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.
This year, Wesleyan lost its funding from the U.S. Department of Education to run Upward Bound, a program that seeks to offer low-income students weekly mentoring, tutoring, and other college preparatory services. Thankfully, AT&T came to the rescue with a $10,000 donation to keep the program running, complemented by smaller donations from local stakeholders. As Middletown Patch reports:
The biggest donor, AT&T presented a $10,000 check to Wesleyan on Friday to help run the program. State Sen. Paul Doyle helped secure the funding.
Sonia Manjon, Wesleyan’s Vice President for Institutional Partnerships and Chief Diversity Officer, took part in the presentation.
Upward Bound will serve 100 local high school students from low-income families about college application process, such as writing personal essays, preparing for SAT, and tutoring. Congratulations to Wes’s Upward Bound team for getting a big fat check from AT&T. You can read more about the grant here and here.
Nicole Updegrove ’14 wants to give you money:
The WSA is holding a contest (of sorts)! There is $300 (plus food) up for grabs for any student group that wants to host a non-alcohol-centric Friday night soiree for their club and the rest of the campus. Submit a proposal for your event – whether that be a concert on Foss, a lifeboat debate between the best professors on campus, an a capella competition with the whole campus as judges, or a sweet ass-dodgeball tournament. We’ll pick the six most promising proposals and help you fund, advertise, and pull off your event.
So, get together as a club and plan. Get together with other clubs . Find a Greek society or program house to host your event. Call in all the troops. Get shit done.
Proposals are due Friday September 28th in the WSA Office on the first floor of Usdan. Events will run from October 12th – November 16th. Oh, and the club with the best attended event wins. Prize details pending greater decisiveness.
[Link made by pyrotechnics.]
Here’s something of a nice end to an otherwise thoroughly frustrating story.
Back in mid-April, we found out through the Argus (and through the mass verbalization of concerned parties, probably) that the SBC prematurely ran out of funds for the semester—by late March/early April, it seems. This meant that student publications (and whatever student groups had operations late in the semester) were completely denied funding through almost no fault of their own. As the Argus article reported,
Members of publications cited the fact that the SBC requires groups to specify exact amounts when applying for funding, while the exact amounts of money that publications will need will remain uncertain until the end of the semester.
Flash forward to today, and the SBC seems to have managed to come up with the cash late in the fourth quarter to give student publications the funding they need. They did this through a “reassumption” process—which basically involves pressing student groups who have received funding earlier in the semester to cough up leftover cash. (The SBC was able to reclaim about $4,000, which to me is somewhat unsurprising, as it’s pretty well-known that excessive funding requests—and other forms of corruption—is fairly prevalent in the SBC-student group interaction. See relevant awkward bits in the WSA Prez Debate.)
As one would expect, the SBC came out of this entire episode pinned beneath a dense hail of criticism. (But then again, they’re always under fire). In response to this, Cameron Couch ’13, the SBC chair, posted an open letter on the WSA website to publicly acknowledge the criticism, clarify the narrative of the problem, and suggest in which areas improvement can be cultivated. Choice morsels and key points after the jump.
Anonymous commenters, shoutbox-ers, ACB-ers: You want Wesleying not to crash every Finals Week (or other sporadic moments throughout the year). You want Wesleying to be more user friendly. You want to be able to sort through posts easier. You want aesthetic changes to be made quicker. You want it? You got it — That is, of course, if you can help us make that happen. Our server contract ends this year, and we are hoping to upgrade so Wesleying.2011 can be better, faster, stronger. With your fund$ we can:
- renew our contract, stay online
- upgrade our server! no more annoying 503s!
- have some $$$ to make Wesleying even more user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing (although we know you all loved the “Wesleying: a website for students who go here to Wesleyan” banner, having some money would make our redesigns faster and more professional)
- keep Wesleying 100% independent – We would like to remain completely financially independent and non-university affiliated (no SBC funds). Wesleying was created to be an independent student blog, and while it may only be symbolic, we’d like to have the independence to go on rants about the University like with the Tour de Franzia crackdown or the Fountain Avenue fiasco, or just post pictures of students in their underwear with Michael Roth’s face pasted on.
