Tag Archives: news coverage

Democracy Now! Airs Homecoming Protest, Bizarre Roth Confrontation

“There has been a lot of transparency. There has been a lot of transparency.”

Wesleying wasn’t the only media outlet filming last Saturday’s need-blind protest, in which roughly 50 student activists stormed across the sidelines during the football game, waving a banner proclaiming “DIVER$ITY UNIVER$ITY?” and chanting that “everyone deserves to learn.” Recent grad Nemo Allen ’12, a video production fellow for independent global news hour Democracy Now!, was also at the ready. After filming the protest, Allen stuck around for interviews with engaged students, faculty, and one alumnus who was fiercely involved in the 1982 protests to preserve need-blind at Wesleyan.

But when Allen attempted to interview President Roth, he found himself caught in a bizarre confrontation with the camera still rolling. In the footage, the president walks away from Allen, turns around, insists that “there has been a lot of transparency,” pushes his face close to the camera, grabs Allen’s microphone, grins, continues walking, confronts a police officer, explains the situation, and is asked to return the microphone. (That is not a sentence I ever expected to publish on this blog.) My personal favorite exchange is probably “You have to give that back.” “I don‘t have to!”, but the part where Roth sticks his head into the lens is slightly more conducive to meme-tastic GIFs.

The footage aired towards the end of Democracy Now!’s program this morning. You can also watch it on YouTube (above) as a stand-alone segment. Here’s the full transcript, as narrated by DN! host Amy Goodman:

News Coverage Round-Up: Need-Blind

If I have to tell you about what’s going on with need-blind at Wesleyan right now, you seriously don’t spend enough time on this blog (and are definitely not that girl I’ve been hitting on with subtle references to my Wesleying persona). Seriously, guys(/gals/zes), we talk about this all the fucking time (context context context context context context context and a .gif).

In brief: our embattled president, Rothzilla, has engaged the fearsome budget monster Mo(ney)thra, which of course seems nice to everybody at first, because hey, who wants to deal with that devilish flying thing stalking us at every turn? However, it turns out that Rothzilla is keeping Mo(ney)thra under control using some extremely non-kosher methods, namely by destroying Tokyo in the process (or undercutting the moral values of Wesleyan by “discriminating against poor people,” as one student phrased it—whichever fits this illogical reimagining best). The background of all this includes numerous conspiracy theories about a cover-up (i.e., issues with transparency), a convoluted origin story, and the meddling hands of Ishiro Honda (ok, maybe that last one is a little less accurate).

Why reflect on all this now? Well, it appears that the traditional news media has taken the bait. What follows is a collection of interpretations of the need-blind issue, courtesy of the good folks over in the fourth branch of the government. Read on, dear readers, for the (slightly more coherent) perspective from the outside.

Vassar Embezzlement Scandal

Vassar has found itself embroiled in quite the legal morass(…er) — now that you’ve been sufficiently nauseated by that, you might be interested to learn of the comparably reproachable actions of former Vassar employee Arthur Fisher and his wife, Jennifer Fisher, who were arrested last Friday in connection with the embezzlement of approximately $1.9 million from Vassar College.

The good people of Mads Vassar have provided excellent coverage of the developing legal situation so far. For those of you not inclined to venture far afield in the blogosphere, here are the central details of the case:

  • Fisher, a construction project manager at Vassar, ostensibly managed to leech the money from the school’s construction capital budget under the pretense of funding a nonexistent project over the course of his five year tenure, which concluded last December.
  • Financial inconsistencies found during an examination of project reports tipped off administrators to Fisher’s withdrawals (no word has yet been issued on the precise methods used by the defendants to accrue the cash money flo’).
  • A search of the Fishers’ Ossining home turned up five vehicles whose total value hovers around half a million dollars, several Rolexes (appraised at around $50k), and perhaps most disturbingly, a staggering cache of unregistered firearms and forged government identification.

Links to further reportage (Washington Post, Huffington Post, Poughkeepsie Journal, Associated Press) can be found here.

[Photos credited to the Poughkeepsie Journal]

Media Roundup: Obama at Commencement

Obama’s appearance at commencement was clearly big news. The press was everywhere – even on top of Olin! [Edit by Lauraalyse]: This wasn’t the press. This was the secret service w/ snipers.

Here’s notable coverage/analysis from some major news sources:

Associated Press: Obama urges Wesleyan grads to enter public service
Los Angeles Times: Obama Speaks at Wesleyan Commencement
Boston Globe: Obama treated as rock star at Wes commencement
NYTimes: Obama Stands in for Kennedy at Wesleyan
ABC News: Obama Replaces Ted Kennedy
Baltimore Sun: Obama’s Kennedy Bond Deepens
– International Herald Tribune: Obama Stands in for Kennedy at Wesleyan
Bloomberg News: Obama Asks Wesleyan Students to Serve Their Country

New details emerge from Courant story

The Hartford Courant ran another story on Friday’s early-morning Fountain Ave. incident. Here are some details contained in that article, that I don’t think have been highlighted on Wesleying yet:

Police claim it wasn’t just beer bottles that were thrown:

Police said the students threw beer bottles and a lit firecracker at officers, and ignored orders to disperse given via loudspeaker multiple times over 30 to 40 minutes. Patrick McMahon, the department’s deputy chief, said officers showed “great restraint.”

Police claim that normal procedures were followed:

McMahon said complaints the departments received from students would be reviewed. “Right now, it seems the officers followed policies and procedures in responding to a call for assistance,” he said. “Because of the size of the crowd and the aggressiveness of the crowd, we had to call for help ourselves.”

Police claim that this is not the first party breakup situation that they’ve dealt with… though students refusing to disperse is unusual:

“Every year we get called out there for large parties, but they end up dispersing themselves without any major incidents,” Sgt. Scott Aresco, a department spokesman, said.

It was a P-Safe shift supervisor who contacted the MPD:

Wesleyan public safety officers asked the students to disperse, but they didn’t. Around 1:30 a.m., the shift supervisor contacted Middletown police for assistance, police said.

Verbal abuse apparently went both ways, and MPD waited 40 minutes to call in reinforcements. MPD claims that the pepper balls were fired at the feet of students:

Nine officers eventually arrived and, using a loudspeaker, ordered students to disperse, Aresco said. Aresco also said a beer bottle was thrown at the car of the first officer to arrive, that students were verbally abusive, and that a lit firecracker went off under a parked police car.

When the students refused to disperse and continued to throw bottles and cans after 40 minutes, the officers requested support from state police and police in Cromwell and Portland, Aresco said.

Police then moved in to disperse the students, using non-lethal force that included firing at their feet with pepper ball guns, Aresco said. Police Tasered two students and arrested five students who allegedly attacked officers or interfered, Aresco said.

Police claim that no tear gas was used:

… said she then had trouble breathing because of what she thought was tear gas, though Aresco said no tear gas was used.

911 calls released; police chief says officer attacked

WFSB has obtained copies of ten 911 calls made by students during the Fountain Ave. incident, and has made them available on their website.

Also, WFSB quotes Middletown Deputy Police Chief Patrick McMahon as saying that the attack by the police dog was due to a student attack:

One of the students remained in the hospital on Friday after being bit by a police dog.

Police Chief Patrick McMahon told Eyewitness News that the dog attack was an accident. He said that a student attacked an officer, and the dog did what he was trained to do: fight back.

News Coverage Update and Round-up

Local news channels WTNH (Channel 8) and WFSB (Channel 3) had television reports at noon today.

WTNH at Noon

NBC30 Brief

Links to the rest of the coverage:
WTNH at 5am and 5:30am
NBC30 at 6am

Fox 61 Morning News
The Hartford Courant: Unruly Gathering at Wesleyan University Results in Five Arrests
The Hartford Courant: Students, Police Describe Incident at Wesleyan
WTNH Web Coverage (thanks Shoutbox)
NBC30 Web Coverage
WFSB Web Coverage
Ed McKeon at Caterwauled blogged about it here and here.
The Prereq blogged about it here.
Our good old friends who love Wesleyan oh-so-much at Gawker blogged about it here.
The story has been Digged here – feel free to Digg it some more if you think the story should have more exposure.
Middletown Police News – a blog that chronicles issues related to M-Town police – blogs about it.
SomethingAwful discussion