylvania has such all-encompassing criteria for
child abuse and mandated reporters), Haverford should also mainstream commonly practiced
safety measures and loopholes regarding mandated reporting. This would include specific and
extensive training for all mandated reporters on what mandatory reporting entails (to reduce
overreporting), and similar transparency with students regarding which of their traumas could be
subjected to mandatory reporting. Students should also be clearly informed that they can speak
about instances subject to mandatory reporting using hypotheticals to avoid being reported
against their consent. There are countless other measures Haverford can take that circumvent
repressive legal requirements that blame the victim and these are just a few- feel free to suggest
Would attending a Bryn Mawr class be considered breaking the strike? The degree to
which Bryn Mawr classes should be affected. Some allowance could be given for those who
believe they have an obligation to teach for the benefit of students.
Yes, due to the Bi-Co’s close functioning, we are demanding that Bi-Co classes be boycotted as
part of strike protocol.
We urge all faculty at the Bi-Co to strike alongside students to assert pressure on the
administration. There is power in collective action, and that is what we are asking of you in order
to mobilize long passive administration.
Also have some concern that students may be intimidated to strike whether or not they
believe this is the best approach to achieve these goals.
We understand this concern. While we are strongly urging our peers and allies to stand in support
of the strike, the final decision is up to each individual. If they make the decision to not attend
class, that is their prerogative. If they feel that this isn’t the best approach to achieving our goals,
then they may bring that up to the organizers or choose to not strike.
How many of the demands have to be met before the strike ends? I’m a BMC hire and I
teach one class in each of BMC and HC. I have suspended the HC class. Am I being asked
by the HC strike to suspend the BMC class as well?
Since the Bi-Co functions so cohesively, we are asking that all BMC classes also be boycotted by
Haverford students against the strike. We have also received news of a similar collective being
started at Bryn Mawr, which may speak to BMC classes more specifically.
As a faculty member who would like to try to support the strike, I find myself in a difficult
position. Cancelling class is counterproductive to the strike¹, covering material with the
students who are present isn't fair to striking students, as is recording failing grades on
assignments not turned in. Not covering material isn't fair for students who are present,
and not giving students who aren't striking credit for work turned in isn't fair to the nonstriking students. In other words, I'm struggling to find a way to be fair to all my students,
and cause minimal harm to everyone. Do you have any suggestions to offer?
We understand and empathize with your struggle. We do not believe that cancelling class is
counterproductive to the strike since the purpose of the strike is to disrupt all institutional
function at Haverford until BIPOC demands are met. We understand that this might be selfdetrimental, but for the larger systemic cause, we are willing to make that sacrifice. In support of
the strike, we urge you to cancel class and apply pressure on the administration until our demands
are met. The sooner the administration gives us a workable solution, the sooner the strike will end
and students/faculty will be able to return to normal.
Also, as a Swarthmore faculty member, I have no way to push back against the
administration of Haverford. Do you have any suggestions on how I can help in the strike?
And lastly, given all of this, I feel that the strike is having the unintended effect of harming
the striking students and their professors quite a bit in making a point to the
We urge you to cooperate with the Haverford students taking your classes and understand that as
part of a larger movement, engaging in Tri-Co academic work takes away from our momentum.
Engaging with Swarthmore administration and asking to release a statement of support for
Haverford’s strike is one potential way of engagement. Additionally, institutional racism at
predominantly white and elite liberal arts colleges isn’t limited to Haverford. Engaging with and
pressuring administrators at large in the Tri-Co to meet BIPOC demands is a solid way to
continue supporting us through and beyond the strike.
To reiterate our points before, the purpose of this strike is institutional disruption: to bring the
academic institution of Haverford to a complete halt. Institutional change requires sacrifice and
we are willing to make it. We must all (students AND faculty) stand in unison to pressure
administration to take the right steps. A proper and tangible response is the only resolution to this
Under what conditions will you end the strike? Meaning what constitutes conditions met?
Not everything can be done before thanksgiving…
In a nutshell: we agree with you. Centuries of institutional racism cannot be overturned in twenty
days. However, an institutional commitment can be made through resource allotment, budgeting,
and clear timelines. Which is exactly what we are demanding as strikers.
There seems to be some discrepancies between the demands from the student groups and
the larger strike organizers. For example, the BSG stated that "We expect understanding
about less or no in-lab and research thesis hours during the strike"; however the larger
strike demands seem to require no work on thesis during the strike. Can this be clarified
Yes, this divergence in defining the expectations for the strike was due to a mis-understanding of
the demands of the strike. The BSG released their statement to the Biology community prior to
the organizers’ release of their official demands. This explains the incorrect framing of the strike
in the BSG’s first correspondence on October 29th.
Some STEM faculty are receiving emails of concern from students, including Black and
FGLI students, who have taken risks to come to campus and sacrificed much in order to
earn a degree and apply to graduate or medical school. If you were such a faculty member,
how would you respond?
Although students should not be doing homework during the strike, students can learn for their
own benefit via MCAT and GRE prep. We’ve covered questions similar to this in more detail
● Doing homework, thesis, assignments?
Do not. Because completing homework and/or submitting it for credit would contribute
to the overall function of the college, this act would not be in alignment with the goals of
the strike. Instead, please consider using the time and energy you would have normally
committed to classes to dive into educational materials over striking, anti-Black racism,
racism, and most importantly critical Black feminists theory. Additionally, use this time
and space to educate those around you (e.g. friends and family).
When gauging the actions you partake in during the strike, question, “does this directly
benefit the institution” if yes, don’t do it. If possible, please use any time and energy you
have on furthering your own education over striking, anti-Black racism, racism, and most
importantly critical Black feminists theory. Additionally, use this time and space to
educate those around you (e.g. friends and family).
● How this affects BIPOC students; curtailed learning?
BIPOC students are not using this strike as a vacation, many are organizing, providing
resources, and protesting.
