Thank you for continuing to voice your concerns over the Mr. Wellesley Freshman contest – we are continuing to listen to you. We wanted to take this opportunity to more directly address some of the concerns that have been brought up.
-We first want to clarify that the Mr. Wellesley Freshman Contest is being run by Her Campus Wellesley, a branch of HerCampus.com which is run by Wellesley students.
-How contestants were selected: Katie ([email protected]), the President/Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus Wellesley, sent out a mass Facebook message to the members of the Her Campus Wellesley Facebook group requesting nominations for the contest. At that stage of the contest, no one nominated any transgender students on Wellesley’s campus. We never said that these students would not be allowed to enter the contest; it was just that no one nominated them. At this stage of the contest, it is now too late to redo the contest given the timing, timeline for the contest, logistics in collaborating with all of the different parties involved, etc. But this does not mean that your comments and concerns have not made an impact that will be realized- through the current discussion and through Her Campus Wellesley’s future projects.
-It was never our intention to offend anyone with this contest, or to make any kind of anti-feminist, hetero-normative statement. At Her Campus, our mission is to serve as a resource for all sorts of college women. We understand, as do you, that college women are a diverse group with differing wants and needs. We do our best to serve YOU, by providing a variety of content, some of which will appeal to some more than others. We hope that if this particular contest does not appeal to you, you have at least benefited from some of the other content on the site and on Her Campus Wellesley in particular.
-We want to emphasize that we certainly have nothing against women who are not heterosexual and that the site does not exclude them. We would like to call your attention to this article on the meaning of the word “queer” on college campuses today, as well as this upcoming article we’re doing on lesbian relationships in college.
-We also did not mean to offend anyone by posting emails anonymously that we have received. Nevertheless, we have removed them from the site in response to your comments.
-HerCampus.com and Her Campus Wellesley are new organizations, and we are doing our best to serve Wellesley’s women and college women in general. This is the first time we are running this contest at Wellesley, and we are learning- about Wellesley, about Wellesley’s women- as we go. Her Campus Wellesley and HerCampus.com made decisions about how to run the contest this year based on what we honestly thought would work best for Wellesley’s campus. Your feedback has been enlightening and will absolutely inform how we run this contest next year and beyond. We are not ignoring you, and we assure you that the contest will be different next year as a direct result of your feedback.
To sum up: Our mission is to serve you- women of Wellesley, and all college women. We are trying our best to do that. We are taking your feedback and using it to inform how we do things moving forward. We did not mean to offend anyone and regret that we were unsuccessful to this end. We recognize that college women are a diverse group, and that it is challenging to meet each unique woman’s wants and needs. However, this is a challenge we are willing and excited to take on. Please help us continue to do our best, and please feel free to continue to email us with your thoughts, comments, and concerns. We promise we’ll listen.