I just got a fundraising call from Wesleyan and to be perfectly frank, since the WSA has voted to cut the Argus’s funding, I honestly do not want to donate any of my money to the university. What kind of message are wesending to the students ? If you don’t tow party line, you will be silenced ? Cutting funding to the media because they express a different viewpoint is the antithesis of liberalism and is in essence, totalitarianism. I am very sad and disappointed in the WSA and the administration for allowing the defunding to happen. I have give every year faithfully since I graduated and it’s sad that this year I have no desire to help. My money that would otherwise be earmarked for my annual donation will be donated to other organizations and causes that I believe in.

Kawka is a member of the Class of 1999. 

  • GD Klein

    I trust others will follow your lead. I stopped donating a long time go.

    • DKE Bro

      I never donated at all.

      I have never donated to the Nazi Party, or to the KKK, either.

      This is a good time to be brave and just shut down the University.

      It serves no high purpose.

      • 1995Alum

        Wesleyan was ranked #622 in the most recent Economist college rankings. Probably better than I would have expected.

      • DKE Bro

        Wesleyan could easily be reduced in size and converted into a boarding school for disadvantaged students from the surrounding area. Then, at least, Wesleyan would serve a worthy public purpose.

  • Anonymous

    Are Wesleyan’s leaders failing to lead and cheapening the Wesleyan diploma? Student values are telling: When several students are hospitalized with life-threatening drug overdoses, it should not come as a surprise that on-campus drug dealers were arrested and face lengthy prison sentences. But no! Students circulated a petition condemning the “abduction of our classmates” and dubbed those arrested the “Wesleyan Five”. It is an affront to the Civil Rights movement (and reality) to wrap a dealer who touted the safety of his product or another who claimed 610 Xanax were for her personal use in the mantle of those who genuinely fought injustice. The fact that hundreds of students can’t see the difference speaks volumes.

    The Argus issue has been discussed at length, but again the values of some students are appalling and the Orwellian language is particularly troubling. Slashing Argus’ funding is “investment”, and destruction of newspapers deemed offensive is a “boycott”. Wesleyan must enable “safe spaces” for expression by quelling dissent.

    Does Wesleyan really value dissent? When the student government votes unanimously to slash the funding of its 150 year old school newspaper, there are only two possibilities: either the student government has universally poor judgement, or Wesleyan as built a culture of fear that made voting against the measure socially prohibitive. I’m not sure which is worse, but so much for “safe spaces”.

    One would expect the administration to be front and center in these issues, but that has not happened. Largely unnoticed in President Roth’s feeble op-ed defense of free speech was the admission that Stascavage and editors of the Argus had been harassed following the publication of Stascavage’s article. Here was a golden opportunity for the president to truly stand up for Wesleyan’s values and safety for all voices by condemning that harassment. It didn’t happen.

    True leaders must set tone and direction. They must foster independence without kowtowing to those who wrap naked power grabs in the language of inclusion. They must present consistent, constant, and unwavering values. There is precious little of that leadership in evidence at Wesleyan today.

  • 1995Alum

    Stopped donating last year. School is a joke. Roth has run the school into the ground. Student body continues to find new and creative ways to embarrass itself.

    • GD Klein

      You got that right about Roth. Only thing he has achieved was hiring a winning football coach.

  • Great letter, Kawka, and perfect sentiment. Those who stifle debate should be exposed. And universities that kowtow to the free speech bigots should also face consequences.

    Those who protested Bryan Stascavage’s letter by calling for censorship should have a black mark on their resumes, so the only jobs the can get would be teaching one another how to be judgmental and protected and victims in some “Diversity Studies” program at a left wing university.

    • DKE Bro

      I will always have a job open for Bryan Stascavage. Or I will find him one somewhere.

      • Anonymous

        If you get one yourself.

      • DKE Bro

        Some people have “jobs”.

        Other people have “companies”.

        But nice try!