BIPOC students are currently in a fight for our lives with the police, electoral voting,
ICE, and the Haverford administration. As of right now BIPOC and FGLI students are
getting a much more difficult college experience resulting in higher instances of taking
leave or dropping out. Without the demands of the strike, learning for BIPOC/FGLI will
already be curtailed.
● When will the strike end?
Once the demands have been met. Administration and Wendy outline exactly how they
will fulfill each demand with tangible timelines. Meetings must be transparent, therefore
recorded(visually/via notes) and open to all of the community members.
● To me, academic strike is self-destructive in nature. Is this absolutely the only choice?
Yes, we need everyone to participate in the strike and put their own individual needs
aside for the collective good.
BIPOC students are frequently called upon in classes to do emotional labor (i.e.
explaining how something is racist, forcing themselves to talk about their trauma
academically). If BIPOC students attended classes it would count as labor for the
institution, but they cannot strike classes if they do not have the full support of their
peers. BIPOC students would be more vulnerable to retribution or being ignored if the
majority do not strike class.
It is only self-destructive if you always prioritize self-success over a functional
community. If any member of the community is left behind then the community fails.
BIPOC students are being left behind by our current practices.
BMC MOVEMENT + INVOLVEMENT
As a new Bryn Mawr faculty member, this seems like a Haverford Strike organized and
coordinated by Haverford students. Is the participation of Bryn Mawr students helpful? If
so, are Bryn Mawr students also making demands of their institution? How can I support
Although this is a strike that began at Haverford College in direct response to Wendy’s and
Joyce’s email on Wednesday night, this strike is also in response to the institution’s historical acts
of social and racial injustice. In the recognition that these injustices are not unique to Haverford
College, we encourage Bryn Mawr students and professors to participate and fully commit
themselves to the cause of the strike. Since Bryn Mawr and Haverford are so closely connected,
the necessary measure to take is for the Bryn Mawr faculty to support the strike by honoring
striking students at both colleges, first and foremost, by not penalizing striking students for not
going to class or finishing assignments (Demand IX). We hope that you see the bigger picture,
such that (once again), these injustices are not unique to the bi-co institutions. We need change all
over national campuses, and we hope (or dream) that many colleges across the board strike and
voice their specific demands against their college or university. We encourage these
conversations to be happening nationally, and the bi-co (and tri-co) are good places to start. The
unfortunate reality is that these conversations and uplifting the work of BIPOC students haven’t
been had enough which is why we’re currently at this moment.
We are in contact with organizers at Bryn Mawr who want to demonstrate their solidarity as well
as enact social justice on their campus. Like we said before, these injustices are not unique to
Haverford College. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org and they are known as
the Bryn Mawr Strike Collective. They have released their statement, demands, and letter of
solidarity; you can find that here. Whether you are a new or old faculty member, we encourage
you to take the initiative amongst your departments and colleagues to have conversations about
the strike and release a departmental statement that shows support for student organizing efforts.
In doing so, you will win the trust of many students who often feel like they are doing this work
alone; however, we need faculty support to ensure that change will happen.
I am a BMC hire and don’t get any of the HC emails. How can I keep abreast of the latest
developments of the strike? I am worried that the strike will end without me knowing.
Our website is hc-strike.com; please email us with any ideas to put this website to good use
(especially if you were in attendance at the BMC student faculty meeting with Haverford
organizers). Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. Since these are public accounts, you don’t need
to have an instagram or twitter account since these are viewable on any web browser.
WORKING WITH ADMIN
I support your demands and understand your frustration. The issues you raise have been
festering for a long long time, and generations of students have drawn attention to them and
tried to make Haverford a more welcoming and nurturing place for all students. I am glad
you are forcing the issue through a strike. I will also say that it's deeply ironic that it is
now, when we have our first female president and the first time we have Black women as
the provost and the dean of the college, that this long-building eruption has happened. As
someone who has worked in the college for decades, I feel that we have never had an
administration that is more committed to bring the changes you are demanding and who
understand the issues well, and have the perspectives and experience to bring about the
changes we all seek. Do you see the possibility of working with them?
We understand that the college administration may have the most diverse assemblage in
centuries. However, to repeat the oft repeated “All my skinfolk ain’t kinfolk” and so having two
Black women in upper administration is only beneficial to BIPOC students if their demands are
seriously considered. If BIPOC administration members continue to treat student demands as
their predominantly white predecessors, then their presence does not make any difference.
We have been open to working with the administration since the very beginning. BSRFI’s Open
Letter was sent out in June and the organizers continuously engaged with President Raymond.
However, demands have been responded to in vague terms instead of the provision of definitive
budgeting and timelines. We remain open to the possibility of working with administration, but
they must step up and give us articulate and clear responses with:
1. Solid Timelines
2. Clear Budgeting
3. Assured Transparency (with the student body at large during all negotiations and
Finally, to your point of a strike being launched now: this strike has been generations in the
making. In 1972, BIPOC students at Haverford launched a similar boycott asking for institutional
accountability and grassroots change. In the past three years, several student movements have
pushed for similar action:
1. SWOL (Student Workers Organizing League) boycott in Spring 2019
2. La Casa Rally Spring 2020
3. BSRFI Open Letter Summer 2020
These movements have been gathering traction for several years. They have all culminated in this
BIPOC strike; this isn’t a standalone moment.
Could you share something about how you felt the letter from June has been addressed by
administration and how that has informed the current action?
BSRFI’s Open Letter that was sent in June, has merely been used as President Raymond’s
platform for anti-racism at Haverford, but there has been no concrete plans nor actions to achieve
the demands stated in the Open Letter. Given the institution’s reluctance to commit to the
demands from the Open Letter, we as BIPOC students needed to hold Haverford accountable for
its promise to anti-racist and diversity, equity, and inclusion work. The strike has therefore been a
result of Haverford’s unkept promises.
What is the current position of HC admin? Do they feel pressured by the academic boycott?
Are the organizers considering financial strike methods, such as withholding tuition?
As of now, no financial strike methods have been considered. If the administration fails to
respond in an orderly and articulate manner to our demands, the organizers of the strike might
consider such a notion.
