Over two dozen College alumni recently wrote to Susanne Svizney, chair of the Board of Trustees, and President R. Barbara Gitenstein to express their outrage and disappointment about Tucker Max performing at the College.
While at the College, these alumni were participants in Greek life, cultural diversity and equality groups, the Women’s Center, residence life staff members, activists to end violence against women through the educational productions of “The Vagina Monologues”, EOF students, men and women, gay and straight.? Many of them minored in the Women In Learning and Leadership (WILL) Program or were Women’s and Gender Studies majors/minors.
They shared with Svizney and Gitenstein that despite their diversity, what they all had in common was that they had found a “home” at the College and were influenced by its environment. They were proud of the work they did as students to promote a more fair and just world, both on campus and globally.? They also praised the good work the College is doing to combat interpersonal violence, particularly under the leadership of the Anti-Violence Initiatives Office. It was for all of those reasons that they felt compelled to share their frustration and anger at the College’s plan to bring Max to campus.
Both as students and now as professionals, the group expressed that Tucker Max is representative of the very attitudes, beliefs and actions that they seek to prevent.? He openly writes and speaks about sexually violating and disregarding women.? He does this without remorse, regret or regard for consequences and with promotion and support.
One alumni wrote, “We are horrified that (the College) would promote an individual who casually discusses his own actions of violence as ‘humor.’? The behavior and attitudes that Max promotes will surely send the message that (the College) condones interpersonal violence.” She expressed that such messaging disturbs both survivors and the College community on the whole.
Alumni received a letter from James Norfleet, vice president for Student Affairs, which outlined the governance and funding structure which allowed Max’s performance to continue despite protests. Norfleet “hopes that those on our campus who are offended by the views espoused by Tucker Max will make their voices heard in a constructive manner.” Therefore, several alumni have reached out to Max asking him to donate a portion of the proceeds (he makes $25,000 for one day at the College) to support services for victims of rape and sexual assault. If Max does support women and doesn’t actually condone the humorless antics he writes about, then he should have no problem supporting survivors of sexual assault.