Beta: Beginning of the End?

Seems like the administration is really flexing its muscles this time around. Fresh from my inbox:

Dear Students:

I write to notify you of a revision to Wesleyan’s residency requirement designed to clarify the University’s rules concerning off-campus housing. In brief: beginning Fall 2011, Wesleyan students will be prohibited from residing in — or using for social activities — houses or property owned, leased or operated by private societies that are not recognized by the University. You can find the revised policy online at http://www.wesleyan.edu/studenthandbook/residency.html

Students found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary measures by the University, including suspension.

President Roth asked for this policy revision to address the problematic issue of having residential organizations that appear to function as Wesleyan entities yet have no Wesleyan oversight. DKE, Psi U, and Alpha Delt are recognized as part of program housing and are thus not affected by this change. This revised policy would, however, have major consequences for Beta which has chosen to not participate in program housing and is therefore not recognized by the University.

We are continuing our discussions with the members of Beta and their alumni about joining program housing, and remain hopeful that they will choose to do so. Such a choice would result in University recognition and avoid the scenario of students being prohibited from residing in Beta or using it for social activities.

This revised policy won’t affect the great majority of you as you consider your housing options for the 2011-2012 academic year, but President Roth and I agreed that it was important to call your attention to the revision – and its potential ramifications.

Sincerely,

Dean Mike Whaley
Vice President for Student Affairs

What? Huh? What just happened?! More after the jump. Keep refreshing, this post will definitely be updated throughout the day.

Some initial thoughts:
President Roth and I agreed that it was important to call your attention to the revision
Well, thanks for letting us know…?
Students found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary measures by the University, including suspension.
Wesleyan makes on-campus housing for all four years mandatory, so this isn’t really news. But the fact that we’ll be disciplined to throw parties in an off campus building owned by private societies… What?!
This revised policy won’t affect the great majority of you blah blah blah
No. There is no question that Beta Theta Pi has a respectable part of the social scene at Wes, whether you like it or not.

Will Beta Theta Pi put up a fight? How about us as a student body? I really can’t throw a kegger in the attic of my cheese lovers society? So many questions. All I know is there’s a storm a brewin’.

34 thoughts on “Beta: Beginning of the End?

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  4. another alum

    I don’t care about Beta, but this policy is ridiculous. Overkill. Solve the problem some other way without telling students where they can and cannot live or hang out.

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  6. Tell us in person

    The administration clearly thinks they are acting reasonably here. If Roth really believes this shit, he should be able to defend these views in person. We should petition for an open Q&A in the chapel for Roth or Whaley to actually address student concerns on these issues. Shits retarded. If no decent compromise results from discussion (which so far has not even been offered) then civil disobedience is a must. We really can’t just let them cowardly address this behind the safety of an email. It makes me embarrassed to go to a school led by such wimpy administrators.

  7. A concerned weskid'12

    Can we all sign a petition against this, can we stage a civil disobedience movement by congregating at beta? Can we call out the administration on how childish they have been? Why can’t we stand up and fight against this?

    What does beta do that alpha del doesn’t? Beta throw parties that are open to everyone and they have a police officer monitoring the situation and they have kegs. Alpha del kids just smoke weed in their grotto all day everyday. Psafe know this but don’t do anything. Psi U kids play beer bong every thursday night on their main floor. Why don’t psafe do anything about that?

    Dean Mike and President Roth must be aware of the facts that I just stated above but why are they concerned only with Beta? What personal vendetta do they have against Beta? I can pay for my room in the Butts but that doesn’t mean I have to live there, I could also rent a room in Middletown Inn. Will the administration try and make me always sleep in my own bed, in my own room on campus.

    As you can see, this email from them was utterly juvenile and something must be done.

    It’s a cry for battle:

    And then it’s fight for old Wesleyan,
    never give in.
    Fight to the end
    when might and right shall win.
    So keep on fighting ’til victory
    crowns everyone;
    And then it’s fight, fight, fight, fight
    for Wesleyan!

    Go Wes!

  8. Angry Student

    So, if Beta has a party next semester and say 100 students go to the party. Are they really going to punish all of the Beta bros and all the students at the party. It seems to me that with some simple civil disobedience this policy is entirely unenforceable. I think it is pretty clear that this policy represents the administration overstepping their bounds. The question is how can we show them that this is unacceptable. As a liberal-arts college that proclaims openness and diversity, I can’t believe that this is a serious policy.

    1. Franz

      But like I said before, the University’s enforcement is going to be selective. They won’t suspend 100 students; they’ll suspend a couple Beta bros to keep it from happening again. They didn’t fine everyone who participated in Tour de Franzia last year; they fined the house that organized it, and as a result the Tour will be conducted via email announcements this year.