The communication from President Raymond and Dean Bylander thus far indicates willingness to
work with us, however, we as students cannot gauge the pressure they are feeling due to the
FACULTY + CLASSES
Thanks for this opportunity. I'd like to ask for some clarification about demand VII. Can
you explain what you mean by 'problematic professors': are we talking about faculty that
have acted in a racist way? (The term may be clear to the administration, and perhaps who
you have in mind. But it is not very transparent for some of us.
There are several forms and degrees that racist action takes in the classroom that are not often
explicit. These include: calling on students to answer specific questions by assuming their
background/asking them to educate the class with their experiences in a way that demands undue
and avoidable labor of them; not being receptive to requests for extensions or accommodations
when you are unable to anticipate the circumstances that push a BIPOC student to that point; etc.
There is also a more structural problem with most faculty of colour holding contingent/precarious
positions within departments and that is a different conversation altogether. Institutional measures
must be taken to CREATE spaces for diverse perspectives within departments and for their
specializations; which often is hard to do due to the ‘pipeline’ that exists with senior faculty
exercising pressure to create further representation for their (canonical, elitist, and hence
detracting from anti-racist) fields of study. This is a problem that there needs to be more
conversation about at the departmental level and necessitates, among other things, the complete
reevaluation of tenure and promotion requirements, demands, and evaluations.
Are you asking the faculty to strike in totality as well?
As far as what is asked of faculty regarding the strike, refer to these points:
● Commit to this strike and disruption by cancelling classes and coursework. Do not
penalize students for missing coursework or pressure them to attend class.
● Keep this strike alive on social media, email listservs, and in all your networks. Tag
Haverford, tag Wendy, tag everyone.
Distribute funds to @HcStrikeFund to ensure those striking have financial support in this
To alleviate burden on Coop workers and DC workers, please contribute to food
alternatives and support the Nest. You can donate groceries here.
At a faculty meeting last week, a group of predominantly white faculty spoke to Dean
Bylander with contempt and derision. They did so in your name and in solidarity with your
cause. Do you think it's appropriate for white faculty to lecture black women about race
relations in this country? If not, will you ask these faculty to stop?
The concerns that white faculty have addressed have come from a place of voicing the disconnect
between Dean Bylander and students. It is agreed that white faculty should not be lecturing Black
folks about race and racism, but there is a time and place for faculty, regardless of race, to express
concern about the disheartening and harmful email that was sent by both Dean Bylander and
Are you interested in working with faculty to set up non-hierarchical reading groups on
issues like policing, abolition, and/or race in higher ed?
We welcome all suggestions for readings, recorded lectures, or the work of other activists. We
encourage you to send these resources to your students as non-required readings. We are also
trying to provide free copies of the recent book and lectures from Fred Moten, an activist and
professor at NYU.
How long can we reasonably expect students to continue attending a school they are paying
for but not receiving an education from (often at great cost to their parents, let’s not forget
~50% of this campus is on financial aid and Haverford grants don’t cover everything for
While this is an important question to ask, I think it can be just as important to flip the question
around and ask how long we can reasonably expect students of color on this campus to tolerate an
administration that has so much power over our daily lives while being so completely
disconnected from them. So many of the questions expressing fears that the strike will go on for a
long time are valid, we as students have the same fears too, but that is why more than anything
we want the administration to respond swiftly and decisively towards meeting our demands.
I have witnessed and heard of remote students requesting classes to continue in some form,
as Haverford classes are the key motivating factor for dealing with the COVID pandemic
and the associated, non-academic labor related to the pandemic. How can the faculty
support both the student class strike and these students? Does this answer change if these
remote students are BIPOC students (whom I have personally heard from)?
As we said in our demands, while for some students classes can be a motivating factor for dealing
with the pandemic, for many students of color it is a source of stress and feelings of inadequacy.
We understand that students and faculty process these times in different ways, so a way that
faculty can support the strike is holding optional class times when class would normally meet to
discuss the strike and its demands, learn about the history of police violence, discuss the racism
that exists in higher education, etc.
"I worry about impacts of closing labs on our BIPOC, women and under-represented in
STEM faculty ... who have struggled and continue to struggle daily to keep a ... research
program going in the face of so many challenges (the acute recent ones and the lifetime of
challenges for women and minorities in STEM careers). And I worry about the research
opportunity that labs provide for students [and specifically BIPOC students] that has
already been compromised by the pandemic. There are many dimensions. I hold these
concerns at the same time as I firmly hold my support for the strike."
This concern was addressed in the “URGENT: Support from STEM Affiliated Faculty” email in
which the BIPOC STEM organizers responded: Taking the position that closing labs will harm
BIPOC, women, and underrepresented students in STEM undermines the meaning and purpose of
the strike. In any and all strikes, BIPOC people will always be those most vulnerable to harm, as
marginalized communities will always be more vulnerable. However, BIPOC students organized
this strike nonetheless, aware of the sacrifice it would entail, knowing its goal was reparations
that would change the harmful conditions that exist and restore some of the harm done by
Haverford. Keeping labs open will not alleviate the harm that BIPOC students are facing
[globally] and at the hands of the institution currently. Keeping labs open will only benefit white
and/or the most privileged POC students not participating in the strike, further disadvantaging the
larger BIPOC community and those committed to striking for institutional change. You must get
a hold of the larger narrative at play. Closing labs does not mean killing live cultures, it just
means closing labs for all student work. At this time, scientific research must halt in order to
show support for BIPOC students. We cannot reiterate enough your status as community leaders,
influencers, and educators makes your solidarity all the more important, as your support is crucial
to educate our white/privileged peers and those who are not striking
How would you advise students and faculty to handle courses where the work can’t simply
be reduced or canceled? To give one example: students in senior seminars are largely doing
work to prepare to write their thesis in the spring. Postponing that work now will simply
make their spring more difficult; a number of students I’m advising, including several
students of color, are also planning to use the thesis work they’d be doing right now as part
of their grad school application materials, and those deadlines aren’t under our control. If
students support the strike but are also hurt by the cancelation of these classes, how should
they and their faculty proceed?
