Macalester admin to Wells Fargo-protesting students: Hate the game, not the player
About 30 Mac students are participating in the second day of a Wells Fargo-protesting sit-in.
This morning, about 30 Macalester students continue to hold a sit-in in Weyerhaeuser Hall. They're demanding the school sever its banking relationship with Wells Fargo, a bank they accuse of foreclosing on more Minnesota homes than anyone.
Administrators have remained mum about the sit-in, but in two memos obtained by City Pages, Mac officials explain why they've resolved to continue their relationship with the bank.
The gist of administration's reasoning is this: Yes, America is in the midst of a foreclosure crisis. But people who want to do something about it should work to change the game, not hate on an individual player.
In a memo written to anti-Wells Fargo students by David Wheaton, VP of administration and finance, and Kate Walker, assistant VP for finance, the administrators explain that "Macalester's relationship with Wells Fargo is quite limited" and argue, "It's hard to know whether Wells Fargo's significant footprint in foreclosure action is any better or worse than other market participants and whether the impact is simply related to size." Here's the whole thing:
And in a separate memo addressed to Wells Fargo VP Liam Higgins, Wheaton and Walker explain students' concern and urge the bank to "continue efforts to address the fallout from the residential mortgage [crisis] in a variety of ways." However, they add that "At this stage, we are not planning to end our [relationship] as a symbolic statement regarding this issue." Here's that memo:
But the sitting-in students aren't satisfied with that and promise to stay in Weyerhaeuser "until the administration decides to meet with us in good faith or cuts the contract" with Wells Fargo, student protester Rebecca Hornstein said.
Hornstein, the 23-year-old daughter of Rep. Frank Hornstein, D-Minneapolis, said protesters have been eating food and coffee sent to them by supporters throughout the country. Students taking part in the sit-in can come and go as they please, but they're locked in the building if they stay past 10 p.m.
She said some administrators continue to work in Weyerhaeuser amid the protestors, while others have relocated to a building across the street.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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