Tag Archives: Roth. President Roth.

Beckham Hall Ruptures and Collapses From Weight of Released Emotion

Video from the event is here.

Last night, hundreds (by my count, 400+) students, faculty, and staff piled into Beckham Hall for what became an over-three-hour long panel/discussion on issues of diversity and community at Wesleyan. By the end, as the clock approached 11:00 PM, there were still at least 200 attendees remaining. By all accounts, the forum was an immensely powerful and public out-letting of emotion and outrage at our community’s collective failings to address intense ruptures in Wesleyan’s identity as “Diversity University.”

Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Sonia Manjon moderated the discussion, leading a panel that included President Michael Roth ’78, Director of Public Safety Dave Meyer, students Jalen Alexander ’14, Dorisol Inoa ’13, Chantaneice Kitt ’13, and Evan Okun ’13, Professor Alex Dupuy and Professor Elizabeth McAlister. The original intent of the forum was to address diversity in light of recent events, most notably hateful and racist comments on the ACB after Homecoming Weekend, the use of race in Public Safety reports, and allegations of unnecessary use of force by Public Safety, but the conversation touched on many, many more areas of community dysfunction.

There were a few things that were made amply clear to everybody last night, if they weren’t clear already:

Roth Provides Opportunity to Move Community Forward

I, for one, would be happy to see this kind of thing more often.

A few days ago, President Michael Roth sent out an open letter to the campus community, commenting on the values that bring us together, noting the value of discussion in times of crisis, and speaking out against attempts to incite divisions within our campus community, echoing Barack Obama’s recent sentiment about strength in diverse opinions and passions united through a common community. I, for one, would be happy to see this kind of thing more often. There is a strong desire among students for visible, high-level, normative leadership in the ever ongoing process of community building at Wesleyan, particularly in times of community disruption, and this generally fits the bill. A little later than some might prefer, perhaps, but better late than never.

In his letter, Roth touched on the debates around financial aid, of which you may have heard, among other issues, and openly acknowledged the diversity of opinions on those debates and issues and the need to continue the conversation as we move forward. In the vein, Roth notes that he has regular office hours (I recommend scheduling an appointment ahead of time with Lisa LaPlant in South College) and is happy to meet with any group of students, formally or informally, on more or less any subject. If you’ve got something to say, go talk to him.

Roth also commented on issues of racism in recent events and mentioned an important panel/forum in which he will be participating on Monday night. The student organized event will carry forward the campus conversation on race and respect, involving Vice President for Diversity and Institutional Partnerships Sonia Manjon, officers from Public Safety, and students. 7:30PM in Beckham Hall, Monday November 12th.

Our community is not out of the woods. We still suffer from indifference and intolerance. Our community needs support, support from the individuals that make up the whole.

We must all do our part.

The full letter after the jump.