There is no change without sacrifice. I’m not saying that students should forgo their long term
plans at all, but rather understand that other things like thesis and applications may be made more
complicated and more difficult by a choice to demand equitable treatment by the administration
for BIPOC students. I’m not going to lie and say that there’s a way to make the spring easier and
support this strike, because it’s not true. When this is over, we will have to work harder to
potentially catch up on things we missed during this period, but that being said, we are asking
through this strike that fundamental institutional change is made a priority. Additionally, anything
that doesn’t actively support the college is not considered breaking the picket line. If students
want to study for the MCAT/GRE, write personal statements, research graduate schools, etc. all
of those things are fine. And these pending deadlines are all the more reason to put pressure on
the administration to meet these demands. I’ll also put out there that although the strike could go
on for quite some time, so far, we have missed two days of classes, which will become three even
by wednesday morning because tuesday is election day.
In the statement of demands, item VII refers to "problematic professors" and demands
accountability for those professors. What exactly do you mean by a "problematic
professor"? What kind of "accountability" do you seek?
Students often use colloquial language like “problematic” as a general term for those professors
who, either by small or large groups of students, are considered racist, sexist, homophobic,
classist, elitist, etc. Just being honest. Professors routinely are allowed to get away with exhibiting
harmful action towards students because there is no direct and formal process for holding
professors accountable for their actions as community members. Additionally, students are often
afraid of negative consequences for confronting professors or speaking to someone about their
behavior because of power dynamics and threat of a lowered grade. We want there to be a way,
other than course evaluations or Ombuds, for students to be able to address and confront
professors who are harmful to them without fear of repercussions. We want a structure to be put
in place, composed by a potential/hypothetical group, to be able to hold professors who have
routinely and continuously been offensive to students to be held accountable, and for the admin to
take our reports of such incidents seriously.
Cancellation of classes damages all students, including Bipoc and FGLI students. In view of
that, have you considered suspending the strike, to give the administration the time needed
to respond to the demands? (The strike could always be reinstated if the response from the
administration is inadequate.)
As with several historical strikes, we have gained power by halting several of the school’s
functions. It requires the administration to respond swiftly or be damaged further. Threatening an
impending strike may also garner the same amount of attention, but it runs the risk of losing
student momentum as well as the urgency required. A continuous strike does not afford the
administration the ability to table the issue or delay concrete responses. We ask you to remember
that the strike requires sacrifice that several BIPOC and FGLI students have consented to making.
What is harmful to us are the practices we are trying to rectify with the demands. These demands
were not out of the blue but brought to the administration several times throughout the last couple
of years. BIPOC and FGLI students do not have an equal experience in college as their affluent or
white counterparts. This damage is lasting and follows us into a professional setting. Us taking
calculated and consented to damage now is to ensure that the rest of our time and those who come
after us will not experience continual damage throughout their time at Haverford.
However, it may be counterproductive if completely stopping work in courses will take a
toll on some students' mental / emotional health, even if some professors are extending
deadlines and adjusting syllabi. If people are committing to not attending class, not turning
in work, avoiding the Coop and DC, redistributing wealth, and politically educating
themselves, is it okay for them to devote some time to their classes?
If the student wishes to study for the benefit of themselves, it is not crossing the picket line. A lot
of students are worried about retention and we have clarified that studying for their own benefit is
actually a good use of their time if they are also committed to the other areas of the strike. We are
currently working with several professors, outside activist, and other universities on getting
resources about how race, gender, and strikes relate to the students specific field.
I worry that if we miss more than a week of class because of the strike (which I support)
students will have their actual learning deeply curtailed. This is likely to be especially
problematic in math and science, but it will also be a big problem in first year writing
seminars, for instance. I fear that this loss of learning will hit some students harder than
others: those planning on taking the MCAT for instance, or those who are already
struggling. I worry that this may disproportionately impact students of colour and FGLI
students as well, some of whom may be under extreme pressure from family to "do well" in
College. Do we move to the p/f model from last spring? What long term effects will this have
on GPAs and thus on students' post-graduation opportunities?
As we’ve stated earlier, students should be taking this time to practice self-studying habits outside
of classroom environments. Studying for the MCAT, LSAT, or GRE is a productive use of this
time especially for BIPOC, and more importantly, students can use this time to learn about what it
means to be anti-racist. As part of our demands, we are requesting that the college provide
academic leniency for students not just in the aftermath of the strike, but in recognizing that this
pandemic has exposed the ways in which the barriers of success in higher education hurt FGLI
students and students of color more than anyone else.
To me, academic strike is self-destructive in nature. Is this absolutely the only choice?
We’ve tried other options. BSRFI made an open-letter that they sent forward to Haverford
Administration after accumulating thousands of signatures, and their feedback still has not been
acted on by admin. So many people were up in arms when reading that letter, yet when you look
at what has changed since then, the answer is essentially nothing. The strike is intended to force
the administration's hand. We don’t want it to go on forever, what we want is for things to
What action would you recommend to a faculty member who is trying to align her views
with those expressed in the letter at https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/theuniversal-house-of-justice/messages/20200722_001/1#870410250?
