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.
Trustee: “Students barging in is a long and time-honored tradition at Wesleyan.”
On Sunday, a coalition of about 40 students occupied a closed Board of Trustees meeting in support of need-blind with a sign reading “BRING US INTO THE CONVERSATION.” The action was brief, it was respectful, and—most impressively—it resulted in a pretty thoughtful exchange between occupiers and occupied, all caught on video. “Just to be clear, students barging in is a long and time-honored tradition at Wesleyan,” one trustee opines about six minutes into the footage. “Some of us did it ourselves!” another chimes in. (Maybe even during the myriad of need-blind protests that took place in 1992, if any of them are on the younger side.) (By “younger side” I mean under 46.)
Turns out the Student Judicial Board isn’t quite as enamored with the time-honored Wesleyan activist tradition. According to tips, at least five students have received SJB notices in association with the 15-minute occupation. These students were captured on Public Safety’s camera (in the video, one P-Safe officer calmly asks students to exit the doorway and not “disrupt the meeting”), and their actions have been described as “failure to comply” and “disruptions.” It’s a pretty harsh follow-up on a protest that spurned more thoughtful dialogue than it did mutual resentment, but who’s surprised? Here’s what the charges look like: