Wesleyan University made national news this past February when 12 students were hospitalized for drug overdoses and five were arrested on drug-related charges, amid fears that the drug culture was far advanced at the school.

The university chose last month–a nice, quiet time, with no students on campus–to ramp up its long-term war on fraternities in a quiet way. It announced a revision of the student handbook to prohibit students “from using any…property that the University informs students are off-limits for health, safety or conduct reasons at the University’s discretion.  These prohibitions include using such houses or property as residences, taking meals at such houses or property, and participating in social activities or otherwise being present at such houses or property.”

Translated into English, this was an attempt to deprive one former fraternity and two existing fraternities – one male and the other co-ed – of any ability to generate income, so the university would be able to acquire their historic structures at distress-sale prices.  As Wesleyan President Michael Roth wrote to Board Chairman Joshua Boger on August 20, 2014– in what he expected to be a confidential email– “If we don’t close the houses with the hopes of acquiring them, then we shouldn’t go down this road at all.”

Now it seems that decades of PC zealotry and drug culture are hitting Wesleyan where it hurts – in its fund-raising pocketbook.  In a July 30 email to “Wesleyan Fund Volunteers,” the university’s Director of Annual Giving, Charles Fedolfi, said he shares the worries of the Fund’s co-chairs. “We face a challenge in convincing our classmates to contribute EVERY year…. Our year-over-year giving has fallen to the low 40% to high 30% range…[and] we had approximately 400 [sic] fewer donors than the prior year (9,712 v. 10,209) due primarily to the number of alumni who did not renew their gifts.”

The obvious question is why 497 donors, nearly 5% of the alumni donor base, decided not to give. Maybe they think their alma mater is off course, and are voting with their wallets.



  1. Karl,

    Thanks for your coverage about what is going on at Wesleyan! As an active member of Psi U, I am eager to know how you got a hold of Board Chairman Joshua Boger’s email thread with Roth and was wondering if I could get a copy of that or at least a way to contact your source. Please email me @jnucci@wesleyan.edu


    Joseph Nucci

  2. And there it is in a nutshell. Succinct and on point. King Roth’s motivation is personal and mercenary. That is why his public position has changed many times based on the inability of his “rationale” to stand the light of day outside his walled castle in North College. Maybe it’s from this or his general lack of leadership (see how badly the endowment has performed relative to peer universities during his tenure) that is reflected in more and more alumni voting with their wallets.

  3. Wesleyan closed a frat under the pretext that it was being investigated for drug violations which involved a handful of visitor during a campus break. Meanwhile according to its own 2013 Clery report, it had 240 drug violations mostly in university managed facilities.

    They are also in trouble for sexual assaults which also had nothing to do with the few remaining houses.

    Clearly some of this is rubbing the Alumni the wrong way, and scapegoating Greek houses is more about political correctness and control than fixing the cancers that are troubling the school.

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