This person sent a link to a message from the Bah’ai reference library, under the section the
Universal House of Justice. Since other people haven’t read this document, I’m not quite sure
how or why this will be applicable to a wider audience. But I’ll do my best to address the concern
anyway: this document was written July 22nd 2020, and from my understanding, guides those of
Bah’ai faith as to how they might engage with and think about all of the responses to racial
violence that happened this summer spiritually or otherwise. The document condemns racism and
encourages deep reflective thought about what movements one might want to participate in to
bring about racial justice, and openly speaks against conflict. I, nor anyone else here, can provide
personal guidance as to how an individual reconciles their religious beliefs with what we’re
doing. That being said, the best I can do is to encourage those who feel uncomfortable with the
conflict we’re creating to ask themselves when those being oppressed have ever become liberated
without conflict, and moreover, to consider why we are being charged the perpetrators of
“conflict” when racism is by definition a violent construct. I can only provide this link to a video
of revolutionary Angela Davis on the narrative construction of “violence”, and what kinds of
questions you ask when you’re truly dedicated to liberation, at any means necessary:
As a member of the quaker faith, I myself had to ask how protesting squared with the pacifist
teachings. Complete tolerance calls for not tolerating the intolerant. Being a bystander to violence
is allowing that violence to happen. The community is not at peace if members are being
marginalized, aggressed, and devalued. We must strive towards positive peace in our institutions
even if that means confronting those who are perpetuating intentionally or unintentionally white
supremacy, classism, homophobia, and broad violence.
Would students consider faculty-designed events that are not part of individual classes, such
as guest speakers speaking specifically about racism and underrepresentation in academia
or lectures on the intersection of race and our academic fields, as supporting the strike or
not being supportive of the strike?
An important part of what we are trying to do by stopping academics is making the point clear
that learning about racism isn’t all that needs to be done, we have to be actively working to stamp
out all of the racism within our institution. As faculty, we understand that it is your job to teach,
and you can play an important role in educating students, but it is just important that you reach
out to educate administrators and encourage actual change. Haverford is an institution that hoards
an incredible amount of wealth and influence that could be put to incredible use both for BIPOC
within the college and in the community surrounding us. When asking if a guest lecture or class
session supports the strike, don’t just ask yourself if it is focused on anti-racism or antiBlackness, but if it is materially working towards changing the institutions at Haverford that are
so resistant to actually acting on the things we teach.
1. What is a strike?
“A refusal to work organized by a body of employees as a form of protest, typically in an
attempt to gain a concession or concessions from their employer” (Oxford languages).
In this case, a strike was organized by a group of Black, Indigenous, and of color students
in response to the continued racism and anti-Blackness perpetrated by Haverford College
administration. Please see this google drive of resources, released to all Haverford
students, faculty, and staff, for more on what this strike means for us, and why we’re
doing it. Please start with “What Does Striking Mean?” and “Strike Updates” if you
haven’t already as was asked in the before you read.
2. When will the strike end?
When students, faculty, and administration reach a mutual agreement on how to move
forward with student demands. Students have conceded to existing college mechanisms
of “consensus” in the past and have still not seen equitable, productive change.
The students organizing the strike are specifically looking for a definite, concrete
timeline and plan of action detailing how the administration plans to meet the demands.
President Raymond has publicly responded to the demands, and student organizers
responded, informing her and the student body that her response leaves most demands
unmet. Her blanket statements are not enough, and hence the strike continues. Student
organizers have indicated how, when, and on what terms they intend to be in
communication with administration moving forward.
3. I’m disappointed in the students’ choice to jump to such a harmful course of action.
Can’t they write a letter, meet with the administration, or utilize student governance
procedures to make change instead?
Multiple student organizations and individuals (most recently BSRFI, ALAS, SALT)
have done all of those things for years and decades (link to a drive of documents
concerning the 1972 Haverford Boycott led by BSL) without any or enough change. A
strike is a tool of last resort after communication breaks down between two groups of
Over the summer during the protests, President Raymond and the college made several
statements promising a different Haverford with anti-racism at the core of its decision
making. This recent statement was a betrayal of those promises.
Moreover, change does not come without sacrifice. Like your child, the student
organizers are also students with parents who care about their education and professional
development. These sacrifices are to make Haverford a less violent institution both
for students and those in the surrounding area.
4. Who is this strike for and how will it benefit the college?
The strike is for support of BIPOC and FGLI students. Here is the link to their demands ,
as previously linked in the before you read.
The point of the strike is not to benefit the college, but to bring demands that have been
neglected for years into fruition.
5. Why are activist students allowed to be mean and to bully my child?
A strike requires social pressure. When people cross a picket line, they are criticized
because it means they are supporting the current norm at Haverford that consistently
harms BIPOC and FGLI students. There cannot be grey areas in supporting the right to
have equal access to an education.
When your child is saying they are being bullied, what is being said? Having an
emotional reaction to being pressured is common, especially under high stress.
Emotions are high for many Haverford students right now. The academic rigor that
normally pushes student stress levels in a normal year has continued despite the ongoing
pandemic and political moment
Your child may be jumping to the conclusion that they are receiving hate, when what
they are actually hearing is frustration and anger from students who have faced
disproportionate barriers to success because of their race and color at Haverford.
You want your child to succeed in school, and so we hope you also wish BIPOC students
and FGLI students to succeed. This strike is about standing in solidarity.
BIPOC students consistently experience bullying and harm both from other students and
the administration because of systemic racism. If you feel the urge to discredit this, please
read the responses to the BlackatHaverford instagram page. This strike is to significantly
reduce harm, not coddle uncomfortable feelings.
6. How can I support my child and other students participating in the strike in
reaching their aims for justice in the Haverford community and the broader
Students are striking not only from classes but also from campus jobs. If you send your
child money or they have access to your credit card, this means they have access to funds
for food and other basic needs, but not all students do.
Earlier in the strike there was an effort to provide funds to an on campus mutual aid
network which works to collect funds from those with disposable income and provide
funds and other resources to students who do not have the same means as these more
wealthy students. However, now due to an amazing influx of funds, that mutual aid fund
has met its goals and people are instead being pushed to donate to local Philadelphia
protest, bail, and mutual aid funds.
Here’s a link to an article about what Mutual Aid is and how it’s different from what you
may call charity or giving.
Finally, your voice can have a huge impact. Emailing President Raymond
email@example.com, Vice President and Chief of Staff firstname.lastname@example.org, and
email@example.com to express your support for the strike, meeting the demands of
BIPOC and FGLI the forgiveness of grading for assignments missed during the strike
would go a long way.
