Ashley McDermott ’26
On Friday, March 24, Connecticut College President Katherine Bergeron announced her resignation. This decision had been announced following protests from students and faculty over a fundraising trip’s controversial location. In her statement, she says, “I am writing to let you know that I informed the Board of Trustees this week that I will be stepping down as President of Connecticut College at the end of the current semester.”
Students and faculty stood opposed to a planned fundraising trip to the Everglades Club in Florida. This club has a racist past, and the trip has since been canceled. Besides criticizing the fundraising trip, students also protested against the resignation of Connecticut College’s Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, Rodman King. Dean King resigned in response to the controversial trip hosted by the college and to the mistreatment of students of color and LGBTQ+ students, thus causing students to gather inside the administration building to voice their concerns.
President Katherine Bergeron has held her position for nearly ten years. While it is never explicitly stated that the protests led to her resignation, President Bergeron alludes to this in her announcement. She writes, “The past several weeks have proven particularly challenging, and as president, I fully accept my share of responsibility for the circumstances that have led us to this moment.” Despite her resignation taking place at the end of this current semester, students were hoping the resignation would be immediate. Until then, it is unclear whether students will continue to protest. Nonetheless, students are pleased with President Bergeron’s announcement.
According to students on Connecticut College’s campus, there is still work to be done to make the school a more equitable environment; this includes adjusting institutional policies and administrators reevaluating how Connecticut College implements their values of diversity, equity, and shared governance. In the meantime, the Board of Trustees searches for a new president. The school is still not sure who will take over the position in the interim once Bergeron steps down at the end of this semester.