Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The Social Affairs Committee (SAC) issued a formal statement about the DU Party themed “Professors and School Girls” on Wednesday, writing, “We did not intend to support or in any way promote the gender stereotypes or power dynamics to which [two Swarthmore] students were so opposed.” The committee elaborated, “advertisements for all SAC-funded events are the responsibility of the group throwing the party and are not screened by SAC members. Offensive signs and banners were not and have never been endorsed by SAC.”
Two students, David McCandlish ’05 and Raghu Karnad ’05 had originally approached student council with the complaint that DU’s theme “Professors and School Girls” was inappropriate. McCandlish and Karnard took issue with the fact that a “student body [funded] a party whose theme was in conflict with our community values”. McCandlish also added, “Imagine being a first-year and having attended the party – you might have walked away with a skewed perspective of how we view gender roles and sexual identity on this campus. We feel that SAC and Student Council have an obligation to correct this false impression and to affirm our core beliefs on gender equality.”
SAC voted to issue a statement after it became aware of complaints from the community. Myra Vallianos ’05, Student Events Advisor on Student Council and an ex officio member of SAC, stated that while SAC knows the titles of events prior to giving funding, it does not know how student groups will advertise for the events. In the case of the DU party “Professors and School Girls”, Vallianos said that advertising was “a little over the top”.
The full text of SAC’s statement appears below:
In last week’s Phoenix, two students expressed serious concerns with SAC’s decision to fund the “Professors and Schoolgirls” all-campus party. We did not intend to support or in any way promote the gender stereotypes or power dynamics to which these students were so opposed.
Additionally, we feel it is important to note that SAC funding is determined based on the proposal alone. Advertisements for all SAC-funded events are the responsibility of the group throwing the party and are not screened by SAC members. Offensive signs and banners were not and have never been endorsed by SAC.
Social Affairs Committee