7. What about my child’s responsibilities to classes? What will happen to their grades?
Every academic department has supported the strike efforts. Professors and other faculty,
in some cases, are supporting students directly in this cause. You can find faculty letters
of support here.
If your student is still worried about communicating their participation in the strike to
professors and campus job supervisors, here is a form email that strike organizers have
The Spring 2020 semester demonstrated that the college will reconfigure academic
requirements for students during moments of crisis. Students will collaborate with faculty
and Dean’s offices to ensure an equitable reconfiguration of academic expectations.
8. My child doesn’t have access to food because they are being bullied into refraining
from going to the DC. Are the organizers taking action to stop this?
Please see question 5 before continuing.
At first, the organizers were concerned that while student workers at the DC were
striking, adult staff would be unfairly overwhelmed with student demand. Therefore, they
were encouraging students not to go to the Dining Center unless absolutely necessary.
Since their initial fear has not been the case, students have released several statements
and updates stating that it is not crossing the picket line to go to the DC, and that students
should not be made to feel bad for it.
There have also been numerous efforts of support from community houses providing free
meals to students, as well as the continued operation of The Nest, a free pantry for lowincome and FGLI students.
Your child does have access to food.
9. Where are funds being pulled? Who is in charge of funds?
The BiCo Mutual Aid Fund models itself off of many other mutual aid funds set up
around the country. They have a public google sheet documenting their fund intake and
dispersal that’s updated frequently.
The Fund’s priority is helping students in the strike who rely on campus wages.
10. I saw this photo going around and it makes me uncomfortable that people are being
shamed into contributing.
Seeing this as shaming misses the point that BSRFI is making about Haverford. The
college has extreme wealth disparity amongst students. There are 26 students who come
from billionaire households. 180 students that come from households that make over
This bingo sheet is about taking stock of financial privilege and acting to redistribute
funds to students who do not have the same privilege. Haverford being an intentional
community should mean everyone takes care of one another rather than being silent about
And it works. Through this type of organizing, students have been able to raise over
$80,000 dollars in two days. Imagine if Haverford had used more of its funds collected
from alumni to eliminate need amongst its student body.
BiCo Mutual Aid has raised so much money that they are now asking supporters to
donate to local Philadelphia Aid efforts instead.
11. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Why were students pressured into protesting on
Wednesday? Won’t this risk increasing cases and sending students home early?
Taking the position that the strike is unsafe because of the pandemic does not take into
account the in-person/virtual components of the strike and the risks associated with in
Please see this article demonstrating that national BLM protests did not result in spikes
Students were NOT pressured into protesting on Wednesday. The protest was live
streamed on zoom and on Instagram for students who were off-campus or did not feel
comfortable joining in-person. If your child chose to engage in the protest, that was
entirely their choice.
The strike does not increase contact between those living at Haverford, or between
students and individuals in the surrounding area.
Per Dean Bylander, Haverford College has publicly stated that they have the resources to
level up testing in the event of higher-risk activities among students.
● What is an appropriate response to those who choose not to participate in the
Refusing to join the strike, or not adhering to the requests of the most vulnerable and
historically marginalized members of the Haverford community, is a reflection of their
privilege, power, and lack of social consciousness. Their ignorance is likely not of
malicious intent; however, the act of actively ignoring these issues when explanations of
why these issues should matter to everyone is so readily and widely accessible, is
malicious and VERY harmful. If you consider yourself to be in community with these
folks (i.e. perhaps you share an identity with them, they’re your family or friends, etc),
please invest the necessary time and energy into their learning and unlearning processes.
Education can take a long time and the most difficult part is knowing where to start.
It’s important to recognize that there’s nothing political about supporting BIPOC students
in their fight against systemic and institutional forms of oppression. There are no gray
areas, you either support the liberation of Black people and Indigenous people, or POC,
or you do not.
At this point, the movement needs EVERYONE on board, so share those resources with
them, commit to conversing with them and even learning alongside them. It’s important
to note that your time and energy is not infinite and this kind of work is oftentimes very
emotionally laborious. Move accordingly and reach out to other like-minded community
members for support. DO NOT RELY ON BIPOC FOLKS TO DO THIS WORK.
Remember that a part of what we’re striking is the institution’s continuous exploitation of
BIPOC labor. If you continue to rely on BIPOC students, you are only reproducing the
exploitative logic of the institution. It’s okay and necessary to take the initiative,
especially in your non-BIPOC circles; the resources, answers, explanations, are out
there so do the work of researching and sharing those instead.
Student to Student:
Unfriending someone who does not support, disagrees with, and is not open to
learning about the struggle of BIPOC and this movement is perfectly acceptable. Invest
the time and energy into the education of those you consider yourself to be in community
with, but be conscious of the emotional commitment this work requires and do what’s
necessary for your own mental and emotional well being.
Student to Faculty:
Speaking truth to power can be very difficult, especially when acting your own. If
you’re willing and able to, engage in conversation with them over how their reluctance to
commit perpetuates the same anti-Black sentiment as the original statement made by
President Raymond and Dean Bylander. If you don’t have the time and energy to
converse over the highly problematic nature of their reluctance to prioritize the needs and
demands of BIPOC students, then consider mobilizing alongside other students in the
course, consider reaching out to other professors in their department who are pro-strike,
or reach out to someone from the HC Strike organizing team so they can support you or
point you to someone who can.
Faculty to Student:
If you find yourself in a situation in which a student does not support the strike,
please leverage the power in your position as a professor to do just what you were meant
to do; educate. This isn’t an issue affecting only certain disciplines or academic areas.
