From: Michael S. Roth [mailto:announcement@wesleyan.edu] 
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2016 1:08 PM
Subject: Campus Update

 

Dear friends,

 

As we head into Thanksgiving break, I’d like to share several items of news with you that speak to the quality of our lives together.

 

I announced yesterday on my blog that Wesleyan is now a sanctuary campus, meaning that we will not voluntarily assist in any efforts by the federal government to deport our students, faculty or staff solely because of their citizenship status. Wesleyan will remain committed to the principles of non-discrimination, including equal protection under the law, regardless of national origin or citizenship. We will provide support for our community members wherever and whenever possible. To further this discussion, the Office of Equity and Inclusion has created a webpage with resources to combat discrimination and bigotry.

 

I’m pleased to report that we intend to spend significantly more per year on financial aid, with the intention of reducing expenses that our students have told us are burdensome and, at times, interfere in their ability to take full advantage of academic and co-curricular programs. Support of financial aid is an ongoing priority in our efforts to address affordability.

 

I want to thank the Dining Subcommittee of the WSA for singling out in its “No Hungry Student Act” a hardship faced by some students who cannot go home during winter break. We will introduce a pilot program this year to give eligible students, based on need, a stipend to cover the cost of food when the dining halls are closed over winter break, as well as meal allowances on their cards for the period in January when the dining halls are open but classes have not yet started.

 

Through the Title IX Policy Committee (which includes students, staff, and faculty), arrangements for an external review of our sexual assault and Title IX policies and procedures are underway. Although I have confidence in the integrity of our processes, I have clearly heard the message that more needs to be done to assist survivors, to make our procedures clearer, and to ensure that we address complaints in ways that are fair to all. I look forward to receiving recommendations from the reviewers and will share those with our community during the spring 2017 semester.

 

To improve campus communication, we have posted a webpage that provides information about a variety of issues that have been raised recently on campus. I hope this resource is helpful, and I welcome suggestions for other issues to address at issues@wesleyan.edu.

 

After a tumultuous fall, I am feeling very thankful for the resolute and caring Wesleyan community. I wish everyone an enjoyable Thanksgiving break.

 

Yours truly,

Michael S. Roth

President