On April 2, 49 students will have the opportunity to participate in the Wesleyan Student Assembly’s (WSA) first ever Saturday in the City program. For $10, students will be provided with transportation to and from New York City, with two-hour stopovers at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Union Square, and Chinatown/Little Italy. Tickets go on sale at the Box Office on March 24.
“The idea for the program originated last year when I was campaigning,” said WSA Transportation Committee Chair Zachary Malter ’13. “A number of people mentioned to me that when they were freshmen, they had anticipated they would be spending a lot more time in local cities as a Wesleyan student. One of the major issues is our isolation despite our close proximity to major bustling cities.”
Malter said that event organizers tried to create a varied itinerary, targeted primarily at students who have spent little or no time in the New York City.
“We first considered Times Square,” Malter said. “While we thought that some students who aren’t from the New York area might be interested in it, we’d capture a much wider audience [going to Union Square instead]. There’s a farmers market and more diverse options there.”
Malter said that attendees are required to return to the bus and travel together to the next leg of the trip. Event organizers will keep an inventory of cell phone numbers in case students get lost.
“There are going to be monitors and organizers making sure that students arrive back in time,” Malter said. “Since we are in the city, at the very worst anyone can just hop in a cab and get back to the checkpoint if it’s a real dire emergency.”
Malter said that he and other organizers were able to keep ticket prices low by subsidizing the cost of transportation with money from the Student Activities Fee. The ticket includes transportation and entry to the MOMA, but students must pay for meals and other expenses themselves.
“It’s very cheap,” said Malter. “If we do this again, and it becomes a tradition, which is what we are really hoping, then we can go to Boston, New York, and do other crazy things, I can’t guarantee that the price will remain $10.”
However, Malter added that if ticket prices do not remain relatively low, it would be difficult to sustain the program.
“It is about addressing the problem of access,” said Malter. “At a certain point if it’s too expensive, it defeats the purpose.”