[LIVEBLOG] Pres. Michael Roth’s State of the School Address


we weren’t sure what picture of roth to use so here is an older one from 2009 that we dug out of our media archive. this is just a placeholder until i take a picture of the actual setup in the chapel, okay

Dasha, astag_rocky, and I are here in the Memorial Chapel for the first annual State of the School address! This is mostly a production of the Wesleyan Student Assembly, but we are co-sponsoring it with The Ankh and The Argus.

The format is as follows: the WSA will have a five-minute introduction, then Pres. Michael Roth will speak freely for 20 minutes. The following hour is all Q&A, with the questions having been submitted throughout the past week. After Q&A, the moderators will offer final thoughts and encourage you to eat ice cream and attend the following student-only debrief, which will happen from 9:30-10:30. Out of respect for its student-only nature as well as its role as a safe space, we won’t be liveblogging the debrief.

Tonight’s address will be moderated by Henry Vansant ’18 from the WSA, Hailey Broughton-Jones ’18 from The Ankh, and Jess Zalph ’16 from The Argus. There will be paper in the chapel for people who have questions in real time and members of the WSA will also be monitoring their twitter (@wsanews) for any relevant and pressing questions.

If you still have questions when this event and this liveblog are over, the WSA will also be sending out a form for you to submit questions to the Board of Trustees, who meet on campus this weekend. We’ll keep this post updated with info about that as we get it.

Maya September 16, 20157:54 PM


astag_rocky September 16, 20157:55 PM

Swag lets go 

astag_rocky September 16, 20157:55 PM

I want someone to fight tonight; I’m here for conflict

Maya September 16, 20158:01 PM

the chapel is pretty packed for this tonight

Dasha September 16, 20158:04 PM

its starting!!!

Maya September 16, 20158:05 PM

we’re starting with an intro from Kate Cullen ’16, president of the WSA

Maya September 16, 20158:06 PM

Anne Cohen proposed the State of the School last year to promote administrative transparency

Maya September 16, 20158:07 PM

Cullen ’16: “to open up the lines of communication so we as a student body can raise our voices for university and board of trustees decisions”

Dasha September 16, 20158:08 PM

Cullen ’16: “tonight we’re going to address complicated topics in a short period of time”

Maya September 16, 20158:08 PM


1) bring your most respectful/honest / best self

2) use “I” statements

3) there are trained students available to help people through any difficult or triggering things

lol “don’t text or use laptops unless you’re submitting follow-up questions” we are liveblogging, does that count

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:09 PM


Main Event, 8-9:30PM, Memorial Chapel
1. Introduction by the WSA (5 minutes)
– Intention, history of creation, explanation of purpose
– Community Guidelines
2. President Roth (20 minutes)
3. Q and A (1 hour)
4. Closing (5 minutes)

Maya September 16, 20158:10 PM

there were over 50 questions submitted — all other unedited questions will be submitted to the board of trustees when they meet this weekend

Maya September 16, 20158:11 PM

the event is being recorded for audio — anyone w problems with that should talk to kate cullen after the event 

Dasha September 16, 20158:11 PM

there will be ice cream after

Maya September 16, 20158:11 PM

(also that means we will probably, hopefully, have a full transcription of this thing online later this week)

Maya September 16, 20158:12 PM

now comes Michael Roth‘s 20-minute address

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:12 PM

And now the man himself

Maya September 16, 20158:13 PM

oohhhhh there are people with signs: “1st gen 1st,” “tuition up aid down,” “LISTEN,” “protect survivors,” “injustice is not an investment,” “afam is why,” “restore x house,” “bring back need blind,” “invest in caps”

Maya September 16, 20158:13 PM


Dasha September 16, 20158:13 PM

Roth looks a little lost but quickly recovers and reads the signs out loud

Maya September 16, 20158:13 PM

Roth: for the board of trustees meeting, a big issue is resource/fund allocation

also, fyi — these are not direct quotes, typing is hard, we are doing our best to paraphrase

Maya September 16, 20158:14 PM

trying to keep a third of tuition revenue for financial aid

Maya September 16, 20158:15 PM

a third “does not feel like enough. it feels like we should be able to support more fin aid, and one way schools do that is charging more tuition for those who can afford to pay it”

Dasha September 16, 20158:15 PM

Roth: How we should use our resources from ThisIsWhy and endowment? Should we have more faculty/student services (CAPS)/financial aid/work on campus/social spaces

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:16 PM

Should we have more faculty for student? More student services? More financial aid? More work on campus technology and infrastructure?- Roth 

Maya September 16, 20158:16 PM

“what’s clear, i think, is that you can’t do all of those things. or, at least, you can’t do all those things well”

Maya September 16, 20158:16 PM

we’ll be talking about “what we can do to most positively effect the […] educational experience of wesleyan students”

Maya September 16, 20158:16 PM

this past year we spent more on fin aid than we ever did before despite not being need-blind but ……..

