The following is a guest post by Ross Levin ’15, titled “An Open Letter to the Wesleyan Community on our Current Situation”:
During the fall semester this year, I was not on campus, but whisperings of the efforts to save need-blind admissions still reached me, through Wesleying, through friends, through maverick independent journalist Ben Doernberg ’13. I was enthralled by all the activity and excited at the prospect of joining in the movement upon returning in January. However, in early October I received a startling email. Apparently, I was being fined $50 for writing a few sentences in chalk on the University’s pavement last April. And evidently, without paying the full $50, re-enrolling at Wesleyan University wouldn’t be an option.
So I replied to the email from our Dean of Students, inquiring as to the provenance of the figure of $50. The Dean wrote back promptly, informing me of the fact that ResLife, the office of the Dean of Students, Physical Plant, and all other institutions, organizations, sub-contractors, and autonomous collectives involved in the hefty task of regulating student-committed acts of chalk against pavement, brick, concrete, and otherwise script-conducive surfaces, have at their disposal a “formula.” This formula is precise in its calculations of financial damage done by the chalk. My $50 fine, I was graciously informed, was exactly equal to, no more and no less, the cost of restoring the Wesleyan University campus to its original state, as if I had never carried out that heinous deed.
Got burned by Fire Safety? The crew made their rounds last week, and if you’re reading this far, you probably got slapped with a $50 fine for having incense in your Fauver triple or whatever. Don’t want to pay it? Have an hour to spare? Wesleying just received this pro-tip from an anonymous source:
I’m sure some poor suckers got slapped with that brutal $100 fine from Fire Safety. But one anonymous RA dropped this
gamechanging news that there is a way to get out of paying it! Please investigate this to see if its true, because if so its the best kept secret on campus! “Anyone who does get written up, they won’t tell you this, but you can get a hundred dollars of your fines refunded if you go to an hour long firesafety seminar (they hold them every other week in USDAN during lunch)…”
So I contacted Fire Safety Coordinator Christine Cruz for clarification. Turns out not only is this the truth, it’s also not really a secret—it appears directly on Fire Safety’s website (though only seems to be applicable for a first offense $50 violation). Here’s the full text of the policy:
Three students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been fined more than $86,000 for a party they threw last month. The police cited them on over 130 counts. This makes fining the Franzia organizers last year look like nothing.
“We heard bragging that there might be upwards of 200 to 300 people in a basement of a house that certainly wasn’t designed for that,” said Sgt. Tony Fiore, of the Madison Police Department. “The safety issues there are numerous. These people were in a basement. They had one avenue to leave if an emergency happened, if a fire happened. They would have had one exit to get all those people out.”
Here’s what one of the hosts thought on the matter:
“We obviously had a party — it was game day — like most people around here. Ours got a little out of hand,” Ludy said.
The police don’t even really deny they were trying to make a statement with this. Read more about this on the Channel 3000 news site.
The real crime is that they charged $5/cup for beer. Really, who does that?
P.S. Guess what the police there are called? MPD. Sounds familiar.
Party on Fountain? [and don’t forget the music video]