Students at Wesleyan University in Connecticut are continuing to protest against the school’s decision to change its admission practices by ending what is known as “need-blind admissions” to all applicants. Qualified students now face possible rejection if they are deemed unable to pay full tuition, now around $60,000 a year, making it one of the most expensive schools in the country. Students say the new policy will target the poor and middle class.
Daniel Plafker, Wesleyan student activist: “The reason we’re out here today is to stand in opposition to proposed cuts to the need-blind financial aid policy. Essentially what that allows the admissions office here to do, and in other places, is to actively discriminate against applicants based on their socioeconomic class. This is a decision that was made behind the backs of students, without transparency, behind closed doors, at a time when most of the students weren’t even on campus to know about it.”
On Saturday, Democracy Now! video production fellow Nemo Allen attempted to interview Wesleyan President Michael Roth about the policy change after the school’s football game. Roth refused to answer questions and then grabbed Allen’s microphone and walked away with it.
Nemo Allen: “Why has there been a total lack of transparency with this decision being made? President Michael Roth of Wesleyan University, why has there been a total lack of transparency?”
Michael Roth: “There has been a lot of transparency. There has been a lot of transparency.”
Nemo Allen: “There has been? Excuse me, you have to give that back.”
Michael Roth: “Who are you? I don’t have to do anything.”
Nemo Allen: “I’m with Democracy Now!”
Michael Roth: “Thank you.”
Nemo Allen: “You have to give me my microphone back.”
Michael Roth: “I will. We’re going to walk over — we’re going to walk over to the media relations.”
Wesleyan President Michael Roth eventually returned the microphone after being instructed to do so by a police officer.