Housing Policy Scandal Hits Fox News

“‘We really want to create the safest environment possible,’ [David Pesci] said.”

It was only a matter of time before last week’s contentious housing policy revision—and ensuing student reactions, FIRE objection, and student-run protests—hit national news. No, it’s not the Huff Post.
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Along with providing a general narrative of everything you pretty much already know, the Fox article, headlined “Wesleyan University Students Complain New Housing Policy Exerts Too Much Control,” provides some especially interesting viewpoints from David Pesci, Wesleyan’s director of media relations, and Jeff Tanenbaum ’12, president of Beta (and currently misspelled as “Tanendaum”). Despite last week’s striking student backlash, Pesci isn’t backing down:

“They’re stretching the definition of the rule,” Pesci said.

Pesci told FoxNews.com that next fall the regulations aren’t changing, just being more heavily enforced to protect the students. He said the revisions are being made only to tell students they will face disciplinary action if the rules are broken.

[...]

But Tanendaum isn’t convinced. He said if students wish to gather at any private society, such as “The Italian Society,” it would have to be approved by college officials, or else they could face consequences.

Tanendaum is the president of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, which is no longer associated with the university.

“We were not granted to live on campus this year. The 14 of us lived off campus, but we’re forced to pay for dorm rooms on campus, too.”

He said because they aren’t affiliated with the university, it’s possible the university could bust them for holding social functions.

Miceli, president of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, which is affiliated with the university, said the rules give him anxiety about what the university can do under the new policy.

“It’s a slippery slope. If they can pass this, what else can they pass?” he said.

Other notable quotes from the piece:
  • Micah Feiring ’11, WSA President: “The administration is usually very good about working with students. But this time they did not.”
  • Adam Kissel, vice president of programs at thefire.org: “The way the policy is written, all kinds of private associations all kinds of private organizations are in the same situation. If students don’t get approval of where the social function is being held, they could get penalized. It means going to a church service, going to the Elks, going to the Salvation Army where the Kiwanis meets.”
  • Tom Misceli ’12: “It feels like you are still living with mom and dad.”

Read the whole article at FoxNews.com.

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  • Wes Student Body

    This uproar is NOT about Beta. This uproar is NOT just about the new residency policy. This uproar is about the university’s continual refusal to listen to students. Remember the open container policy? Remember the Tour de Franzia fiasco? This is simply the latest in a SERIES of infringements upon student rights and the collective student voice.
    Put an end to the university administration’s dismissal of the student voice. Show that we care. Show that we will not be trampled upon. Show that we WILL have a voice and they MUST listen, whether or not they like it.
    COME PROTEST AT THE “RALLY FOR YOUR RIGHTS” AT 7PM ON FRIDAY IN THE COURTYARD IN FRONT OF BECKHAM HALL.

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  • Alum ’10

    This is the first I’ve heard about this (aside from the hilarious DKE wespeak), and I’m definitely saddened to hear the Roth administration has continued to infringe on students’ rights.

    My reaction is similar to Kissel’s: what counts as a private organization? Does the Gatekeeper qualify? Does the North End Action Team? Does a conference in DC qualify? Does this only apply to students when school is in session? Should I, as an alumni, be reporting what organizations’ social function I have been attending?

    Y’all should just flood Roth’s inbox with updates on your daily activities. Or For instance:
    Tuesday, 2/22: Went to the middletown fruitery and purchased 10 oranges, went to Udupi Bhavan and ordered Chana Masala.

    Eh? Eh?

  • Anon

    “Pesci told FoxNews.com that next fall the regulations aren’t changing, just being more heavily enforced to protect the students. He said the revisions are being made only to tell students they will face disciplinary action if the rules are broken.”

    Flat out lie.