Elizabeth Warren continues to be a powerful force in the campaign to fix the student loan system. Warren spoke at a recent hearing for the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee, saying that although the interest rate necessary to cover the cost of the student loan program without making a profit would be about 2.5%, the government is charging students nearly twice that amount for undergraduate loans, and even more for graduate and direct loans. But Warren has come under fire from critics who say that the figures she is using in her argument are wrong.
In the follow-up to the controversy surrounding the suspension of Northeastern‘s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine by the school,
Unless you shut yourself off from the world this past week, you probably read, or at least heard mention of, The Atlantic’s feature story on fraternities and their dangers, which highlighted Wesleyan University and Beta Theta Pi. The article explores the role of fraternities on campuses, especially in the crafting of party culture and the rise of sexual assault. The article is long, but well worth the read, and has reopened space for dialogue on these issues.
Do you ever get the feeling Wesleyan is having a little bit of an identity crisis?
There’s a good chance that my ‘ideal’ Wesleyan doesn’t look exactly the same as yours; our concerns and tastes are different, as are our experiences here. But it is likely that the things you love most about Wesleyan are unique to it, are not quantifiable, and are not things that are in step with success as defined by any rankings algorithm. I’m serious about Wesleyan dropping out of college rankings like US News. Reed College president Colin Diver explains in a 2005 Atlantic article that “one-size-fits-all ranking schemes undermine the institutional diversity that characterizes American higher education…(as) The urge to improve one’s ranking creates an irresistible pressure toward homogeneity, and schools that… strive to be different are almost inevitably penalized.” In my opinion, Wesleyan students have been struggling against that subtle pressure in different ways for years now.
In a wonderful twist of fate, the Men’s Varsity Soccer team has received a bid to the NCAA DIII Championship. Although the team lost to Amherst College 1-0 this past weekend in the NESCAC Semifinals in Wiliamstown, their performance this year has been enough to rocket them into the national competition. Amherst (15-0-2) took the NESCAC Championship this year, beating Williams (13-1-3) in the final game 2-0. Both teams will be going to the NCAA DIII Championships as well as Tufts—making for a strong NESCAC representation.
The first game will be against Haverford College (12-0-7), winner of the Centennial Conference, on Nov. 10th at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA.
The opportunity came as a real surprise to the team. Whether the team would snag the bid was completely up in the air, but in the end the judges deemed them worthy of a spot. Coach Geoff Wheeler told Wesleyan’s sports broadcasting service, WesPregame, that the team won the chance because of schedule strength. Although the Cardinals’ record is 9-4-3 (less impressive than, say, Williams’ record of 13-1-3), their ties and losses were against highly ranked teams, something the powers-that-be took into consideration when determining the NCAA’s Pool C.
Rugby: it’s like football but brutal-er. From J.R. Mannetta ’13:
Saturday’s your last chance to watch Old Methodist play a sport that kind of resembles football, but…wait why are those guys getting lifted…ah this sport is confusing.
Come out for a Little 3 appetizer as Wesleyan takes on WIlliams College at 10:30 on Long Lane Field. It’s Old Methodist’s 50th anniversary game.
Date: Saturday, October 20th
Time: 10:30 am
Place: Long Lane Field
Why so serious, USNWR?
Not that anyone cares, because these things don’t mean anything, and they’re all just so arbitrary, and because rankings do not even matter unless Wesleyan scores high, in which case it’s super-exciting and you can disregard all that other stuff, but…
Unfortunately, it’s just not our year. The U.S. News and World Report—which by the way, has ranked as the #1 most useless publication three years in a row in this list I keep in the top drawer of my desk—had the gall to rank the prestigious Wellesleyan College at #17, down five slots from last year (or really up, does anyone else ever think about that, because 17 is actually a greater number than 12, mathematically speaking?).
Here’s the list, but instead of focusing on why or how we dropped this year (cough overenrollment cough endowment-per-student figure), I thought instead I’d focus instead on what it means to be number 17. I didn’t get very far, so instead I thought about what it might mean to be a liberal arts college (not in like a 21st century-cost-efficient-MRoth sort of way).
If you haven’t noticed–and with today marking the end of winter break, odds are you haven’t–Wes men’s basketball is having a pretty kickass year, currently sporting a 14-5 record with a pair of wins over teams ranked in the top 25 nationally. Friday the 13th proved to be quite lucky for the Cards, who earned their largest win over Williams since 1985 with a 66-43 romp. Wes followed that with a three-point loss to Middlebury–the nation’s #1 team–and then a thrilling 68-67 win over Amherst (#4 nationally) and a 58-57 win over Tufts on Shasha Brown’s ’13 buzzer-beater.