  9. alum

    Frank: Dear Mitch, if you’re holding this letter you already know. The house has been boarded up. The doors. The windows. Everything. We’re at the Comfort Inn. Room 112. I love you. Frank

    Whaley / Roth must have recently checked out Old School. Double date perhaps with their wives.

    So you have gained entry into one of the most elite schools in the world. You are in the top 5% in the country academically. Worked your ass off to get there. Stayed out of trouble, etc. However once you get there, you are unable to figure out if a place is safe or not, according to the university. You need Wesleyan to put a special light outside telling you if its ok or not.

    While they are at it, might as well throw some padding up on the walls in all the dorms! Or put every student in a bubble so that if they happen to get to the outside of the bubble already created by going to Wesleyan, you are safe and will just bounce back into the bubble inside of the bubble. God forbid Wesleyan students made decisions on their own.

  10. anonymous

    So… what’s to stop people from simply claiming not to be Wesleyan Students and refusing to show a student ID whenever “caught” being at beta?

  11. Allie Benson '11

    So here’s my issue: the university has the rights to require us to pay for their housing. They do NOT have the right to require us to live in their housing, NOR do they have the right to tell us that we can’t go to private residences.

    Ultimately, the university can make Beta students pay for university housing AND support the full costs of the frat building. I don’t see how it is in their rights to prohibit students from sleeping in Beta, though. Similarly, students shouldn’t be prohibited from attending Beta parties. In fact, EATING at Beta is also apparently disallowed (see the revised policy).

    This is an administrative overstep that needs to be corrected– this is not within their powers.

      1. Aa

        attitudes like this is why wesleyan is becoming worse and worse. if you don’t like it, CHANGE IT. you’re a disappointment.

  12. Get Real

    This is just the latest chapter of Wesleyan’s long, low-intensity war with frats, which is part of its slow erosion of student power. As posters have pointed out, no, you won’t be suspended for going to your monthly Freemasons’ meeting, as “society” here is clearly going to be selectively enforced against fraternities/sororities, and against Beta in particular. And as someone else has pointed out, even if Beta manages to become an LLC or something, it won’t save them. The way the University enforces discipline is not bound by the limits of its own legalese, which is evident in how the SJB under Scott Backer is currently operating. This means that legal challenges are self-defeating; the only opposition has to be some form of coordinated disobedience. I rarely go to Beta, but this is something I think is worth defending.

  13. Astatine Caravaggio

    I don’t like Beta, but as of now, I like Dean Whaley even less. Anything the student body can do to show the bros some support?

  14. Ed

    The way I read this, I can’t eat at a restaurant (run by a private company instead of a big chain that has gone public) again without Wesleyan punishing me.

    “Wesleyan students are prohibited from using houses or property owned, leased or operated by private societies that are not recognized by the University. This prohibition includes using such houses or property as residences, taking meals at such houses or property and participating in social activities at such houses or property.”

  15. esc

    Wesleyan, reading comprehension, please.

    Wesleyan students will be prohibited from residing in houses or property owned, leased or operated by private societies that are not recognized by the University.

    Yes, this is shitty of the university. Yes, this sucks for Beta. No, this does not mean there’s no more off-campus housing ever.

    Thanks for reading bros.

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  17. Support from an anti-bro

    Why has this come up now? It’s obvious: it’s the school’s reaction to the sarcastic Argus article. Beta members pay room and board and sign up for housing just like everyone else but they choose to pay extra to live in a private house. Why should the school care if Beta has to deal with MPD which is surely much worse than dealing with p-safe.

    1. Slong

      its all a control scheme – the administration doesn’t have control of what happens at Beta and they want / need control. I still don’t like it – does this mean all “off – campus” houses?

      1. anonymous

        no, only off campus houses “leased or operated by private societies that are not recognized by the University”

        someone brought up beta turning into a ‘business’ rather than a ‘private society.’ that would be easy enough if they were a singular organization like eclectic, but they are a chapter of a nation fraternity. perhaps they could loan the building to, e.g., a beta alum who runs the house nominally as a private residence unaffiliated with beta, which beta bros happen to crash in from time to time. but that would just initiate a game of semantic catch and mouse, w/ the administration changing their wording to recriminalize partying in beta.

        i don’t party at beta, and have no stake in the issue at hand. but i do STRONGLY appose the administration’s strangling dominion over housing. yes, it’s a private university, they can do what they want blah blah blah… but room and board are preposterously expensive compared to what we could could be getting on our own. at the very least, upperclassmen should not have to ask permission to opt out.

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