Regardless of the discipline, students of whatever academic interests will play important
roles in the communities and institutions they’ll engage with post-strike and after
graduating. It’s important that everyone remain committed to the liberation of BIPOC
people even outside of the Haverford Community and without this commitment these
students, often out of ignorance, will only continue to perpetuate and propagate the same
colonial, white supremacist, oppressive systems that have wrecked havoc on the BIPOC
community for so long. Everyone has a part to play in the liberation of BIPOC, and more
specifically the Black Lives Matter movement. The commitment to this liberation, or at
the very least starting to learn about it, is more important than grades and even a college
Parent to Parent:
As parents with children who are attending Haverford you’ve put your trust into
the Haverford community to nurture, educate, and ultimately help your child grow. These
processes, the same ones that drive a student’s commitment to bettering the world around
them upon graduating, cannot occur if Haverford as an institution does not commit to
protecting and uplifting the voices and experiences of Black, Indigenous, folks of color
on campus. It is only through conscious and consistent introspection over the hegemonic
systems that the college has in place, that these processes will cultivate a true
commitment to the liberation of all oppressed and marginalized peoples. As it stands, the
environment and processes of the college subjugate and create unsafe spaces for BIPOC
students which undoubtedly get perpetuated and reproduced by students in the various
communities and institutions that students engage with after graduating. This movement
has everything to do with ensuring that students, your children, not only remain critical of
the same systems and institutions that will continue to support them at the expense of
others but also work towards actively disrupting and dismantling these very systems.
Student to Parent:
It can be very difficult to engage in conversations relevant to this movement and
the even greater Black Lives Matter movement with parents. First, it’s important to
recognize that parents often only want what’s best for their children and can be very
worried for their child's well-being, especially when they’re traversing unprecedented
circumstances. It’s important to affirm these emotional concerns; however, you can do
both this AND facilitate conversation rich in education on the topics relevant to the strike
and the foundational issues that have driven the creation of this movement and
movements like it. Reach out to another family member for support, research tools to
help you facilitate these conversations, and do so while affirming their learning and
unlearning journeys. They might not be students and actively participating in this strike
but the liberation of BIPOC is something that SHOULD and DOES concern them too.
Their support of the strike and pressuring of the college is essential to this movement.
● What will be done about broken relationships post-strike?
As stated above, there is nothing political about this movement. You either support the
liberation of Black people and other POC or you don’t. Restorative processes exist only
for those who are willing to listen and learn and especially for those who have invested
time and energy into their own education over the issues of BIPOC both on and off
campus. There’s nothing trivial about this. There are no gray areas.
● What if I don’t want to strike?
The movement will continue without your support. Know that your reluctance to
participate perpetuates, reproduces, and propagates the same colonial and white
supremacsit systems that advantage certain groups of people over others. Just because
issues of BIPOC don’t affect you or affect you to a different degree, doesn’t mean that
there isn’t someone out there who is severely affected by these oppressive systems and
institutions than you are. By centering the voices and concerns of the most vulnerable in
our communities, we liberate everyone.
“Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” ~ Fannie Lou Hamer
BULLYING & INTIMIDATION
Students (including FGLI and BIPOC) feel intimidated for going into research labs. They
have received harassing emails that they and their parents have construed as threatening a
student's safety on campus. I don't know if these students would consider taking legal
action. These students are not against the strike, but choose not to participate in the strike.
As a professor that has supported students’ right to strike (no negative ramifications on
grades or expectation for research progress), what do I tell students who want to actively
still participate in learning?
The strike is not at odds with learning, it is at odds with actions that benefit this institution, an
institution which as we have repeatedly said, actively impedes and makes impossible learning for
BIPOC and FGLI students, and work actively destructive for BIPOC faculty and staff. This
institution has directly profited off of the uncompensated labor of BIPOC students since
Haverford started admitting them around 50 years ago. There is plenty of learning that students
can take up during this time, involving but not limited to: learning about systemic racism at
Haverford, in Philadelphia, in this country and beyond; learning about the history of Haverford
College gentrifying/committing acts of violence against the surrounding Black community,
understanding the history and purpose of strikes. Further, students are encouraged to prep for tests
such as the GRE, LSAT, MCAT, as well as work on job/internship applications/grad school
applications. Further, please do not attenuate this strike by insisting that students will not be able
to “learn,” as learning takes place outside of and in spite of colonial institutions such as academia.
Let us repeat: no one is physically in danger by remaining on this campus, and implying this
simply rehearses racist associations of brownness and blackness with animality and violence.
Furthermore, if as a faculty member you wish to support the strike you should begin by
cancelling class and pressuring your department chair and other colleagues to release a statement,
as can be seen here.
The choice to participate in a strike is up to each individual, no?
The choice to participate in this strike is afforded to each individual. Systemic racism,
alternatively, does not gather consent from the victims it claims, day in and day out, Therefore, if
you or someone you know benefits in unspeakable ways from the systemic racism in this country
that crushes so many others, we do implore you to join us to make yourself uncomfortable in a
way that you have never been forced to, nor will ever be forced to. We want to learn in an
environment that supports us, and after decades of trying other things, striking is all we have left
to make the institution acknowledge and reckon with our experiences.
Harassing and intimidating a student to participate, no matter how valued the cause, is
immoral and illegal, no? Some students have reported being bullied into supporting the
strike. Will you disavow such bullying? What actions have you taken to ensure that
communication with community members focuses on persuading and not intimidating?
That is certainly true. It’s first important to highlight that these are exceptions; the organizers
have been hosting Q&A’s, town halls, and more, truly trying to show people quite how vital this
action is--violence has never been physical, and indeed effectively nonexistent. Efforts have been
made entirely through persuasion. It is also worth asking for some empathy: many people are
risking a lot to carry out this strike, and are likely to receive heavy repercussions for their roles;
in crossing the picket line, you are actively asserting your indifference to the horrible conditions
that motivated them to strike in the first place, and indeed placing them in even greater danger.
