It Ain’t Over ’till it’s Over

We have a message for you from the Wes Student Body about today’s rally, but first I have an editorial/introduction. Roth published a blog post yesterday, conceding overreach, but without resolving the issue at all. In fact, his statement is contradictory.  He wrote, “Many students appear to see this as a threat to their freedom, and I want to be sensitive to that. The university has no interest in regulating the social lives of our students when they are away from campus, and the language we used suggests otherwise. We will change the language.” This is a good acknowledgement of the issue and appears to be a retraction of the earlier policy. However, he goes on to add, “I want to be as clear as possible: if the Beta Fraternity does not join with the other Greek fraternities and societies, it will be off-limits to undergraduates next semester. Students who violate this rule will face significant disciplinary action, including suspension…It is an attempt to minimize unsafe conditions adjacent to campus.” In other words, he sees the issue, but is not backing down from the policy. His contention that it is for our safety is not supported.

The Administration has been quick to highly publicize any questionable activity at Beta, but ducks the larger issues of extreme intoxication and sexual assault on campus. Yes, there have been incidents of sexual assault at Beta, but there is no proof whatsoever that it is any more dangerous than any other part of campus. Beta, at their request, is monitored by the police during every party. Does Roth truly think Public Safety can stop “unsafe conditions” that the Middletown Police Department? The Administration is using the very real issue of sexual violence as a weapon in their crusade to regulate campus life. And that is the real issue: the campaign against Beta is about control, not about “unsafe conditions.” Let’s face it, Beta is unpopular on campus. The Administration was counting on this to get the student body to go along with the policy. Ceding this ground opens the door for further encroachment on students’ rights. If we don’t make a stand here, when will we?

Roth’s blog post mentions that the trustee dinner will “[celebrate] recent campus activism, such as efforts to combat sexual violence on campus, to confront housing and poverty issues in Middletown, to promote flood relief in Pakistan, and to create educational opportunities and free health care in Kenya.” He goes on to point out several other activist causes on campus, suggesting that these issues are what we should be protesting. Let’s note that these are all “safe” forms of protest, the comfortable boundary of “liberal” protest that can be pointed as a sign of an engaged student body on admissions materials and in the media. If we’re discussing major activist causes on campus, why not talk about the major protest last semester over insurance for university employees? The answer is, it doesn’t make the school look good. What appears to be an innocuous statement about a engaged student body is a quite insidious insinuation about the Administration’s vision for the student body.  This vision sees the student body as being “concerned, aware, and passionate about social justice” while being complacent about the Administration’s actions. In their attempt to garner students concerned with social issues, they’ve ended up with a student body who see issues in campus life, not just in the larger world.

Personally, I’m not much of an activist. I’m just someone who saw his rights being trod on and said enough. There are some things a man can’t ride around. I’ve been in contact with other members of Wesleyan Students for Freedom and the WSA. We’re all in agreement. This issue isn’t over yet. The protest is on for tonight, 7 PM, outside Beckham Hall. Show Roth that this great institution belongs just as much to the students as it does to the Administration.

 

Well, that was longer than I expected. Here’s the original notice:

On February 14th, you received an all-campus email noting a revision to the University’s residency policy. This revision, while intended to primarily affect Beta Fraternity House, used extremely broad language that gave the University a great degree of control over what students could do off-campus. This change was also issued unilaterally without any student input and no use of the usual appropriate channels of student-vetting in the WSA and elsewhere.

Although President Roth recently apologized and promised to revise the policy in a blog post, he has avoided the underlying issue that is this administration’s continued abuses of student rights and freedoms in its ever-consolidating quest for unquestionable control of this campus. President Roth’s apology is not enough. His promise to revise the residency policy is not enough. President Roth and his administration must understand that the students are still, and will continue to be, a major power at this school. They must understand that this patronizing attitude is not acceptable. They must understand that the student voice will be heard.

In order to make this clear, there will be a rally on Friday, February 25th, at 7pm outside Beckham Hall. Please make an effort to attend. We need to show the administration that there is united student opposition to not only this policy, but also the general trend of top-down patronizing governance. Bring some friends, make some signs, have a good time, and get the message across at the same time.

35 thoughts on “It Ain’t Over ’till it’s Over

  1. censorship on Roth's blog

    I wrote a comment on Roth’s blog last night critical of his post and it has vanished this morning. Nice censorship, Roth!

  2. Squinn

    This post is infuriating and indicative of the general student response to this issue. Yall need to ask yourselves, why now? Why this issue?

    You write “Personally, I’m not much of an activist. I’m just someone who saw his rights being trod on and said enough.” So when white male students or other students who don’t normally engage with issues of injustice/organizing on this campus have THEIR rights trod on, then you are moved to act? What about the rights of other people? Why does their violation not move you to action?
    You write “There are some things a man can’t ride around.” So you, AS A MAN, can’t ride around this issue. But you can, in fact, because of your privilege and chosen ignorance, ride around rape culture that is maintained and perpetuated by students and institutions (including beta and many others), racism, the human remains of indigenous people held unlawfully in our science tower, and the many other issues that some students, administrators and community members are battling to right every day.