      • DKE Bro

        Some people have “jobs”

        Other people have “companies”

        But nice try !

  • Henry Townsend

    I am a Wesleyan parent, and my daughter, 1993, and I share your disquiet. So I made a donation to the Argus.

    • DKE Bro

      That’s like donating to Pravda instead of the Communist Party

  • Anonymous

    It’s time private Colleges stopped receiving Federal money. Private Colleges don’t have to adhere to 1st Amendment rights, and should be de-funded. That way the adolescent totalitarian fascists who shut down free speech will be dis-empowered along with with their loopy left professors who hate the US and the Constitution.
    There is no group more privileged than Private College students, and apparently no group more in tune with Orwellian fascist behaviour. It’s time taxpayers stopped funding this mess.

  • jon polland

    i graduated in 1981, and am also disturbed by the wsa vote to reduce funding in response to an op-ed piece that raised important and legitimate questions. i don’t recognize this school anymore. the wesleyan i attended valued debate and independent thinking.

  • 1995Alum

    Used to give every year. But every year the school fell further down the rankings. It’s really no longer a little three. If you say “little three” to a Williams or Amherst grad they just can’t stop laughing out loud.

    • GD Klein

      Or is it the smallest of the little three?

  • Douglas the Bennet

    I’m doing the same. No more donations. The school needs a wake up call.

  • Astromaster35

    I donated to the Argus for the first time ever two weeks ago. I have donated to Wes every year now, for 25 years. Donating for me has nothing to do with the rankings or how Wes is perceived by US News or what the average other NESCAC school alumni thinks. Its what Wes gave me in terms of a profound educational experience and how it instilled a life long desire to love learning.

    • 1995Alum

      Your money, your right. But do you think the administration has been a good steward of your capital?

      • Astromaster35

        Nobody has 20/20 foresight. If you are questioning the size of the Endowment, its probably a little of sub-par investment returns and a lot more due to the lack of very large donor gifts. Our peer institutions have received very large gifts from very rich alumni. So that explains the slip in the Endowment $ to student per capita in the peer institution rankings. If you are instead referring to Roth’s stewardship of the institution in terms of its rankings vis-a-vis peer institutions, well I think you may be correct, however I do not know what secret sauce you need in a President to dress up the school to show better in the rankings stats. Certainly some schools have played this game and dressed up their rankings – look at NorthEastern in Boston, up to #49 vs #162 — they have figured out that racket. But is that really the most important ingredient in a college President? To game the system? Or would you rather have a President who cares about the intellectual rigor and reputation of the institution instead? I am not saying that Roth is awesome or anything, just saying its not that easy to fill his shoes.

      • 1995Alum

        Yes – this was intended as a commentary on Roth’s overall stewardship of the wesleyan legacy. Is he advancing the institution – but at the same time protecting its legacy? Agree with some rankings systems being gamed, but It’s hard to assert that wesleyan’s “stature” has been enhanced in recent years. As for the annual fund, I’m assuming alumni participation has dropped (by the way, why does the school only publish data through FY12 on its website?? transparency????). Putting aside macroeconomic fluctuations (which have diminished), what does declining participation say about the institution’s leadership, or the alumni’s view of this leadership?

      • DavidL

        “Our peer institutions have received very large gifts from very rich alumni. So that explains the slip in the Endowment $ to student per capita in the peer institution rankings. ”

        So why are the rich Wes alumni (there are many) doing the same? Of course some are, but this isn’t the reason. Wesleyan has done a terrible job of fund raising, investing and controlling spending for decades. It’s ultimately the fault of the school’s board, which is far too large to be particularly decisive about anything.

  • Jeremy Caplin

    What we probably need is a new president, but nobody wants to say it out loud.

  • Smash

    Dear wesleyan: your school and students are a disgrace to education everywhere. I hope I never have the misfortune of working with a graduate from the “school” I could not take the constant whining about microaggressions every time I ask them “how are you today?”