Maya September 16, 20158:17 PM

“the result is a much more diverse class of students than recent years”

Dasha September 16, 20158:17 PM

“If you spend more on financial aid people from underrepresented groups will apply and come more”

Maya September 16, 20158:17 PM

“i think it’s a very interesting time to increase spending on financial aid”

Maya September 16, 20158:18 PM

it’s easier?? to say that we should be need-blind. “i don’t think blindness in regard to financial aid is a panacea”

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:18 PM

“We as an institution do have to worry about money. We do have to worry about paying a decent wage to the people that work here” 

Maya September 16, 20158:18 PM

“increasing expenditures on fin aid is among the highest priorities”

Dasha September 16, 20158:19 PM

“The other significant priority is more faculty for students”

Dasha September 16, 20158:20 PM

“Must be done so that people 20 yrs from now have same good experience”

Maya September 16, 20158:20 PM

“we can’t deplete resources” so that we all have a good time at kawledge

Maya September 16, 20158:21 PM

“we are making some significant enhancements to the campus — not $100M enhancements, but some of which are overdue” // “trying to find ways to create more spaces [that are] informal learning spaces — places that are not learning spaces, but places that are not places to sleep”

Dasha September 16, 20158:21 PM

“We are making significant enhancements to campus” (Pi)

Maya September 16, 20158:21 PM

stresses the imptce of “student-controlled” spaces (lists examples of the ’92, of second stage)

Maya September 16, 20158:22 PM

“trying to make some funds available for” safe spaces, “fostering student culture”. lists the example of x house, yess

Maya September 16, 20158:23 PM

stresses the imptce of hiring faculty in AFAM, and the social/political imptce of x house

Maya September 16, 20158:24 PM

“important for the trustees to recognize […] why people come to wesleyan” — he’s talking about our rankings now, okay

Maya September 16, 20158:24 PM

“i don’t think people come to wesleyan primarily because of rankings. […] the most important factor is the student culture”

Dasha September 16, 20158:24 PM

“I feel strongly, and want the trustees to recognize this, is why people come to Wes. People don’t come to Wes cuz of rankings. They choose Wes because of student culture” 

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:25 PM

“It’s the student culture that is self selecting and self perpetuating…. it makes this University different from any other school I have ever seen.”

Dasha September 16, 20158:25 PM

“Go wes, fight song, better… idk if its better for everyone! But its better for the people that are here”

Maya September 16, 20158:25 PM

lol middletown’s “vibrant urban life”

Dasha September 16, 20158:26 PM

Roth is getting very excited about how great we all are

Maya September 16, 20158:26 PM

“people who want the best for their community, but not just their *little* community” are the kinds of people who are attracted to this place

Dasha September 16, 20158:27 PM

“Everyone always thinks new freshmen are more conservative than they were.”

Maya September 16, 20158:27 PM

roth on the history of wesleyan activism: in 1953 at wesleyan, there were liberals as students, as faculty. “it happens not bc people are unaware of the past, [but bc] people really care abt a culture that is under pressure from forces around the country that feed oppression and injustice. and you want, and i want, to create something else. not just for us […] but for beyond.”

Dasha September 16, 20158:28 PM

Ends speech with “student culture is what I want to cultivate”

Maya September 16, 20158:28 PM

thus ends roth’s address. now begins QUESTION AND ANSWER

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:28 PM

Q & A sessions begins

15 Questions 

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:29 PM

Still lots of issues to address – particularly the future of the frats, divestment etc 

Maya September 16, 20158:29 PM

had to cut down to 15 questions — there are ways to submit follow-up questions, and the argus staff in the front will be typing follow-ups into google docs

Maya September 16, 20158:29 PM

QUESTION 1: We strongly feel that there is a disconnect between the interests of the students and the authority of the administration. We feel that this lack of communication and mutual solidarity can be attributed to the lack of transparency that shrouds the administration. Can you propose a plan to make our administration more transparent?

