To our creative writing students:
In light of the conversations about sexual assault and harassment taking place at Stanford and in the world, including the recent allegations involving two former Stanford English professors and questions around the University’s response, we want to reaffirm how deeply committed we are to making the classrooms, offices and hallways of creative writing safe.
Every day in our classes, we ask you to share your stories with us. We ask you to speak and write about your experiences, about the things that you imagine, about the things that you fear. We know that speaking up in this way is a great risk, maybe the greatest risk. We ask you to do it anyway. Then we ask you to help us create a space in the classroom where this is not only possible for you, but possible for everyone. We ask you to make space for each other’s stories and for each other. We ask you to listen.
It is in this way that we come to know each other: We believe in each other’s voices and listen to them. We fight for them to be heard. We want you to know that we are listening to you. We are listening to you around our workshop tables, and we are listening to you outside of our classrooms. And we want you to know that we are speaking, too.
We are adding our voices to yours: Sexual assault and harassment should not be tolerated in our university, and Stanford students, instructors and administrators must find ways to act so that it no longer is.
Though some parts of our writing practice happen alone, we are surely a community: of teachers and students and artists. We are each grateful for this community, and know such a community requires great trust to maintain. As lecturers, we will continue to work to foster and honor that trust, and hope you will trust us with your ideas about how we can do that in the days ahead.
Jones Lecturers in Creative Writing
Contact the authors through Kate Petersen at klpeter ‘at’ stanford.edu.