By Danae’ Carter, Najya McLean, Raiisha Jefferson and Brandon Smith, The Whetstone
Freshman Brianna Bacon believes that students should know more about Wesley College’s surroundings.
“Honestly, when I came here I didn’t know about all the shootings,” Bacon said. “Every two or three days it seems like you get the Wesley alerts warning us about the shootings around campus. I’ve been through certain things where I’ve told security things and they didn’t really help.”
Whether it concerns finance, security, food services, student affairs or the president’s office, many students say they want to know as much as they can about what’s going on.
Security is in charge of keeping the students on campus safe. The college gives students a choice to receive alerts on their phones about shootings or any suspicious activity.
Sophomore Julianna Tedder said her alerts no longer work.
“I signed up for the Wesley alert my freshman year and they stopped after my freshman year,” she said. “I tried to get it renewed, but it still doesn’t work.”
According to the online Wesley College “Clery Act” crime chart, few crimes occur on campus. The Clery Act is a federal law that requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses. Wesley’s chart includes mostly zeroes.
Attorney advocate Adam Goldstein of the Student Press Law Center believes this is normal.
“It’s astonishingly common, schools figured out that there is no penalty for lying,” Goldstein said. “The department of education has basically turned the Clery Act into a joke. The purpose of those numbers are for students to see what crimes happen around campus. It’s absolutely doing nothing to protect students who attend and potential students.”
Head of Security Walter Beaupre said students have access to the daily crime log in the security office if they want to know what’s going on around campus. Unlike the Clery Act chart, the crime log includes incidents like drinking and “failure to comply.”
“The daily crime log includes the general location of the crime on campus, the date and time the crime was committed and reported and the final disposition,” he said.
Beaupre did not comment about the zeroes on Wesley’s Clery Act crime chart.
Political Science Professor Dr. Armstrong believes students are morally obligated to know what is going on around campus.
“As for students’ right to know, I see it as a moral obligation,” he said. “The college exists to serve students, which is the rationale for its classification as a non-profit. I believe this implies a moral right-to-know on matters of direct concern to students, which are most matters at a college.”
Armstrong said there are practical reasons why college administrators, faculty and staff should respect student inquiries.
“Students have the right to protest and are free to leave when they feel ill-treated,” he said. “A wise administration would want to know what displeases and disturbs students, and it would want to appear as sensitive and cooperative as possible in responding to student concerns.”
Students on campus said they believe the finance office does not tell them a lot of information they think is important to them.
“They don’t tell us anything and I want to know everything,” said freshman Ashley Bennet. “They don’t tell you about scholarships or loans. I wasn’t supposed to come back this semester, but I called the finance office and they said I owed them $6,000. My mom called after and they suddenly found a loan they could give me. I feel like you have to really express the money you need in order to get it.”
Freshman Kai Lee is in the same boat as Bennett and feels the finance office does not explain what is going on with tuition and the raises.
“I want to know why tuition is going up,” he said. “I don’t understand why they don’t tell students about the tuition raises. If I want to get out of school in four years, I have to spend more money on classes during the summer. With all the tuition, you’d think we’d have top of the line equipment in the fitness areas.”
Senior Makaila Henry thinks the finance office is obligated to tell students about tuition raises and loans.
“Students have the right to know about finances because after college we need to know what we will be paying back,” she said. “There are also a lot of hidden fees the college fails to mention, that I didn’t know about until I got my bill for the semester.”
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Jeffrey Gibson said the students should know about tuition raises but only if the raise is set in stone.
“Tuition goes up to meet the college’s needs,” he said. “There is a budget we have to meet and tuition helps with that budget. However, we only give out that information once it has been confirmed and 100 percent true.”
Within the food services department, students are wondering why they are able to use their bonus points for the dining hall but not the bookstore.
“Auxiliary points can only be used in the bookstore, bonus points can only be used in the dining outlets,” said assistant food services director Mike Dacko.
Aramark and Wesley College have a contract allowing bonus points to be used for meal plans and dining only.
“It is imperative that students have as much information as possible when purchasing a meal plan,” Dacko said. “This involves how many bonus points are received and when do they expire, how many times are you able to eat in the café on a given day/week and are meal swipes able to be used for other students.”
A main part of the college is the Office of Student Affairs, but many students do not know what the office does and why it is relevant to their education.
Freshman Jo Young Kim thinks students should know more about what Student Affairs takes care of besides events.
“Every time I go past the Student Affairs door and look in, I don’t really see many people in there besides the people that work in there,” she said. “I know they can help you if you ever need to set up an event, but I don’t know much about what they do. I’ve only been in there once during my freshman year, and have never needed to go back because I don’t know what else they do.”
Student Affairs officials refused to comment on what students should know.
A major concern bothering sophomore Chanel Gray is the lack of privacy students have on campus.
“We have an open campus and not a lot of security,” she said. “I would like to know who we could talk to about getting a gate around the campus because the way the college is set up isn’t safe.”
President Clark said he was making plans to update Wesley’s security features to make sure everyone feels safe around campus, including key card access to get into the College Center.
“We have constant security, faculty, staff and myself walking around campus getting to know students so we can tell when someone doesn’t belong here,” he said. “Soon, we are going to install the key card access that we have in the dorms to the College Center and other major buildings on campus. I think that will make the campus much safer.”