Dasha September 16, 20158:30 PM

Roth: “An event like this is step in right direction. Student representatives sit on all major committees and clearly thats not enough. I think that my colleagues and I want to listen to student voices and I am happy to create venues for exchanges between administration and students.”

Maya September 16, 20158:31 PM

“i don’t think that [our decisions are made in a vacuum.]” people want to listen to a variety of perspectives. “i am happy to create venues for exchanges btwn the administration — me, in particular, but my colleagues as well, and the student body, and student groups — so i’ve been talking w cabinet members about how to” move into the student body. sorta missed that last part

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:31 PM

Talking about creating venues for administrators to meet with student groups 

Maya September 16, 20158:31 PM

*** increasing transparency: roth is happy to expand his office hours but also to go out into the community and “not just invite you to places that WE are”

Maya September 16, 20158:32 PM

QUESTION 2 is about ‘keep wes weird’: Wesleyan staying “weird” is an important consideration for many current and prospective students. Is this an image that the administration embraces? There seems to be a disconnect between how students view Wesleyan, and how the administration does.

roth: are we too weird?

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:32 PM

trying to lighten the mood aight I see u Roth 

Maya September 16, 20158:32 PM

we need to stop using the word ‘administrators’ apparently — are the deans ‘disconnected from the creative/exuberant/weird side of campus? i don’t think so’


Maya September 16, 20158:33 PM

‘i don’t think they’re hostile at all’

Dasha September 16, 20158:33 PM

Roth: Are administration disconnected with “weird” side of campus? I don’t think so! They might not present that as much as when they were 20 but they still have it”

Maya September 16, 20158:33 PM

‘3000 of the coolest people on the planet’ ok roth see u trying to inflate our egos

Dasha September 16, 20158:33 PM

We’re the coolest people on the planet according to some Dean or someone i missed the name

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:33 PM

“we are in a position of authority… it seems embarrassing to say the administration is cool.”

Maya September 16, 20158:33 PM

‘everyone i know in the admin values that iconoclastic, unconventional side of the student culture’

Maya September 16, 20158:34 PM

QUESTION 3: Last semester the WSA unanimously passed a resolution asking the school to provide funding for at least one more full time therapist at CAPS to start addressing the horrible wait times students currently experience (some longer than 3 weeks for an initial appointment). How do you plan to address this urgent problem?

[people snap bc this is a very good question]

Maya September 16, 20158:35 PM

‘i don’t want to dance around the answer [but] i don’t know the precise answer to the question.’

the admin is v concerned about timely mental health services — ‘if we thought that any one person would make a crucial difference, that would have been done already.’ the q is finding a way to fully respond to all the needs for support services. but they do want to reduce wait times, provide students with ‘effective counseling services’

Dasha September 16, 20158:35 PM

“We do want to reduce wait times and to provide students with effective counseling services”

Maya September 16, 20158:36 PM

QUESTION 4: We are at a pivotal point right now in anti-racist organizing in this country. You yourself, Roth took part in a Black Lives Matter protest last year. Despite this, ethnic and minority studies still seem to be taking a back seat at Wesleyan. Both the African American Studies Program and the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program are still at program statuses instead of department status. In addition, there is a chronic lack of full time Afam Professors. Why are these studies areas not getting the precedence they deserve?


last year’s searches for a tenure-track prof were unsuccessful — what can we change this year for the next?

Dasha September 16, 20158:36 PM

Lots of snaps 

Maya September 16, 20158:36 PM

‘i share the frustration of the snappers in the audience’

what a cool guy

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:36 PM

a high quantity of snaps

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:36 PM

Roth shares frustrations with the “snappers” of not finding a tenure track professor

Maya September 16, 20158:36 PM

‘it was really frustrating that the people we chose’ were also chosen by other schools

Dasha September 16, 20158:37 PM

He’s “not asking for our sympathy” but its hard to get good professors that will actually teach undergrads as much as Wes wants 

Maya September 16, 20158:37 PM

‘we were able in recent yrs to […] offer more money [than competitors’ offers]. but we won’t do ‘you won’t have to teach as much’ bc teaching is core to our mission’

(this is heavily paraphrased)

Dasha September 16, 20158:38 PM

“30 seconds remaining” 

