Malter: Student Task Force is “Moving Forward”

“Given the deep student concern and the significant consequences related to scaling back need blind, I see tackling this issue as my single greatest priority.”

A few weeks ago, we updated you on a post by WSA President Zach Malter ’13 regarding the University’s shift towards need-aware admissions and the concern it has generated among students. Malter argued for more legitimate student input in Wesleyan’s financial decisions: he proposed forming a “Student Budget Sustainability Task Force” to identify areas for cuts and seek alternatives to cutting need-blind. The group would present its recommendations to the administration in November—and, Malter stresses, “no need-blind related decisions should be finalized until then.”

In a new more recent posting, Malter says the task force, which he suggested to President Roth’s office on June 18, will form as planned “within the first three weeks of classes.” Malter managed to speak with President Roth himself about the plan, which Malter calls his “top priority”:

I had several conversations with the President’s office and one with the President himself about the task force. President Roth is willing to work with the task force—to meet with the group, share documents, and answer questions—so they can be sufficiently informed and provide meaningful recommendations.  He will also ask other administrators to cooperate. As a result, we will be moving forward with the task force, constituting the group within the first three weeks of classes.

But will it work? Even if the committee is filled, will anyone listen?

“I am hopeful,” Malter concludes, “that the task force will present serious recommendations in time to have an impact.” (After all, the effects of need aware should not seep through until March, when Regular Decision applications are read.) I am hopeful that the conversations will spill outside of the task force as well, that the “student solution” will spawn direct action and public forums, that alumni voices will continue spilling in. I am hopeful, too, that Wes people will keep asking questions. Malter submitted his own list of queries to Roth last month.

Here’s the link to the update. Contact Malter with your own ideas or criticisms at zmalter(at)wes. And if you’re interested in serving on the SBSTF (pronounced exactly as it looks), start getting your fiscal policy muscles into shape. Summer goes fast.

Click here for more pertinent coverage and here for an organizational website. Scroll on for a gallery of students, parents, and alumni expressing support for need-blind admissions at Commencement 2012.