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Legal Chalk-In Shut Down by Roth: An Account

“There is no excuse for grabbing students like they are kindergarteners who need a timeout for not sharing a toy.”

Chalking’s back! Not really. Yesterday morning, approximately ten years, two weeks, and three days after the chalking moratorium went into effect, a small group of chalking heads (including Wesleying’s A-Batte) brought a “legal chalk-in” to Wyllys Avenue. The concept is simple. The Wesleyan Student Handbook prohibits chalking “on university property”; since Wyllys Avenue is a public street, students called the Middletown government office to confirm that chalking is permitted citywide. (“Middletown not only allows chalking but distributes it to children on the Fourth of July,” Daniel Plafker ’15 tells me.) Hence: “legal chalking.”

What followed was a tense confrontation with President Roth, who physically grabbed at least one student, and two P-Safe officers, who confirmed that chalking is indeed permitted on public streets but not Wesleyan sidewalks. The end of that interaction appears on video here, caught by Plafker. Scroll on for a first-person account by Evan Bieder ’15.