Maya September 16, 20158:39 PM

‘we are going to much earlier this year […] make the search in AFAM piggyback on the work they’ve already done — using the resources that were developed last year. i’m confident [ / we’re confident]’ that we’ll make a change. he was thrown off by the mods telling him that he had 30 secs left, but roth is confident that we’ll have a tenure-track prof for AFAM BY THIS YEAR

Maya September 16, 20158:39 PM

because they’re starting the hiring process earlier this year — ‘wes has a grand tradition in afam studies’ + ‘we need to add to that and to the great work that so many of our professors already do’

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:40 PM

Definitely Roth being in sync here sharing student concerns rather than pushing back on them 

Maya September 16, 20158:40 PM

QUESTION 5: Wesleyan advertises that it’s students are involved in many activities, extracurricular activities, graduating in three years, sports and jobs. It advertises the typical “Wesleyan student” as being involved in and succeeding in everything on campus. This isn’t realistic and this image is constantly hurting the mental health of students on our campus. We might be doing everything but we are suffering mentally in the process, the wait time to get to an appointment in caps is around 2 weeks and that’s unacceptable. Wesleyan is profiting off of the image of the Wesleyan overachiever yet failing to provide adequate resources for those of us that are pushing ourselves to the breaking point which is a much larger percentage of this school than you know. Caps should be funded enough so that if a student wants an appointment they can get one in 3-5 days not two weeks. Why is caps underfunded and understaffed when it is for so many students the only thing keeping them on campus?

tru, tru. more snaps here also

Maya September 16, 20158:41 PM

roth asks to clarify the question, but continues: ‘i don’t think we actually say they have to succeed in everything’

‘i mean, i suck at a lot of stuff’

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:41 PM


astag_rocky September 16, 20158:41 PM


Dasha September 16, 20158:41 PM

Roth: “I don’t think we actually say that you have to exceed in everything. I suck at a lot of stuff let that be a model to you” 

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:41 PM

“I don’t think the University is driving the school into mental illness… the question is how does the school respond to mental illness.”

Dasha September 16, 20158:42 PM

“i don’t think i can say that our expectations for students will be radically different”

Maya September 16, 20158:42 PM

‘i don’t think the issue is that the university… is driving people into mental illness’

‘how does the univ respond to the suffering of students, and why do people have to wait so long? i think what i owe you is an explanation of how we will reduce the wait times for psychological support services.’ yes, you got the question right mroth

Maya September 16, 20158:43 PM

??? did he actually respond to this question? i zoned out tbh

Dasha September 16, 20158:43 PM

i love your comments so much Maya. Can’t say it cuz I feel bad talking so I’m just gonna put it in here

Maya September 16, 20158:44 PM

QUESTION 6: As a sophomore in West College, I have had too many harrowing experiences in which my peers, in response to the lack of social events offered in spaces where students feel comfortable, have resorted to consuming dangerous amounts of drugs and alcohol in their rooms. Due to the fear of “points,” “punitive RA’s,” and “PSafe”, students isolate themselves and act recklessly without the supervision of their peers. When poisonings or overdoses occur, no one is there to help them. How do you reconcile the supposed mission of Public Safety with the fear-mongering and aggressive actions against student functions that define the Office? Does your administration accept the trade-off of limiting large parties in favor of dangerous dorm-room behavior? Do you believe that prohibition of drugs and alcohol actually leads to campus safety?

Maya September 16, 20158:44 PM


astag_rocky September 16, 20158:44 PM

“It’s a really important question”

Dasha September 16, 20158:45 PM

“I know that the laws for drugs and alcohol are not rational but despite my view I can’t ignore these laws”

Dasha September 16, 20158:45 PM

“I don’t want to reduce number of large parties” k so why have they been reduced then roth?

Maya September 16, 20158:46 PM

‘it’s a really important question — the.. the.. i know that the laws against alcohol and drugs in the state of ct are not rational. they don’t always serve the interests of the citizens of the state. despite that view of mine, i’m not free to ignore the laws of the state. the.. i have no interest in reducing the number of large parties at wesleyan; i think.. things have happened, with the residential fraternities in the last few years that have taken them offline and we have tried to make / we have made available funds for students to create social events they want: i can’t say that at those social events […] you can do illegal things and not say anything.’ / ‘that’s not one of the weird things that’s open to me, and that’s not our primary goal.’ trying to keep people from getting hurt

