Reflecting on recent Supreme Court rulings

To the Wheaton community:

Over the last few days, I have been reflecting on the recent Supreme Court decisions—from student loan forgiveness to affirmative action, and LGBTQ+ rights—issued just before the 4th of July holiday. Like many of you, I felt a heaviness considering the immediate and future impact to so many families, friends, neighbors and colleagues—and our Wheaton community. 

We may face additional challenges as a result of these rulings, but we will not be deterred from our commitment to a diverse and inclusive learning community that creates lasting change through the transformative power of a liberal arts education. 

The college will continue to provide access to a Wheaton education for high-achieving underrepresented students through our long-standing practice of comprehensive evaluation. We will continue working with students, faculty, and staff through programs in Student Financial Services and Human Resources in navigating the impact of the student loan decision. 

Through the generosity of alumni, parents and friends, the college is able to meet 94 percent of students’ demonstrated financial need. The result is that Wheaton students graduate with less average debt than those of their peers at other institutions. Additionally, for employees, Wheaton partners with TIAA and Savi to provide assistance in navigating student debt and with the Employee Assistance Program for a variety of needs. 

We remain steadfast in fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all of our students, faculty, and staff. This includes our valued LGBTQ+ community, for whom we provide both resources and support. This extends from curriculum and policies to programs and events organized through the Center for Social Justice & Community Impact.

That said, I recognize the weight that many of us feel at this moment. As a community, we can lend support to each other and convert frustration into fuel for constructive action in the world. 

Please remember that you are not alone.  You may want to reach out to Mike Pratt, the LGBTQ+ Engagement Coordinator in the Center for Social Justice and Community Impact, the Office of the Dean of Students at [email protected], and Dr. Luis Paredes, Office of Institutional Equity and Belonging.

Michaele Whelan