Tag Archives: financial aid

Martinez ’17 Discusses Giving Stipends to Student Group Leaders on Financial Aid

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Combating classism has been a major topic on campus for quite some time now, and the WSA is looking to do something about it.

Below is a “press release”/statement from Aidan Martinez ’17, Vice President of the WSA, talking about a new resolution that hopes to provide stipends to students on financial aid who participate heavily in a particular student group. If you want to discuss the program with the Assembly, they’ll be meeting this Sunday, January 31st, at 6:30pm to 41 Wyllys Room 114.

And as always, if you have affirming/dissenting/random thoughts and opinions on this issue and wish to have them put on Wesleying, feel free to email us at staff(at)wesleying(dot)org.

Aidan’s statement is after the jump.

Freestyle Love Supreme to perform at Wesleyan

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From A.N. Kini ’13:

In an event benefitting financial aid, Freestyle Love Supreme comes to campus during Reunion & Commencement. Tickets are $25 for this hiphop improv show–buy them before May 13! Performing are Andrew Bancroft ’00, Daveed Diggs, Christopher Jackson, Arthur Lewis, and Chris Sullivan.

Deadline to buy tickets: Wednesday, May 13

Performance Date: Friday, May 22
Time: 9-11 PM
Place: Crowell Concert Hall
Cost: $25 (for financial aid!!!)

Updated: Track Team Boycotts Meet to Protest Scheduling Change

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Photo by Nikita Rajgopal ’17

This morning, the Wesleyan Track Team boycotted their track meet at Amherst to protest an unfair scheduling change. The J. Elmer Swanson Invitational, an annual track meet hosted at Wesleyan, was abruptly cancelled so that the Men’s Lacrosse team could play on the turf field (the turf field was built in the middle of the track a few years ago). Members of the track team claim that the cancellation was due to the fact that many lacrosse team parents are big donors while the track team is comprised of many students receiving financial aid. Thus, the track team does not have the same financial clout. The track team sent an open letter explaining their reasoning as well as their demands for the future. I also reached out to the athletic department for comment and Athletic Director Mike Whalen’s response is below. 

So Apparently Wesleyan is “Economically Diverse”

Paying tuition never looked so bucolic

Paying tuition never looked so bucolic

Please put your iPhone back in your Patagonia sweatshirt pocket for a second. Apparently it’s time to rethink the idea that the Wesleyan student body is entirely made up of students from upper-class families, at least according to new data from the New York Times. In conjunction with an article on colleges recruiting from an increasingly diverse set of economic backgrounds, the Times has published a chart comparing the economic diversity of various schools. And Wesleyan has come out at number 13 on the list.

The chart ranks colleges according to a College Access Index, which is based on the percent of the past few freshman classes who came from low-income families (measured by the share receiving a Pell grant) and on the net price of attendance for low- and middle-income families. The data states that 18% of freshman classes arriving 2012-14 have received Pell grants, and that the average cost for low- and middle-income students is $8,700 a year. This gives Wesleyan a College Access Ranking of 1.5, putting us below Amherst and above Williams, for reference.

Unofficial Orientation Series ’14: Rage Update

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(Image: Catherine Avalone, The Middletown Press)

You’ve now arrived on campus, and we hope that you find your time here enriching and transformative. In that hope, we feel that it would be ill-advised to allow you to not have at least a foundational understanding of the things that have forced us as a community into dialogue, disagreement, and action.

This is not to scare you or to give you a negative impression of the University. However, we are certain that most if not all of you were told about the “passion” that Wesleyan students have and the issues that we care about on campus are at the forefront of those passions. While there is certainly no requirement to take an activist stance on any of these issues and it is in fact easy to sink beneath the radar on these issues and all the others not covered here, we would plead with you to be engaged in the community that you are now a part of.

Read this, ask questions, and reach out to students and faculty that have been here before you. We hope that as you begin your time here, you fully invest yourself as a community member committed to making Wesleyan as good as it can be for you and for those after you. Caring about Wesleyan does not foreclose critique on Wesleyan and as you read this, and other things like it, we hope you understand that too.

The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Round-Up

Student activism has led Stanford‘s Board of Trustees to vote to stop investing in coal-mining companies. This action is a significant step in the ever-growing fossil fuel divesment movement on campuses across the country.

In the growingly visible national conversation on sexual assault on college campuses, including a recently launched campaign by the White House to confront the issue, many local movements have been getting increasing attention.

Deadline for Summer Session Financial Aid – Wednesday, March 26

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Interested in staying on campus to take classes this summer? While you can register for classes until June 1, you MUST register for at least two classes and submit your form to the Summer Session office by Wednesday, March 26 if you would like to apply for financial aid. More information on Summer Session, courtesy of their website:

Wesleyan University offers an intensive Summer Session in which students can complete semester-long courses in only five weeks; courses are offered in both June and July. Wesleyan Summer Session is open to students who feel they have the academic qualifications and stamina to complete an intellectually challenging course in a compressed schedule. Residential options are available for both Wesleyan undergraduates and non-Wesleyan students.