    1. Lsolow

      THANK YOU!!

      this is clearly a ridiculous policy. but THIS is what you can’t ride around?? you think sexual assault is a “very real issue” but it’s also one of those “safe” and “liberal” forms of protest that makes the administration look good? that attitude is, at best, delusional and, at worst, incredibly dangerous. if that issue makes the admin look good then why hasn’t the administration implemented any of the the SART recommendations? why is it that the “real issue” of sexual violence is being passed off to dean whaley while roth addresses this issue?

      guess what….there are some things (a lot of things) a PERSON can’t ride around. where have you been for those things?

    2. Anon

      First of all, stop the Man hating – we’re all on the same team. Second, since when did one issue’s importance constrain the amount of importance we can attribute to another issue? If this is the issue that gets this guy in the mood to make his community a better place, then thats great. If you think he is taking the wrong side on this issue then that is one thing, but it appears that you’re more angry that he is taking any side on an issue you feel is unimportant, and that just doesn’t make sense at a school like Wesleyan.

      1. Squinn

        No, anon, we are not on the same team, you and me. We’re not on the same team until you stop using the tired old trope of “angry man-hater” to denounce the legitimacy of my political views. We’re not on the same team until you acknowledge the existence and power of male privilege, unresisted, to shape individuals’ worldviews. we’re not on the same team until the members of our allegedly unified student body who allow their privilege and ignorance to keep them stagnant on the issues that impact the people they see every day wake up and look around. We’re not on the same team until you are unwilling to wait for white males who claim to speak for ME as well as for the ENTIRE STUDENT BODY to “get in the mood” to actively fight against injustice as it impacts any member of our community.

        1. GetOverYourself

          “until you stop using the tired old trope of ‘angry man-hater'”

          Oh Christ. The straw man argument is the most tired of them all, and you seem to be pretty good at it. I don’t see anywhere in the post above where anyone called you that. Also, I’m not sure why you think you can pull white male privilege out of your ass to help your argument here. I understand that there’s a tangential relationship to sexual violence, something that the campus needs to work against, but making someone who disagrees with you look like a rapist is insulting to both character and intelligence.

          Honestly, this post reads like a joke. Accept that you got called out for wanting a monopoly on campus activism, and get rid of this word salad of jargon. Maybe the reason so many people are so vocal about this issue is that it actually affects everyone on campus, and not just splinter groups based around identity politics or activism cred.

        2. GetOverYourself

          “until you stop using the tired old trope of ‘angry man-hater'”

          Oh Christ. The straw man argument is the most tired of them all, and you seem to be pretty good at it. I don’t see anywhere in the post above where anyone called you that. Also, I’m not sure why you think you can pull white male privilege out of your ass to help your argument here. I understand that there’s a tangential relationship to sexual violence, something that the campus needs to work against, but making someone who disagrees with you look like a rapist is insulting to both character and intelligence.

          Honestly, this post reads like a joke. Accept that you got called out for wanting a monopoly on campus activism, and get rid of this word salad of jargon. Maybe the reason so many people are so vocal about this issue is that it actually affects everyone on campus, and not just splinter groups based around identity politics or activism cred.

        3. Sorrysquinn

          Squinn, I apologize if you took my comments the wrong way. I was clearly not trying to denounce the legitimacy of your views; I was only critical of your denouncement of something the OP cares about. I am the first to admit that to be male in our society comes with great and undeserved privilege. I was merely pointing out that the distance between apathy and the issues you care about is much larger than the distance between caring about one issue (however trivial you may think it is) and caring about other (more important) issues. However justified your anger may be, I find it misguided and unproductive.

        4. Sorrysquinn

          Squinn, I apologize if you took my comments the wrong way. I was clearly not trying to denounce the legitimacy of your views; I was only critical of your denouncement of something the OP cares about. I am the first to admit that to be male in our society comes with great and undeserved privilege. I was merely pointing out that the distance between apathy and the issues you care about is much larger than the distance between caring about one issue (however trivial you may think it is) and caring about other (more important) issues. However justified your anger may be, I find it misguided and unproductive.

      2. Lsolow

        actually anon, that’s exactly the point. YOU CAN GET MAD ABOUT A WHOLE BUNCH OF STUFF. for example, i think that this new policy is dumb. i signed the petition. i’m also going to the rally for planned parenthood on saturday. i also just implemented a campaign for consent last week. got more issues? sign me up! i don’t hate MEN i hate injustices and infringements on people’s rights and safety and i also hate when people don’t give a damn until something impacts them directly.

