President Spar, in conjunction with the presidents of the Seven Sisters colleges, released an open letter this morning to Stephen Bannon, the media executive recently tapped by the incoming Trump administration to serve as Chief Strategist in the White House. The letter affirms each college’s respect for and pride in their students and alumnae, and takes exception to his disparaging remarks.
The full text of the letter may be found below:
An Open letter to Stephen Bannon from the Seven Sisters Presidents
November 21, 2016
Mr. Stephen K. Bannon
Presidential Transition Office
1800 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
Dear Mr. Bannon:
Given your appointment as Senior Counselor by President-elect Donald Trump, a number of your comments have been scrutinized by the press. As has been widely reported, in a 2011 interview with Political Vindication Radio, you disparaged lesbians, feminists and alumnae of the historic Seven Sisters Colleges, all in one statement that we deliberately choose not to repeat here. Other reported comments by you reflect other forms of bias, including racism, anti-Semitism and more. As the leaders of the Seven Sisters Colleges, we take deep exception to these comments and ask that you take a more expansive, informed and tolerant world view in your leadership role.
We are proud of our alumnae and students, who represent the spectrum of sexual orientation, race, class and religion as well as political party. Our alumnae are accomplished leaders in all spheres of public and professional life; they are committed to their work, their families and their countries. Now more than ever, we look to those who would lead the United States of America for a message of inclusion, respect and unity.
President, Barnard College
President, Bryn Mawr College
President, Mount Holyoke College
Dean, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
President, Smith College
Interim President, Vassar College
President, Wellesley College
Over the weekend, President Spar signed two additional joint letters, published by Inside Higher Ed and directed to the Trump administration. A message to President-elect Trump, signed by more than 120 college and university presidents, urged him to condemn the recent harassment and acts of violence that have taken place, often in his name, since the election. A second statement, with more than 90 signatures currently noted, called for the continuation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented individuals to register for work and education permits as well as providing relief from threats of deportation.