Haverford students are adults: if their actions, in this instance crossing the picket line, lead them
to be socially ostracized then that is their responsibility and they are always welcome to
reevaluate their behavior; we will not physically or psychologically attack anyone for their views,
and if an adult--here, a Haverford student--chooses to espouse views that alienate them from the
broad majority of their community, they are entirely responsible for those consequences and this
is not a violation of their free speech rights. I would like to quote an instagram post by
@alyssahowritings, entitled, “What To Do & Not To Do When Being Called Out/In For Racism
Or Cultural Appropriation,” quoting Dr. Zuleyka Zevallos, a doctor of sociology “There is no
‘nice’ way to talk about racism,” and “As [BI]POC point out all day, every day, [w]hite people
put more effort into policing discussion of race so they don’t have to work on themselves.” Please
stop reframing this discussion to center non-BIPOC and non-FGLI students. Further, insinuating
that these students are being oppressed is not only disrespectful and disgusting, it's flat out false.
To address your last question, I will flip it. What actions have you taken to ensure your
communication [and action towards BIPOC] community members focuses on [genuine antiracism efforts (recognizing that these efforts are mythical in our current understanding)]?
I am deeply concerned that students who have chosen not to support the strike have been
accused of racism. This seems inconsistent with the honor code: "We must consider how
our words and actions, regardless of the medium, whether they be online or in person, may
affect the sense of acceptance essential to an individual’s or group’s participation in the
community.... Thus, the Code requires discussion that is active, inclusive, responsible, and
safe for all students. We understand conduct that is not in line with these values inherently
damages the community and thus violates the Code." Will you repudiate accusations of
racism against students who choose not to support the strike, and how will you engender
real, open discussion of the pros and cons of the strike?
One of the main reasons why this strike is occurring is that Haverford as an institution in its
current form does not support the well-being and overall life of its BIPOC FGLI students. This
strike, therefore, is a response to those conditions and a demand that they improve dramatically
so that Haverford might become an equitable space where the learning we all desire can take
place. To repeat, essentially the totality of BIPOC and FGLI students on campus are complying
and indeed we are the active leaders of the strike; after years of pursuing different avenues, it has
become clear to all of us that there is no other way to demand an adequate response from the
institution. Crossing the picket line, and thus going against the strike, is to express profound
indifference to the truly agonizing conditions to which BIPOC students are subjected daily at
Haverford, and indeed to defend them by refusing the work being done to change them. The label
of racism is simply adequate. It is also worth rethinking the impulse to be more pained by
someone being accused of racism than by racism itself--the consequences of that accusation are
nothing compared to the violence that racism daily visits upon BIPOC students on campus.
MONEY, JOBS, DONATIONS
A quick technical question: if we want to contribute to the strike fund or mutual support
fund, what are the most up-to-date instructions about where those contributions should go?
Quoted from the Strike FAQ document: “The bico mutual aid fund has received an
overwhelming amount of support and is no longer requesting funds. Instead of donating
to this mutual aid network, please consider donating to the local mutual aid networks
listed at the end of this response.”
○ Local Mutual Aid Networks:
■ @blacklgbtqrepararions: Philly Reparations: LGBTQIA+: We are a group
based in Philadelphia that helps give reparations to Black LGBTQIA+ in
■ @mutualaidphilly: Philly neighbors providing mutual aid to Philly
neighbors during COVID-19.
■ @phreethemall: phillyphreedomnetwork:
Trans&2Spirit&Femme&Indigenous Autonomous Collectively Caring
Occupied Lenape Land and “West Philly”
■ @blackandbrowncoalitionphl: A Philadelphia volunteer-based alliance,
established to protect the vested interest of our Black and Brown
■ @groceries4philly: This group was formed by Black women organizers
during the summer 2020 uprisings. In October, G4P became an official
initiative of Racial Justice Philly. Donate through venmo @PhillyROJC
and cashapp $PhillyROJC with the note G4P to make sure the funds are
Are you interested in having any teach-ins (which could also be done in collaboration with
faculty or led by faculty)? In case folks don’t know about teach-ins: How to Organize a
We are working with a group of professors to organize and offer various teach-ins planned and
moderated by both the students and the faculty. The hope is to change conventional modes of
learning and offer spaces where the transformative goals and values of the strike can be realized
through shared educational practices that equalize students, faculty and staff. Interested students
can sign up here to help.
Are students being asked to go to the dining hall for meals? There seems to be some
confusion about this.
Initially there were concerns that DC staff would be overwhelmed without the help of student
workers if students continued to eat regularly at the DC, but after conversations with DC
management it has become clear that this is not the case. Students are encouraged to use food
networks outside the DC if they are able, especially if they live in the apartments, but it is not
crossing the picket line to use the DC. Food sources to consider include the Nest, the Burrow
Cafe, or local Black-owned restaurants.
I'm surprised that I haven't seen anything in non-bi-co media about the strike, nor have I
seen any requests to NOT share this story more widely. Is there a conscious decision by the
organizers about seeking or not seeking outside publicity? If so, what is the reasoning?
We are seeking outside publicity so if you have any media connection, please send them our
email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve had a few people from local media reach out to us
and we’re in the process of talking with them. We initially were waiting for President Wendy’s
response to our demands before we seeked out outside media. We know public image is
important to Haverford but we wanted to see what response we were working with before
amplifying the strike more.
As we look to cancel college programs in support of the strike, we wanted to get a sense of
whether or not students still plan to participate in programs related to getting jobs and
internships? (i.e upcoming Internship search workshops, Job Search workshop for seniors,
etc.) Since many missed out on summer experiential opportunities due to the pandemic, we
are exploring how best to be supportive of our students at this particular moment in time.
Because the purpose of the strike is to halt all activities that uphold Haverford as an institution,
yes, part of striking means choosing not to participate in college-sponsored panels and
workshops. That being said, it is not crossing the picket line to work on personal and professional
development and students are encouraged to continue to do such work independently of
Haverford-sponsored events. Any individual advisement between faculty and student is not a
violation of the strike as it only benefits the individual student, not the institution.
Strike FAQ created by student strike organizers to answer questions posed frequently by members of the Haverford community, members of the TriCollege Community, parents, and others. This document was linked in the daily strike updates for November 1, 2, 3, and 4, and was updated with new information until at least November 4, 2020.
(approximate) 2020-11-01 - (approximate) 2020-11-04
STRIKE FAQ Updated 2020-11-04