Wes will host Connecticut College this Saturday as part of Family Hoops Day at Freeman; this is one of only two home conference games post-break (the other being a Super Bowl Sunday double-header against Hamilton). Both the Wes men and women (who, at 11-5, aren’t doing too shabbily themselves) will be looking to avenge losses to Conn that effectively did in their playoff hopes last season.
This is both teams’ first chance to play a conference game in front of the home fans this season. Come out and make sure the atmosphere is electric for what should be a great day of basketball!
Date: Saturday, Jan. 28
Time: 2 pm (women’s game)/4 p.m. (men’s game)
Place: Silloway Gym, Freeman
(Photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com)
Early Decision I applications for Wesleyan were due November 15th. So how’d we do? Better. 3% better. Wesleyan received 515 applications in the ED I cycle, up from 500 last year. Yeah, 15 isn’t the hugest increase, but a 3% increase is better than any decrease. We’ll take what we can get.
In contrast, Williams went up only 1.3% and Amherst actually experienced a loss of 5.06%, making Wesleyan’s increase the largest of the Little Three. In the NESCAC, however, Hamilton tops it out with a 24.1% increase. In the category of “Universities with Binding Early Admission” so far, Lafayette had the biggest gain at 56.32% and Elon had the biggest loss at 14.7%.
In his post on the Times’ The Choice blog, Jacques Steinberg (who wrote a book featuring admissions at Wesleyan) notes what makes Early Decision special:
binding early programs continue to be a lightning rod for families and counselors; an applicant who applies under such a program, and commits to attend if accepted, loses the ability to not only field financial aid offers from other colleges, but also forfeits at least some potential leverage to persuade that institution to sweeten its scholarship proposals.
The chart I’ve extracted above shows the NESCAC results with Lafayette and Elon added in. Check out Steinberg’s post for information about other schools.
[NYT – The Choice]
Speaking of President Roth, The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual salary report is out. The report lists the compensation in 2008 of university presidents throughout the country. The New York Times points out that thirty presidents of private colleges were paid over a million dollars. It goes on, (down from 82%) “78 percent of presidents of private colleges, however, had total compensation packages of less than $600,000 in 2008.”
The President of Wesleyan Wellesley came in 19th among the “Baccalaureate colleges – Arts & Sciences.” Michael Roth came in 28th with $535,344 as his 2008-9 total compensation package. You can view more information about his compensation here. The site considerately puts the institution revenues ($197,167,000 for Wes) and expenditures ($225,619,000 for Wes) down also for comparative purposes.
In case anyone cares, here’s an abbreviated chart of Wesleyan and some of our “peer institutions.” The highest college in the category, Franklin & Marshall, pays its president about $326,000 more and Vassar, who we seem to rank near often, pays its president about $73,000 less.
Personally, I love President Roth. We should keep paying him. A bit of transparency doesn’t hurt though.
Over on the EphBlog
, Williams’ version of Wesleying
, there seems to be some excitement about the upcoming Wesleyan-Williams football match. The following is excerpted (although the emphasis is by me):
The main attraction, of course, is homecoming
. Usually, the focus when Wesleyan is the opponent is on the festivities, rather than the game, which is in most years a foregone conclusion. This year is a different story.
First, the Ephs will be looking for redemption after last year’s loss vs. Amherst, their first homecoming non-win (and hence, first time they haven’t enjoyed The Walk
) since 1995 (!). Second, a potential NESCAC title is on the line — if Williams wins Saturday, they are guaranteed the title with a win vs. Amherst (and if Amherst loses to Trinity, they are guaranteed a share of the title even with a loss vs. Amherst). Third, and most intriguingly, is of course the return of former Eph head coach Mike Whalen, assistant coach Dan Dicenzo ’00, and quarterback Matt Coyne ’12. Needless to say, there will be no shortage of motivation for either side, in this one. Williams will be looking to show Whalen, Dicenzo, and Coyne just how big a mistake they made leaving the friendly confines of the purple valley. Coyne and Dicenzo, on the other hand, will be aiming to prove that, perhaps, their talents were not sufficiently appreciated in Williamstown.
And a solid 4-2 Wesleyan squad will also receive plenty of help from Shea Dwyer ’10 (he’s a grad student), who is leading the nation
in rushing. Looking to slow Dwyer down will be an Eph defense led by local legend Dylan Schultz ’11
. Of course, all of the public pre-game talk from both sides will surely claim that this is “just another game,” among other sports cliches. It isn’t.
Watch the game, for free, here.
I must admit, seeing Williams worry is making my support for Wesleyan Football stronger. The commenter in the ShoutBox who submitted this tip pointed out that this is just more proof of how much of a jock school Williams is. Speaking of things they need to worry about:
Men’s soccer was stunned by Wesleyan last weekend, and is waiting to hear if it will receive an NCAA bid to continue its season.
The best part is, if Wesleyan loses we’ll just say we didn’t care anyway. If we win, we can be happy. We can’t lose! You’ve just got to love good old hipster irony.