Local Paper Quotes Will on Wesleyan’s Policy Denying Freedom of Association

By February 24, 2011

The Middletown Press of Middletown, Connecticut, home of Wesleyan University, is the latest news outlet to draw attention to Wesleyan’s overbroad policy restricting students’ freedom of association. In an article published today, Press writer Claire Michalewicz gets FIRE’s Will Creeley’s take on the policy. As we have covered extensively here on The Torch in recent days, the policy, scheduled to take effect in August 2011, will flatly prohibit Wesleyan students from "participating in social activities" on the property of any and all private organizations that are not recognized by Wesleyan.

As Will says in the article, that just won’t do:

Will Creeley, Director of Legal and Public Advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), called the new policy "such a clear and obvious overreach on the part of Wesleyan administrators that we felt compelled to respond."

Creeley said that as a private institution, Wesleyan doesn’t have to abide by the Bill of Rights in the constitution, but must still adhere to the promises it made its students. The new policy, he said, interferes with students’ freedom of assembly.

Creeley said his colleagues had written a letter to denouncing the policy to Wesleyan president Michael Roth, but were still waiting for a response. He said FIRE was encouraging Wesleyan alumni and current students to speak out against the proposed changes.

"We’d like to see Wesleyan keep its promise to students," Creeley said.

Thanks to the Middletown Press for its coverage of this case, and stay tuned to the Torch for more updates on Wesleyan.

Schools: Wesleyan University Cases: Wesleyan University: Violation of Freedom of Association