There will be two sessions with different classes: May 28 – June 26, and June 30 – July 30. For a full listing of courses, click here.

#ThisisObama’sNow

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Prez Obama is running away with our #ThisIsWhy campaign.

What do you do when the leader of the free world hijacks your hashtag campaign? Barack Obama recently launched a new site featuring stories on why health care (reform) matters. The tagline’s Twitter-translation? #ThisisWhy.

It all began on January 1st, with Virginia.

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Virginia may be able to go to the doctor again but does she have anything on James W. Thomasson ’63, an alum who gives us this story as part of Wesleyan’s #ThisIsWhy campaign?

At the age of eight, in socially divided Middleburg, Virginia, I was “reported” to my mother by a neighborhood “wag” for playing in the street with “John Henry”—yes, a ten-year-old black boy. As big a disgrace as that must have been for the neighbor, it paled in comparison to the embarrassment of my mother and the rage of my father.

Students Petition President Roth to Change Financial Aid Donation Policy

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A little under a week ago, I posted a video in which Josh Krugman ’14 took the microphone at a senior class reception and, immediately following speeches by University administrators exhorting members of the senior class to donate to Wesleyan, asked his fellow seniors to not donate in protest of the University’s abandoning of need-blind admissions and alleged fiscal irresponsibility. The post generated a debate over whether alumni should give to the University – informed in part by a recent letter from alumni who withheld donations on “Giving Tuesday” due to the University’s financial aid policies.

This post was followed immediately by a post by pyrotechnics about the 68% figure referenced in Josh’s speech. This post shed light on a serious problem with the way the University deals with financial aid donations:

There is currently no way for donors to increase the amount of money the University plans to spend on financial aid. Given the budget cap, there is no such mechanism for that right now, confirmed to me by President Michael Roth himself. (Again, note that there is a way to decrease the amount of money spent: not donating.) This is something I (wearing a different hat) am currently working on fixing with University Relations, with tentative support from both President Roth and Barbara-Jan Wilson.

In response to this and the fact that the number of students on grant-based matriculation aid fell this past year, Benny Docter ‘14, Danny Blinderman ’14, and Josh Krugman ’14 presented a letter to the administration calling for a revision to the financial aid donation policy. This letter, cosigned by WSA leadership, campus group leaders, student fundraisers, Greek-life presidents, and others, makes two simple demands on the administration:

1) Donors should be able to specify that 100% of their gift goes to increase financial aid for the following school year; 2) Donors should be able to specify that 100% of their gift goes into the endowment for financial aid, to be drawn at a rate equal to the annual draw rate of the endowment as a whole, and could be spent only on permanently increasing the number and quality of financial aid packages that the University offers.

The idea is that any donation made in this new manner would result in an increase in financial aid spending proportional to the size of the gift – as opposed to the current system, where all donations received are already planned for in the financial aid budget. The letter does not call for a boycott on donations to financial aid, nor does it ask for a return to need-blind admissions. Rather, it demands that the University allow those who donate to financial aid to increase financial aid spending as a total portion of the University budget in the same way that alumni donations to athletic programs or academic departments do not result in a corresponding decrease in the funding those programs receive from the University.

Newsweek: “Diversity U. Makes a U-Turn” on Activism and Ideals

Newsweek used this photo in their article to contrast the liberal values
that the school likes to think it has with the conservative mindset it actually practices.

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Maybe Wesleyan University learned a lesson today: Not all press is good press.

Today’s in-depth and certainly unflattering Newsweek article by Katie Baker (who wrote that Jezebel piece in May ridiculing the administration for its medieval Tour de Franzia threats) asserts that “Wesleyan seems to be slinking away from its weird and activist roots to attract rich students and even richer donors.” What could the school have done to deserve this sort of criticism?

As we are quite aware, the answer is: a lot. Baker’s article (following on the heels of two Autostraddle and Youngist articles) begins with the issues over degendering bathrooms, with several trans* students speaking up about their not-so-welcome experiences on campus, both from other students in the bathroom (“Wrong bathroom, fag!” one gender nonconforming student heard) and from the administration as a whole. After the group Pissed Off Trans* People organized students to remove gendered bathroom signs and replace them with “All Gender Restroom” signs, the Student Judicial Board singled out three trans* students (claiming they were the only identifiable ones) and charged them with property destruction, at the cost of $157 per sign— $5,245 total.

After a four-and-a-half hour hearing, the board lowered the fine to $451 and gave each student three disciplinary points (10 earns a suspension or dismissal). “The SJB action was taken because vandalism occurred,” Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Whaley said in a statement. “The board does not strive to determine the legitimacy of a protest/action, only whether such protest/action is done in a manner that violates our community’s standards.”

The three students tell Newsweek they feel they were unfairly singled out for actions committed by many but were most concerned with the symbolism of it all: This was the first time anyone knows of that the administration had punished individuals for LGBT activism.

“We’re talking about economic sanctions on activism at a school that profits off a reputation of being a progressive, activist-friendly space,” says Ben, a Wesleyan junior. “Being trans and fighting for trans justice is not profitable or shiny or appealing.”