Dasha September 16, 20158:46 PM

“I don’t want to reduce number of large parties” 

Dasha September 16, 20158:47 PM

“I would be delighted if Eclectic, Alpha Delt, 200 Church had more funds to host parties”

Maya September 16, 20158:47 PM

‘we spend a lot of time […] thinking about how we can be supportive and not punitive. there are times however when it is our obligation by law to enforce rules. the stuff about large parties in the woodframe houses, that’s a city of middletown issue. i think some of you know that a floor collapsed bc there were too many people, so they were concerned’ that someone would get hurt. ‘if the university can provide not oversight, but funds to provide large-scale social events, that would be great! […] i’m very sorry that there aren’t as many as there have [been].’

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:47 PM

“If the University can provide funds if not oversight to provide large scale social events we would love to do that.”

Maya September 16, 20158:47 PM

QUESTION 7: How is Wesleyan coping with its severe sexual violence problem? What changes have been made in the last six months and what changes can we expect to see to protect the victims of violence?

Maya September 16, 20158:48 PM

the sexual violence prob is ‘one of the worst, most difficult, most painful and awful issues that i have dealt with at wesleyan. it is painful for the survivor, obviously, but the result of sexual violence as a pattern of activity on campus is the same result as terrorism — [it] inhibits the activities of people who share the same right’ to social activities but who are inhibited by ‘the fear of assault’

Maya September 16, 20158:49 PM

‘create procedures that support survivors and help them deal with the aftermath of an attack, investigate the incident to find who was responsible, and to punish the people who are responsible if they are found responsible with the severest sanction we can, which is expulsion, unless the survivor’ wants to go through the criminal justice system

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:50 PM

“we are constantly looking at these procedures and talking to people on campus about how we can make these more effective”

Maya September 16, 20158:50 PM

name-drops bystander intervention program as efforts to ‘try to create a culture where people take care of each other’

Maya September 16, 20158:50 PM

‘i have read too many case files where there are a lot of people who could’ve stopped it from happening. and the greatest change we can make at wesleyan in this regard is if some schmo is contemplating assault, [to] make sure there are people around who wouldn’t let that happen’

Dasha September 16, 20158:51 PM

“The best thing we can do is to make sure that if there are people around they help prevent sexual assault from happening” 

Maya September 16, 20158:51 PM

QUESTION 8 from Kobi Bordoley ’16: According to the Wesleyan website, the university gives out $49,000,000 dollars per year in need-based based grants and scholarships. How much MORE money than this is Wesleyan expecting to give out in scholarships and grants next year, and if the amount of total aid is expected to be less than the current total of $49,000,000 — why is this? How can I, as a student receiving financial aid whose family pays more than half its total income to Wesleyan per year, trust that the university is finding ways to make the university truly more affordable?

Maya September 16, 20158:52 PM

‘such an important question. a person on financial aid, if their econ circumstances don’t change,’ shouldn’t have their fin aid change either. ‘we spent a lot more money on financial aid this year than we did last year’

roth wants to budget more, spend more money on financial aid

Maya September 16, 20158:52 PM

‘that adds immeasurably to the educations of the people on campus’

Dasha September 16, 20158:52 PM

Sidenote: these benches are really uncomfortable

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:52 PM

Major focus here has been on ways the University can better allocate funds to help underprivileged students 

Maya September 16, 20158:52 PM

follow-up / QUESTION 9: The lack of need-blind students on campus has created an environment that feels unsafe to minority, first-generation, and low-income students. What are you doing to create a safe environment to ALL students on campus? Do you feel a difference in having a lack of need-blind students? What is your plan to bring back need-blind?

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:53 PM

“We live in a time of dramatically increasing inequality.”

Maya September 16, 20158:53 PM

‘i’m not sure how the need-blind thing is related to safety exactly but i do think we live in a time of dramatically increasing inequality and for that reason i think it’s more impt than it ever has been at wes to award more need-based scholarship […] and reduce loan-based burdens [and] the expected family contribution’

Dasha September 16, 20158:54 PM


Maya September 16, 20158:54 PM

‘this is the last year of the ‘this is why’ campaign’ 


astag_rocky September 16, 20158:54 PM

This is Why is ending. WOW. WOW. END OF A FUCKING ERA

Maya September 16, 20158:54 PM

‘give fin aid students the ability to get internships that people with more connections [or revenue] can get’ BUT ‘we can’t erase inequality on the wesleyan campus, but we can […] mitigate the growth of inequality’

Maya September 16, 20158:55 PM

RECENT FOLLOW-UP: A number of students complain that a number of perpetrators found responsible of rape are only suspended for the remainder of the semester. Can you elaborate?

Maya September 16, 20158:55 PM

‘anyone found responsible of rape, in my view, should be expelled.’

‘i can’t do more than that. i would prefer the person to spend a lot of time in jail. but i can’t do that.’ the most extreme form of punishment we have is expulsion

astag_rocky September 16, 20158:56 PM

A lot of frowns right now from the audience 

Maya September 16, 20158:56 PM

‘we don’t want to send these people to other universities, where they can rape other people’

Maya September 16, 20158:56 PM

QUESTION 10: Last year during the student occupation of your office, you acknowledged the morally indefensible status of the Israeli Occupation. Yet, as an institution we have little transparency in how our investments are or are not being used to support these human right violations. How can we change our investing strategy so that we are not growing the endowment at the expense of the world’s most vulnerable people?

Maya September 16, 20158:58 PM

last spring’s sit in made two important steps — ‘i appreciate that many ppl at wes think that doing business with entities that are involved in the israeli occupation of the west bank in gaza should be off=limits to the wesleyan managers’

Maya September 16, 20158:58 PM

‘i think that could be […] brought to the board of trustees. it’s an argument i look forward to hearing. the fact that people (and i am one of those people) think that [occupation] is morally indefensible doesn’t mean that it’s the best tactic for’ preventing violence in the middle east

Maya September 16, 20158:59 PM

CIR follow-up question: It’s true that student representatives sit in committees like the Committee for Investor Responsibility, which in theory helps with transparency. However, the Board has shown it is willing to ignore the recommendations of the CIR, and furthermore the CIR can only see a fraction of our investments. This seems to be transparency in name only. Can you suggest a plan that will let students see real transparency surrounding our endowment?

Maya September 16, 20159:00 PM

‘you can’t see what the manager chooses as his or her investments. the reason you can’t see that is bc the manager doesn’t want to tell everybody what the manager is paying for’

Maya September 16, 20159:00 PM

david resnick — ‘if students want to talk to me about investment and investment strategy, i’m happy to talk to them’

Maya September 16, 20159:00 PM

roth is just like ‘talk to david resnick’ basically

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:01 PM

shouts to David Resnick new head of the investment committee

Maya September 16, 20159:01 PM

QUESTION 11 from Matt Siegelman ’16An e-mail exchange between you and Josh Boger, chairman of the board of trustees, was recently made public. Although this exchange took place during the summer prior to the announcement of the residential fraternity co-education mandate, you and Mr. Boger are discussing policies for keeping fraternity members out of their houses. You specifically state, “If we don’t close the houses with hopes of acquiring them, then we shouldn’t go down this route at all.” What was the context of this quote, and did you believe that co-education would work?

Maya September 16, 20159:01 PM

‘i know coeducation works, i see…’

‘look at eclectic — it radiates rape culture.’

Maya September 16, 20159:02 PM

‘rape culture i don’t think is defined by coeducation or not’


Maya September 16, 20159:02 PM

‘we thought that was a step towards equity, although as karmenife was just saying, it doesn’t guarantee’ anything

Dasha September 16, 20159:03 PM

Co-education doesn’t guarantee that everything will be ok

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:03 PM

First time we see some crowd interaction between Roth and students 

Maya September 16, 20159:03 PM

‘it’s no guarantee that everything is going to be better.’

as for context, it was about if the houses were open for people to party, which roth says would be very dangerous — so if the house is closed, then wesleyan should acquire them

Maya September 16, 20159:04 PM

‘we have a lot of land’ 

this sounds… lol

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:04 PM

tl;dr Wesleyan has mad land 

Maya September 16, 20159:04 PM

‘i just think the context for the email was — if the house is closed, then wesleyan has an interest in it. but i […] hope the houses will be coed. i don’t think that will fix everything, but’ roth is hopeful

Dasha September 16, 20159:04 PM

Roth “still has hope that houses will be coed”

Which houses? did anyone hear that
astag_rocky September 16, 20159:05 PM

“Perhaps co-education was never the real goal… but a stepping stone to shut down the frats altogether.”- Moderator

Maya September 16, 20159:05 PM

follow-up from Jess Zalph — would you eradicate all greek life if it could erase the messiness of greek life

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:05 PM

@Dasha I think he was referring to the frats in general (Psi U in particular) 

Dasha September 16, 20159:06 PM

Roth “No I would not eradicate greek life! For me, student controlled spaces (such as program houses) are one of the great things about Wes. I think u can have community and autonomy without keeping women out of houses”

Maya September 16, 20159:06 PM

roth says no. ‘student-controlled spaces where people can live and take care of their own house and food […] as happens in our program houses […] is one of the great things about wesleyan. i still think you can have a great community without keeping women out of houses. i’ve seen it happen. i know it can happen.’

