Mac students: Prez will meet with us over Wells Fargo

Sher Stoneman

Update: I got this response from Mac spokeswoman Barbara Laskin:

At the 1 pm meeting tomorrow between Pres. Brian Rosenberg and the KWOC students, the topic of discussion will be the college’s relationship with Wells Fargo.  Other than that, there is no predetermined agenda.

I’ve got a call in to Macalester College for confirmation, but here’s what the protesting students are saying:

Student Blockade of Macalester Administration Building Ends After Concessions from President Rosenberg

  After negotiations, President agrees to meeting with students; cutting Wells Fargo contract “will be on the table”

At 7:00 this morning, 19 Macalester students sat down, physically blocking all five outside doors to Weyerhaeuser Hall, to protest the administration’s continued refusal to move the College’s business out of Wells Fargo.

At 8:30 this morning, after administration staff were relocated to the Campus Center in response to a student blockade of Weyerhaeuser Hall, an administration representative began negotiations with the students to resolve the crisis. By 9:15am, President Rosenberg had agreed to a meeting, and agreed that cutting the Wells Fargo contract will be on the table.

The meeting will take place on Friday at 1:00pm in Weyerhaeuser Hall.

The occupation began on Tuesday morning directly outside President Brian Rosenberg’s office before moving down to the ground floor of the building by Tuesday evening. The latest escalation comes in response to a continued refusal by both the President and Vice President of Finance to meet with students about the Wells Fargo contract.

Students continue to demand that administrators cut the contract with Wells Fargo in response to the bank’s negligent and immoral practices during the ongoing foreclosure crisis.

“Students don’t want to be a human blockade, but even more than that we don’t want to be complicit in the epidemic of foreclosures sweeping our community,” said Alisha Roopchand, one of the students blocking the doors. “President Rosenberg needs to show the kind of leadership we expect from Macalester College and meet with us to resolve this crisis.”

Anyone inside the building was welcome to leave, but students refused to allow anyone entry into the building until the President agreed to meet with them in good faith and takes steps towards cutting Macalester’s contract with Wells Fargo.

“President Rosenberg has gone to extraordinary lengths to dodge the Wells Fargo question. If the President can’t swallow his pride and meet with us, then he can’t expect the administration of Macalester to go about business as usual,” said Liza Gorkova, another student blockading the building.

The campaign is run in solidarity with Occupy Homes MN’s efforts to mobilize homeowners to defend homes from foreclosure by big banks like Wells Fargo. The group is also a member of Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, a coalition that brings together faith, labor, and community groups who recognize that big banks stand in the way of every Minnesotan’s well-being.

Last year, Macalester students joined the fight for housing justice in Minnesota by launching the campaign demanding the school cut its ties with Wells Fargo. Currently, Macalester College runs its purchasing card system through Wells Fargo. Students and administrators have been meeting for months to explore feasible banking alternatives, and have identified a community bank that reflects Macalester’s values and can handle the school’s business.