Who are the Wesleyan Students for Freedom?
It is a group of Wesleyan students who are deeply concerned by the Administration’s repeated pushbacks against student rights, especially the environment of fear cultivated over the past year. Our mission is to force the administration to stop their gross infringement of our civil liberties.
What started this?
Last week, in an all campus email to students, the Administration announced sweeping changes to the Residency Policy that affect all facets of campus life. The text we would like to call to your attention is this:
“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.”
This policy raises many concerns. First, nowhere in the University rules and regulations is the term “private society” defined. This means that you can be suspended for involvement in any organization not recognized by the university, such as a charity, soup kitchen, or religious organization. This gives the Administration free reign to capriciously punish any student at any time by claiming that they so much as set foot on a property owned by a private group.
The second major issue is that this policy gives the Administration the right to make life decisions for you, telling you where you can and cannot go. This is paternalistic in the extreme, dismissing our rights as adults to think for ourselves and to decide who we will or will not freely associate ourselves with. This policy is a clear attack on our civil liberties.
This is only about Beta. Why should I care?
This policy is the latest in a series of University actions to limit student rights and change the character of the school. Witness the unfair treatment of the Tour de Franzia students last year. Look at how Zonker Harris Day and Duke Day have been renamed to appease the Administration.
Let’s face it, Beta is unpopular on campus. The Administration is counting on you not to oppose this policy because of this. By attacking them first, they hope to divide us into factions amongst ourselves. If we yield to this, it will tell the Administration that they can do whatever they want. We are all Wesleyan students, whether you belong to Beta, Eclectic, or no society at all. It is time to unite. It is time to tell the administration that we will not stand for this gross infringement of our rights.
This is a Private University. The Administration can do whatever they want.
Yes, this is a private university, which gives the Administration many powers. However, telling us where we can and cannot go off campus crosses the line. Also, this is a university of students, staff, faculty, and administrators. Our tuition pays their salaries and keeps the University running. This gives us the right to tell the Administration that enough is enough and that we will not accept their continued assaults on our rights.
How can I help?
We are a group of students organized around collective opposition to this unjust and insulting policy. We welcome anyone who wishes to help our cause. It can be as simple as showing up for a rally or it can be as complex as writing issue briefs, meeting with the Administration, and contacting outside organizations. If you have any interest at all, please email us at: