From Andrew Trexler ’14 comes an opportunity to spend some cozy-time with President Roth tomorrow at noon, before this weekend’s Board of Trustees meeting:
I am writing to invite you to participate in a new form of student engagement with President Michael Roth and the Board of Trustees. Over the past several months, I have worked with the President’s Office to organize a face-to-face discussion with the President on an open question about Wesleyan’s future direction, shape, and character. Board meetings (in which WSA representatives participate) usually address one such question, and this time around I am pleased to announce that the question is also being posed to the student body as a whole.
President Roth’s question:
We often talk about the scholar-teacher model as being at the heart of Wesleyan’s educational experience. I believe very strongly that much of the work that our faculty do to advance their own fields makes their teaching sharper and more vital. But not all research finds its way into the classroom, and at many universities there is a strong feeling that research serves some larger cultural good — not just the good of the students. This is much less true at most liberal arts colleges. Many professors at institutions that value research express that they want time “to do their own work,” and this often means work that serves their disciplines, not (necessarily) the university.
From the lovely/fiscally responsible Nicole Brenner ’15 and the WSA Student Budget Committee:
Attention Student Group Leaders,
The Student Budget Committee meeting times have changed. This change will go into effect starting next week, February 13, 2013. Meetings will no longer be held on Mondays.
The new time for Student Budget Committee meetings will be Wednesdays at 6pm.
Meeting Sign-ups will be available from 9:00am – 3:15pm on Wednesdays.
Please email sbc(at)lyris(dot)wesleyan(dot)edu with any questions.
Date: Starting Wednesday, February 13th and so forth (NO MORE MONDAYS)
Place: Usdan 104D
Carey Gilchrist ’13 writes in:
After President Roth’s announcement about budget allocations, there has been a lot of talk about which aspects of our school should/can be cut and which aspects are essential to maintain the integrity of the “Wesleyan Experience.” This will be a neutral space to deeply explore difficult and personal questions about what the “Wesleyan Experience” means to us.
Everyone is welcome and snacks will be provided!
Date: Sunday, November 18th
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Place: Room 114, 41 Wyllys
Face: bookSnacks: yes!
And we’re back. For the second day in a row, the All Student Meeting on Budget Priorities is streaming, live on USTREAM, courtesy of Ben Doernberg’ 13. As I write this, WSA President Zachary Malter ’13 is giving an introduction; you can watch him above or on USTREAM.
As Syed noted yesterday, these are some of the hypothetical budget-cutting options that the Task Force is considering:
- Increase faculty teaching load from 4 courses to 5 courses a year
- Replace fifteen tenure-track professors with visiting professors
- Eliminate 13 staff members
- Reduce library acquisition budget by 29%
- Reduce facilities maintenance budget
- Sell faculty/staff and graduate rental units
- Eliminate half of woodframe houses
- Change housing system so that most frosh are n triples and most sophomores are in doubles
- Reduce athletics
- Reduce co-curricular programs
- Raise tuition more rapidly than inflation
- Draw more money from the endowment every year
- Eliminate the no loan policy for students from families making less than $40,000 a year
F0r more detail on any of these, watch the stream.
Remember that Student Budget Sustainability Task Force you first heard about this summer? It’s real, it’s here, and it’s now. Zachary Malter ’13, President of the WSA, sends in the full list of our saviors via A-Batte:
- Zachary Malter ’13, Co-Chair, zmalter(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
- Andrew Trexler ’14, Co-Chair, atrexler(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
- Rachel Warren ’14, rwarren(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
- Chi Le ’13, lle(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
- Alex Japko ’14, ajapko(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
- Jesse Ross-Silverman ’13, jrosssilverm(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
- Lina Mamut ’13, pmamut(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
- Michael Linden ’15, mlinden(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
- Kevin Aritt ’13, karitt(at)wesleyan(dot)edu
As I understand it, the Task Force is looking for long-term, sustainable solutions that would allow the University to move back to need-blind admissions. If you have suggestions, contact them! The University has already made serious cuts in spending over the past few years, and the administration does not believe there are others they can make without making the quality of the Wesleyan experience suffer. But perhaps they missed something? Maybe something left should not be as much of a priority? Or there’s some entirely different alternative? Tell ’em.
If you want to tell “The Man” himself, President Roth will be coming to Wesleying‘s Forum on Need Blind tonight at 8PM in PAC 002. And don’t forget, there’s always the comments.
Note: This post is the first in a series of posts exploring the argument in favor of scaling back need-blind. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments, and keep it civil.
If you go to Google and type in “need blind,” what shows up (in order) is a Wikipedia entry, a fact or fiction essay from College Insider, and an article about Wesleyan. You would have to be living under a rock not to know about the fiery controversy that started during the end of the spring semester last year. Whether it be banners hung at graduation or chalk marks lining the sidewalks, students are speaking up, and for the most part, they are not happy.
It seems, at first glance, that removing the need-blind blanket on Wesleyan admissions is an elitist leap made to help improve Wes endowment. Increasing endowment has been one of President Roth’s goals for a while, and it’s clear why. And what better way to increase endowment than admitting upper-class students whose parents can afford to make private donations? If Wesleyan can see exactly how much a student needs in aid when applying, you can imagine the ease with which they’d be able admit the rich and ignore the poor. When looking through this narrow lens, removing need-blind admissions is nothing short of an evil scheme to get us on track with the other “little Ivies.”
But the desire for huge stacks of money is not totally fiendish. After all, the cost of running a school is great when you take into account all the expenses that factor into it.
Between Commencement demonstrations, meme blogs, and emergency task forces, it’s been a busy summer for need blind-related activism. WSA President Zach Malter ’13, who has made the issue a public priority, invites you to celebrate the start of classes with an informational meeting, co-sponsored by the WSA and the UOC:
Did you know that President Roth has proposed to scale back need blind admissions?
Come learn about the proposed changes to need blind policy and discuss ways to ensure the student voice is heard on the matter. The student meeting, co-sponsored by the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) and the University Organizing Center (UOC), will be this Sunday, September 2 at 9pm in Usdan 108. Open to students from all class years, the meeting will be both informational and an opportunity to plan campus activism.
Date: Sunday, September 2
Time: 9:00 pm
Place: Usdan 108
Facebook event: Link
As you’re sobering up from R&C, the school year might already be a distant (read: hazy) memory, but President Roth reminds us that Wesleyan must go on. On the immediate level, the “school’s out for the summer” mentality is misleading—there is still plenty going on over on our handsomely manicured 316-acre campus, and administrators are still at work. On the long-term level, we kinda have to make sure the school doesn’t die of financial ruin…
President Roth has published a blog post titled “Sustainable Affordability,” found here, that finally explains
his the administration’s reasoning on the changes you may have heard murmurs about. There was strong student outcry about losing need-blind admissions, and Roth seems to respond indirectly to it. The explanations are now out there, though it is disappointing that these decisions are only coming to light in blog posts during the summer when students are less likely to see them. I summarize below, but I encourage everyone to fully read and comment on Roth’s original blog post.
From The Roosevelt Institute:
President Obama’s federal budget proposal.
Which elements will be supported or contested by Democrats and Republicans? Does the budget address the long-term deficit? What are alternatives?
– Republicans’ proposed cuts to Planned Parenthood, Pell grants and foreign aid.
– Obama’s proposed increase in funding for education, including Race to the Top.
Come and discuss these current issues with us.
Date: Feb. 22
Time: 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Place: Usdan couches