Maya September 16, 20159:07 PM

‘i was extremely disappointed’ abt the psi u news
they were already on probation for two violent sexual assaults, so ‘i couldn’t keep this house open until [i found a way to] keep it safe’

‘i did not fabricate the drug stuff or the sexual assaults in order to undermine the frat’

Maya September 16, 20159:09 PM

‘institutionalized racism is not confined to universities.’

one of the ways to combat is ‘by making it impossible for organizations to intentionally discriminate against people bc of their identity. that doesn’t do the whole job’

‘if i knew [how to eradicate institutionalized racism completely] believe me, i would be working on it full-time’

Dasha September 16, 20159:09 PM

“How do u eradicate institutionalized racism Roth” “If i knew the answer to that I would be working on it full time cuz its a huge problem of America”

Maya September 16, 20159:09 PM

discrimination is ‘all over the place!!!’ 

‘so you call it out. […] and you eliminate the structures’ that perpetuate it. and that’s what we did with coeducation

Maya September 16, 20159:10 PM

FOLLOW-UP: t has been made clear that funds have been made available for student run events in response to the recent closings (and reduced capacities of) student run spaces. But it is unclear how this is supposed to help. We don’t NEED extra funds to have a party, to hold a gathering, or to host a concert. What we need are large, student run spaces to have these events where we can focus more on the event itself rather than the fear of it being shut down for being over capacity or looking too rowdy from psafe’s liking.

how do you explain to the student body how you’re making up for the lack of large student spaces?

Dasha September 16, 20159:12 PM

Roth seems sad that he hasn’t been to a large party in a while…

Maya September 16, 20159:12 PM

‘i think that when students identify spaces [where they want student control/oversight] there are mechanisms now to help make that happen’

‘insofar if one says ‘we want to have a party without fear that anybody will come bother us,’ that is an invitation to some scrutiny’

‘if something happens [there] that is awful, […] it’s [still] the university’s responsibility’

Maya September 16, 20159:12 PM

FOLLOW-UP:  Does co-education not place the impetus for fixing issues of sexual abuse/violence on female students, who statistically are the most likely victim of these crimes? Is it fair to expect female students to live in environments that are known as location of sexual violence?  Why should the victims of sexual assault have to fix these problems instead of the actual perpetrators?

Maya September 16, 20159:13 PM

talks abt the 50s

‘certainly an open question — would anyone [who was historically kept out of discriminatory institutions] want to be a part of them? and if no one does, they won’t be a part of the residential life program anymore’

Maya September 16, 20159:14 PM

‘we’re not asking people to go and fix the culture — we’re hoping that people who are part of the culture will want to fix it’

Maya September 16, 20159:14 PM

follow-up from Lexie Malico ’16 – The coeducation of the fraternities was mandated due to issues of equity. In order to promote increased equity why has Wesleyan consistently set up boundaries to provide Rho Epsilon Pi a house for a female-run student space?

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:14 PM

“Rho Ep’s house would need to be co-ed as well”

Dasha September 16, 20159:14 PM

“If Rho Ep had a house it would have to be co-ed”

Maya September 16, 20159:15 PM

‘it’s a different context’

Maya September 16, 20159:15 PM

QUESTION 12: There has been a lot of push for a Gender Resource Center on campus, a space for education, collaboration, and support. Since there has been an overwhelming amount of student support, when can we expect to see action taken towards this much-needed initiative?

Maya September 16, 20159:15 PM

‘an ongoing discussion’ about what would serve the best interest of students

Maya September 16, 20159:16 PM

mods return the convo to fin aid — roth is on the record saying that the c/o 2019 is the most diverse class so far — ‘is this an anomaly, or the new norm?’

Maya September 16, 20159:18 PM

the money ‘has to come from somewhere,’ and the q for the trustees at their ~retreat~ this weekend is where will it come from?

