General Assembly Meeting to Occupy Wesleyan

TO USDAN!This Thursday at 4:15, in the Usdan Café, we invite you to a General Assembly1 to Occupy Wesleyan. We will emphasize Wesleyan-specific issues and actions going forward. Please come ready to share your concerns and ideas about how we can change Wesleyan. At the assembly, we will collectively establish working groups to perform ongoing organizing in order to make a huge impact this spring. So please come Thursday, and join the international movement to Decolonize/Occupy Everywhere, and let’s start with our own campus!

[1] What is a general assembly?
A General Assembly is an open, participatory and horizontally organized process through which we are building the capacity to constitute ourselves in public as autonomous collective forces within and against the constant crises of our times.

Also, to get on the Occupy Wesleyan email list serve, email occupywesleyan-subscribe(at)lists(dot)riseup(dot)net.

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17 thoughts on “General Assembly Meeting to Occupy Wesleyan

  1. Pingback: Occupying Wall Street After Graduation, Or Not – Wesleying

  2. recent wes alum

    have you seen the budget of any selective school? where do you propose to cut? how do you propose to make the finances work? if you cut student loans (supposedly cutting off tuition funds for schools, motivating them to lower tuition) the schools have to lower quality due to reduced revenues, whether it’s hiring fewer professors, having less meal options, or less financial aid (or any other option that will reduce the experience). 

    when you start suggesting how to lower college operating budgets, get back to me on eliminating student loans.

    1. Anonymous

      Maybe this wasn’t made clear somehow: the GA is for people to “share [their] concerns and ideas about how we can change Wesleyan”, not for people to “blindly support their lazy guesses about what all the activist kids already think, because the hivemind rules all”. If you think you have a dissenting opinion, it’s all the more important that you say something – I guess if you’re an alum swinging by might be out of the question, but sending your thoughts to the listserv would be great.

      [An aside: Why can’t we both “lower college operating budgets” and see to it that students aren’t graduating with twice as much debt as the lowest tax bracket? Never that top-tier private school operating costs are mostly covered by tuition in the first place, or that endowment penis envy ( ) encourages fiscal “responsibility” measures that just feed into prestige/profiteering bullshit.
      Also, please don’t talk about “eliminating student loans” and eliminating student debt as the same thing (if you weren’t, my sincere apologies). I’ll get back to you on eliminating student loans when we don’t live in a country where they’re very nearly necessary if your aspirations exceed pencil-pushing.]

      1. recent wes alum

        I wasn’t trying to stir up a debate, and I agree that the system is broken. All I’m saying is, it’s going to be virtually impossible to lower education costs, when you consider that most of Wesleyan’s budget is faculty salary and financial aid. Yes, if you decrease tuition, you also decrease the amount of financial aid needed, but I’m guessing that the revenue would drop faster than the financial aid needed, hence making the effort illogical mathematically. 

        I can’t offer up any alternatives, but I was just observing that lowering educational costs is going to be difficult, and another route should probably be taken (whether that’s with banks, loan servicers, or any other entity out there). Good luck.

        1. johnwesley

          One thing that hasn’t been mentioned so far is the idea of raising non-tuition  revenues (and, I don’t mean, more nickle and diming fees).  Wesleyan has over 20,000 alumni,  most of whom are employed, some of whom are doing quite well. A shortlist of alum are probably in the 1%.  Are we sure we have the area of fundraising covered?  I agree it may not represent a universal solution; not every private college is going to have Wesleyan’s fan base.  But, if the object of the GA is to come up with Wesleyan-based solutions, I’m sure there are ample opportunities for good old-fashioned, boiler room, cold calling.  Occupy the Development Office!

        2. Anonymous

          Point taken, and thanks for your thoughtful response. Whatever solution is best, it probably won’t be won easily (if at all).

  3. Why?

    This is idiotic.

    “Look at me, my rich, suburbanite parents are paying for me to complain about being in the 99%. I’m going to yell at the administration while walking across my freshly manicured lawns!”

    1. Because

      Don’t signs saying “End Student Debt” imply that their parents are NOT paying for college — or at least not all of it?

      Also, this event is not a protest of any sort. It’s a consensus-based meeting. Come check it out and maybe your mind will be changed!

      1. H5N1

        Ending student debt is a bad idea for the people you all are claiming to represent. Without being able to borrow (which is the cause of debt), how would most of us be able to attend private universities like Wesleyan, much less make big life investments, like buying a house or starting a business?

        1. Wrong Point

          The point to ending student debt here would be to lower education costs in general so that one doesn’t need to borrow to get an education at all, not to shut down the idea of lending overall

      2. Because Because

        I don’t see what this meeting is setting out to accomplish if it is “consensus based.” If all you are out to do is preach to the converted, I have low hopes for your movement. Go somewhere where people disagree with you and make a difference.

      3. johnwesley

        It’s an interestinng idea, in theory.  Conceivabbly, if Wesleyan eliminated all financial aid, it could lower tuition by some significant amount.  It’s difficult to know exactly by how much because financial aid does not show up on any ledger as an expense, but, rather it is listed on the revenue side as its mirror-image: tuition net of discounting. 

        But, assuming you could lower tuition by say, 25%, my hunch would be that a whole bunch of people would still be unable to afford $37,000 a year and those people would be SOL.  It would be truly ironic if by eliminating loans, OWS were really adopting one of the Tea Party’s planks by the backdoor.

        1. DMZ

          Nobody in the Occupy Wesleyan group as of yet has suggested eliminating financial aid… I don’t quite understand your point.

          1. johnwesley

            Part of the problem is that it is easy to conflate eliminating student debt with eliminating student loans (which are a part of financial aid.) The Occupy people will have to address that confusion, if they really want the issue to gain traction. 

            Be that as it may, I just wanted to make the point that by making the Wesleyan operating budget the focal point of all the ills of the so-called 1%, you are really just calling attention to the fact that a great deal of that expense is, in fact, financial aid.  The other big portion is salary.   What else is there to cut?  Wesleyan already spends less on administration (as a percentage of the budget) than its peers.

    2. Anonymous

      Dude, what are you *actually* trying to say? That only poor people are allowed to complain about societal problems (so you can tell them to “get a job” and then move on)? That the only activities students are allowed to engage in at a university are those their parents explicitly condone? That you’re absolutely sure despite about half the school being on an average Financial Aid award of over $30,000 , none of them might have any reason to care about issues like student debt? That you’re unaware that since 99% means NINETY-NINE PERCENT, families with household incomes over a million dollars annually, as well as “suburbanites”, are actively included in the protesting populace? That students own the “freshly manicured lawns!” or any other University property? Because that last one would be awesome, but things aren’t looking terribly bright on that front.

      It’s not that people make cases against stuff like this that’s frustrating – it’s that people pose the same shitty “arguments” again and again as if it’s profound or even _makes sense_.

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