While Wesleying may not give you a sweet tote bag like NPR does, here are some reasons you should support us:
- because you love us? maybe?
- you’re a student who reads Wesleying during lectures, in Olin, when you want to see the S&C menu, for fun Ye Olde Wesleyan posts, and because you need a Wesleyan internet aggregator to keep you informed of when WesCam is up and running, of the existence of WesBreasts and WesTacles…or you want to find out who is lecturing at CHUM.
- you’re a rich alum or parent who’s too cool to want hir name on a building. Wesleying keeps you updated on what’s going on better than any Wesleyan listserv. Or you’re a poor alum with Cardinal spirit, an internet addiction, and $1 to spare.
- For a forum where students, administrators, administrators posing as students and students posing as administrators can discuss campus policies and news.
- For our dearly departed Sheek and Holly and Xue and so many others!
So if you are so inclined, make your donation to Wesleying’s PayPal account whether you’re a student, a parent, an alum, or just someone who googled “sex party.” You can donate any amount you wish, and show some class pride by adding your class year in cents (i.e. Michael Roth ’78, donate $100.78! Poor alum ’10, donate $1.10!). At least join the facebook event and spread it to your friends.
All of us at Wesleying
[Thanks to David Shimomura ’13 for photoshopping the awesome ‘Uncle Roth’ image for me for this post.]
The New York Times published an article yesterday about how colleges are reaping funds from the summer season by hosting summer camps, academic programs, and even photo shoots. In the economic downturn, new sources of income have become even more important, even as expensive summer programs might be less popular:
“The overall landscape now is one in which you’ve got to become leaner and meaner and more competitive, and that means trying to find more sources of revenue,” said Tim Kelly, a college spokesman. “Summer is an important piece of the puzzle.”
There is a marketing upside, too, in maintaining a busy campus in summer, administrators say. On campus tours, prospective students and their parents respond better to a vibrant environment. And a high school student who takes, say, a three-week screenwriting workshop might remember that institution when applying to college.
But while colleges may be working harder to derive revenue from campuses this summer, some are running headlong into the weakened economy. For years, Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has held or run more than 20 athletic, cultural and academic programs and camps in summer. This year, a half-dozen have folded, citing falling enrollments.
Wesleyan does host some summer camps, academic programs, and summer conferences. But campus might be a bit more active next summer. President Roth has expressed support for a small pilot program for summer classes, and planning for a possible summer session will begin in the fall. Roth wrote in a blog entry:
…the campus is settling into its summer calm. This is, I hope, the last summer for which I can say that. Next year we hope to have at least a few hundred students here taking classes, but now it’s time to catch our breath and plan for the future.
New York Times: For Colleges Needing Cash, Summer’s No Longer a Quiet Season
Argus: School’s On for Summer
In an email to both active and inactive student groups, the WSA’s Student Budget Committee (SBC) writes:
Because of the alarming gap between the funds allocated by the SBC and the funds spent by student groups, all unspent SBC allocations in student group accounts will be seized and returned to the SBC over Winter Break.
This is done so that every student group requesting money has a fair shot at it. Right now, the SBC is strapped for cash due to unusually high demand. We appreciate your cooperation.
Each student group must complete this form by 6:00 PM on Saturday, Dec. 6; otherwise, groups are “at serious risk of having [their] funds reassumed into the SBC general budget for next semester’s requests.”
More details are contained in the email, which registered group contacts should have received.
If you are an individual or small group, with an idea for a project or activity that will improve and enhance student life on campus, we can help you gain the support and funding that you need to set your ideas in motion.
Previously, only registered student groups could request funding. Now, any student or group of students is eligible, simply by registering an “Independent Project”.
To begin the procedure, use the “WSA Tools and Applications” link in your Student Portfolio. Contact your WSA representative or email email@example.com subject heading “Independent Projects” for more details!