‘we should be aiding, in my view, more students. we don’t have a big enough endowment to do it as easily as other schools’ but ‘we can’t do it unlimited, bc we don’t have the endowment to do that, although we’re building, and one of the big questions [is], is that where you devote resources?”

Maya September 16, 20159:18 PM

‘my inclination is to devote additional resources to financial aid so that following classes look more like this one’

Maya September 16, 20159:18 PM

QUESTION 13: Do you have plans for this year to increase accessibility to buildings-especially residential- for students with disabilities?

Maya September 16, 20159:19 PM

apparently they review accessibility every year and ‘have been working at that’. ‘if you have ideas about where the most good can be done [re: accessibility,] please let me know or dean mike know, because that is something we want to do’

Maya September 16, 20159:19 PM

QUESTION 14:  If you believe so much in student spaces why do you require that students live on campus and eat the campus dining meal- particularly considering that many students could spend less money on housing and food if they did not have to pay for the university provided options?

Maya September 16, 20159:20 PM

‘we do think that [reslife] is […] a core facet of the school, and that’s why we do that’

Dasha September 16, 20159:20 PM

Last question of the evening

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:20 PM

Final Question 

Maya September 16, 20159:20 PM

LAST QUESTION 15: As president you have been stressing how you hope to increase the transparency of your decisions. But obviously, you are not the only person who makes decisions about the future of Wesleyan. As students, relatively little is broadcast to us about who sits on the Board of Trustees, when they meet, what they talk about, and what decisions THEY make that affect us all. How can we as students better communicate with these power players, know who they are and what they believe, and have a stronger say in what THEY decide for us?

Maya September 16, 20159:21 PM

‘every year […] students are elected to sit on board committees and after every mtg students report on what happens and i report to the wsa’ / ‘every meeting i report on to the student body’

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:21 PM

“Every year students are elected to sit on the board of committees. After meetings they report on what happened… I think every meeting I report to the student body it is an open meeting.” 

Maya September 16, 20159:21 PM

‘before, i meet with representatives of the board. but i should say that the board doesn’t make decisions about the operation of the school.’ they do ‘macro’ stuff

Maya September 16, 20159:22 PM

‘the board just approves’ — ‘the board’s responsibility is fiduciary’

Maya September 16, 20159:22 PM

‘i think to understand decisions that are made […] is getting to know members of the cabinet’ and they’re apparently trying to meet with student groups

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:22 PM

“To understand the decisions that are made that affect us most of the time is getting to know the other members of the cabinet… we want them to meet with other student groups.”

Maya September 16, 20159:23 PM

saying ‘one last thing’ — he’s gonna send an all-campus + alumni email asking for ideas about the global refugee crisis, if wes should have a role, and what that role could be

Dasha September 16, 20159:23 PM

“I’m gonna say one more thing since I didn’t use all my seconds yet. Tmrw I’m gonna send out an email about the global refugee crisis and what role u all think we should play” 

Maya September 16, 20159:23 PM

‘we have a lot of smart people’ thx roth

‘crowdsource ideas about what we think we might do’

Maya September 16, 20159:24 PM

maybe hiring visiting profs from syria?? internships for students who want to help??

astag_rocky September 16, 20159:24 PM

“I don’t think we should just sit here and worry about our issues serious as they are.”

Maya September 16, 20159:24 PM

‘we also have some responsibility to think about the most vulnerable people elsewhere’

Dasha September 16, 20159:24 PM

“I hope we’ll do this again”

Oh I’m sure we will Roth.

Maya September 16, 20159:24 PM

‘i appreciate your good questions, and your efforts to get people together’

Maya September 16, 20159:25 PM

Hailey Broughton-Jones ’18: ‘this is only the beginning of a long dialogue that needs to continue beyond these walls’

Maya September 16, 20159:28 PM

the deed is done. the student-only debrief starts soon, which means we’re signing off! hopefully we’ll have a full online transcription of this whole thing on the site this week. 

Maya September 17, 201512:14 AM

QUESTION 3: Last semester the WSA unanimously passed a resolution asking the school to provide funding for at least one more full time therapist at CAPS to start addressing the horrible wait times students currently experience (some longer than 3 weeks for an initial appointment). How do you plan to address this urgent problem?

[people snap bc this is a very good question]

  • ’14

    thanks guys!