  3. VoysofResin

    I’m a little embarrassed to have this up on our student blog. This protest has been sustained by very few individuals and does not reflect the sentiment of the student body. A few points you keep missing:

    1. There may be other places on campus that have sexual violence histories. They are on campus and the university must and does take responsibility and can act on them. When assaults happen off campus it hurts the school’s reputation equally but the school has no power to stop it. It is a much bigger deal to take up assaults with MPD than it is to take it up with PSafe. The school’s reputation should not go down over something they have no oversight on or means to remedy.
    2. Beta undoubtedly is one of the less safe venues on weekends. There are very few spots on campus where this is a problem. Maybe YOU haven’t heard of the reports but that’s because it’s a highly private issue. You don’t know what you don’t hear. To think that the university is flexing it’s muscle arbitrarily is completely delusional. They have access to the gravity of the issue which you simply do not.
    3. Do I really think the University can prevent assaults from happening at Beta even if they do come on campus and let PSafe in? Absolutely. They have locked DKE down for years now. I don’t mean to imply that DKE had issues with sexual violence, but clearly the University has it within its means to prevent violence.
    4. Yes, the language is over broad. Did we ever think we would get in trouble for going anywhere other than Beta? No.

    1. anonymous

      Oh hi administration. This is usually a student blog, but since you’ve decided to pose as a student and make some unsupported claims, let me tear them down for you.

      The fraction of this campus that has signed the petition is not the only fraction that agrees with the petition. In fact, it’s large enough to suggest that a large fraction of the school agrees with this. Further, just talking to students proves you wrong. So yes, this post absolutely reflects the student body.

      1. One sexual assault has occured at Beta recently. And while that’s awful, it does not follow that being on campus would have made anything different occur. Unless you believe PSafe are more effective at their jobs than the MPD, that is. So yes, this assault is awful and utterly unrelated to this issue.
      2. This is crap and further supports my theory that you are an administrator. If you had any actual evidence, you would have presented it, as it would have made your case not totally unsupported. Beta is as safe or unsafe as any of the frats. It’s a bunch of drunk kids dancing together and that has some risks that Beta is obviously not able to control, but a university sponsored party of the same sort would not necessarily be any safer. Say something substantial or shut up and go away.
      3. They’ve locked down DKE because of alcohol violations and at least one assault has still occurred there despite this in past years. This is not the first sexual assault at Wesleyan and the others have been on campus. Therefore, you are full of crap again.
      4. Who cares? It’s not relevant. We probably wouldn’t get in trouble for going anywhere except Beta, but a) we’re adults, the student handbook promises to maintain our first amendment rights and this is a gross violation and b) it sets a precedent and the university could easily cease to recognize any other institution they deemed as a private society. The university’s vendetta against Beta began before this assault and is founded less on logic than on a need for control. Who knows what they’d do next?

      1. Anonymous

        On the subject of DKE, the current reason why they’re on probation shows why Beta refuses to join. A small group of DKEs (all21+) were having a private kegger when psafe broke down a back door and burst in with no probable cause.

  4. Spell Check

    I didn’t realize until was spelled “untill”. If you want to abbreviate, please do it correctly. You sound stupid.

        1. Anonymous

          We apparently used the same fake email address, so the comment system “fixed” the different username.

    1. Spell Check Too

      Did you just go there?

      Yes, ’till could be though of as a poor abbreviation for until. But what if it’s just a misplaced apostrophe? Or an anachronism?

      Posted from englishforums.com, and a quick google search will show you they’re not wrong:

      ‘USAGE NOTE: Till and until are generally interchangeable in both writing and speech, though as the first word in a sentence until is usually preferred: Until you get that paper written, don’t even think about going to the movies. Till is actually the older word, with until having been formed by the addition to it of the prefix un–, meaning “up to.” In the 18th century the spelling ’till became fashionable, as if till were a shortened form of until. Although ’till is now nonstandard, ’til is sometimes used in this way and is considered acceptable, though it is etymologically incorrect.’

      As an editor, it is best to do a bit research before offering strong comments. Otherwise, you may end up sounding stupid.

  5. God

    You know, Lucas, it’s funny how you keep posting messages from “the student body” when this is something you are almost totally alone in caring about

  6. God

    You know, Lucas, it’s funny how you keep posting messages from “the student body” when this is something you are almost totally alone in caring about

      1. The New Mike Pernick

        you know, joe, it’s funny how self-righteous you get. i’m sorry you got sjb’d, and i’m know being wsa president would be a nice resume line, but working this hard is unnecessary

    1. Wes Student Body

      Wes Student Body (me) needs to remain anonymous for certain reasons, but you can rest assured that I am not Lucas. Feel free to note the completely different writing styles.

  7. Carnie

    “The Administration has been quick to highly publicize any questionable activity at Beta, but ducks the larger issues of extreme intoxication and sexual assault on campus.”
    You know, I keep hearing this, so why aren’t we making this about those larger issues instead of (or in addition to) this encroachment on students’ rights?
    “There are some things a man can’t ride around.”

    1. Bearded Lady

      Why would we actually talk about that instead of using it as an excuse to state our over-dramatic grievances?
      It only actually matters if it could happen to you. Anyone can go to Beta, nobody real gets sexually assaulted. “I’m just someone who saw his rights being trod on and said enough.”

      1. Anonymous

        Ask Roth. He forced this issue with the policy instead of making concrete steps to reduce sexual assault on campus. He’s the one (rather shamelessly) using the specter of sexual violence to get his policy through.

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