On Tuesday, September 17th, President Michael Roth ’78 sent out a campus-wide email announcing Friday’s Climate Strike. He also announced Wesleyan’s new (?) investment policy. (Read it after the break.)
Written by Ben Silverstone ‘22 and Ernest Braun ‘22 on behalf of WesDivest, Climate Action Group, WesDems, Sunrise, and a coalition of other sustainability groups, this guest post addresses climate injustice and what Wesleyan must do now to ensure our planet’s future:
“12 years from now, in 2031, Wesleyan will celebrate its bicentennial anniversary. In 2030, the UN’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warns that we will reach environmental tipping points that will speed up the pace of the climate crisis. The catastrophic warming resulting from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels which has already begun to ravage our planet will be irreversible for millennia. As the students, faculty, and administration reflect upon Wesleyan’s accomplishments over the past 200 years, perhaps they will wonder what Wesleyan may look like in another 200 years, or even in 50. Unless we take drastic actions to reduce our emissions now, we already know the answer to that question.
We are WesDivest. We formed to urge the administration to divest our endowment from the fossil fuel industry, to commit to renewable energy and reduced consumption, and to lead by example in the fight for the futures of our generation. We formed because all of human civilization is implicated in the same challenge for the next decade: to stop greenhouse gas emissions before we make the planet uninhabitable. With this challenge in mind, any institution that ignores the reality of climate change is contributing to its own demise and doing a moral disservice to humanity. Therefore, all people who are invested in Wesleyan’s enduring success – and that of its students – should seriously consider divestment from fossil fuels and begin building a more sustainable future.
Read the rest of this guest post after the jump:
While at our penultimate* meeting of the semester, we were scrolling through our twitter tl looking for some ~cool content~ to retweet from our fellow students we came across THIS RIDONCULOUS TWEET:
What do I do? pic.twitter.com/IMDs2z7cA5
— Michael S Roth (@mroth78) December 9, 2018
As we tweeted: “what the fukc?????”
Other followers of his also responded to the tweet:
I don’t know Michael. I think his instructions are quite clear. At the end of the second paragraph. :)
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) December 9, 2018
Otherwise there are wide range of images for you to send him. pic.twitter.com/v0MCW4Cg19
— David M. Perry (@Lollardfish) December 9, 2018
@mroth78 whatcha doin bro?
— Saadia Naeem (@saadia_naeem23) December 9, 2018
— Baker Media Inc. (@BakerMediaCorp) December 9, 2018
— conner barrett (@grizzlybearrett) December 9, 2018
We don’t know how to end this post, so we’ll just leave you with the words of our fearless leader: “What do I do?”
President Michael Roth ’78 is holding the third State of School Address today at 3pm in the Memorial Chapel, and Wesleying is liveblogging the whole thing!
As in previous years, the event is co-sponsored by the WSA, the Argus, and the Ankh. It will consist of an hour-long Q&A, moderated by three students—a member of the WSA, a member of the Argus, and a member of the Ankh. In an email to the student body about the event WSA president Emma Austin ‘19 shared links where students can submit their questions to President Roth or share a comment for student representatives to pass on to the Board of Trustees. After the State of the School there will be a student-only debrief in the Zelnick Pavilion.
In her email, Austin shared the history and intention of the State of the School Address:
“This event grew out of students’ desire for more transparency from the Administration. Scheduled at the beginning of the year and days before the Board of Trustees meeting, the State of the School is designed to ensure that student opinions are heard and heeded as they Administration plans for the years ahead.”
For an in-depth recap of the event in previous years check out Wesleying’s liveblogs of Roth’s 2015 and 2016 addresses. (Note: Due to low student turnout, Austin explained that the event was changed from an annual address to a biannual address, which is why there was no address in 2017.)
Read on for our liveblog of the event.
In perhaps the most momentous chapter of a saga dating back to the Fall of 2014, the Wesleyan chapter of DKE (Delta Kappa Epsilon) has just won another huge victory in its lawsuit against the university.
Just before 6PM today, President Roth sent out yet another email with the subject line reading “Campus Update.” This time, it was to inform us that a judge ruled that Wesleyan must allow DKE access to 276 High Street at the start of the Fall 2018. Three classes of students have never set foot in the fraternity, located directly across the street from President Roth’s house, but it may soon be open to undergraduates once more.
Wesleyan plans to file an appeal, but the exact path forward remains shrouded in mystery as of this evening. Read past the jump for the full email, and our key takeaways.
You have worked, implicitly and explicitly, directly and indirectly, to make Wesleyan a hostile environment for people of color, students with disabilities, trans students, survivors of sexual assault and pretty much any student who does not fit into your image of the “conservative oppressed by the liberal arts.” What’s more, you have repeatedly refused to engage with students in any meaningful way about the ways in which you’ve created this hostile environment. So I have resorted to engaging with you on your own terms: in a blog post.
WesFest is next week, Zonker Harris Day is a week away, and it is going to be 77 degrees on Tuesday. We find ourselves on the eve of a jubilant week likely to be filled with prefrosh excitement and springtime joy. While I am very excited for what is to come, I must say that there is occasion to celebrate right here, right now!
Today is President Michael S. Roth ’78‘s 60th birthday! President Roth has led and continues to lead a very colorful life more than worthy of celebration. According to this Wesleying post, President Roth is the founder of hemp activism, and the father to Philip Roth, Winston Churchill, and Kanye West. It’s important that we all take a brief second to reflect on the intellectual gravitas and romantic zeal that Michael embodies on the daily. To me, this is most poignantly seen in this video of President Roth at the 20th anniversary celebration of the Freeman Asian Scholars Program.
Okay, now that that brief second is up, take a look at how the rest of the internet is responding to President Roth’s birthday:
At around 1:45pm today, the Chair of the Board of Trustees Donna Morea ’76 sent out an all-campus email announcing the extension of President Michael Roth‘s contract. He will continue to remain President of the University through 2023.
Morea’s email highlighted the success of Roth’s “This Is Why” fundraising campaign; his launch of multiple academic programs during his nearly decade-long run as President; and his future plans for the “Beyond 2020” initiative (although the email doesn’t go into much detail on this front). It makes no mention of the fact that last October, over 200 students called for the removal of President Roth and Vice President of Equity & Inclusion Antonio Farias in a town hall.
Here is the full email text:
I sometimes really wished I watched cable news. You know, among a life of reading, work, class, essays, and more at a Liberal University™, I feel like I somehow miss out on the rather illuminating shows on channels like Fox News. For anyone who might not know, Fox News is that one cable news channel that employs an anchor that declares that, you know, poverty isn’t all that bad because poor people have fridges. It is also the cable news channel that was founded and run by a sexual predator for 20 years. I am so checked out from the channel that I don’t notice when Evil Presidents of Liberal Universities™ are featured as guests (fodder for conservative viewers sitting on their couch in South Carolina eating spaghetti-o’s?).
Over the past few weeks, students have been calling for the removal of President Roth and Dean Antonio Farias. This afternoon, Roth sent an all-campus email with subject line “Campus Update,” asking hard-hitting questions like, “What can we do? What will the administration do?” and seeming to once again expect students to provide him with answers. The email makes no mention of calls for his removal, but does identify three areas of concern: transparency, Title IX processes, and the results of the Equity task force created last spring in response to the IsThisWhy campaign. He calls for more student input on each topic, because the administration can “only do so much.”
Many survivors have been expressing their pain with strength and eloquence, and Roth apparently acknowledges that. His response, however, is yet another call for others to take on much of the work necessary, work that will somehow, inexplicably, lead to “real results.” Full text of the email can be found after the jump.