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Protesters speak at hearing over Wilson College co-ed change - abc27 WHTM

Protesters speak at hearing over Wilson College co-ed change

Protesters speak at hearing over Wilson College co-ed change

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In the fall of 2013, Wilson College was 12% male which is 12% more than it had been in the 144 years before that.

In order to really turn that around we needed a comprehensive plan," said Wilson College spokesperson, Brian Speer, "We needed to open it up to a wider student body base."

Patrick Fox was one of the first male students to get on board, we spoke with him last summer at a new student retreat.

"Everyone has been so welcoming," he said last August.

But some Wilson Alumna have been harder to win over.

"It is, Sir, as I have said, a small college. And yet there are those who love it!" said Gretchen Van Ness, quoting Daniel Webster.

The 1980 graduate of Wilson College wants to see that the Department of Education denies the college's application to officially change it's charter to co-ed. She was one of a group of grads who attended Monday morning's hearing. 

"We are here to protect the historic mission of Wilson College as a College for women," she said.

In the hearing with the department the school defended the move as a financial last-resort, and he changes to their charter that makes that official.

"The changes we have made are really just to more purposely and clearly state current status and the future of the college," said Speer.

Opponents say that the decision was done without consideration for other revenue generating ideas.

"Rather than competing with other more well-known schools, lets really focus on those young women who would benefit from a women's college campus and recruit them and go forward," said Van Ness.

The school pledges that even with the changes of the past an present the focus remains on females.

A decision on the charter change is not expected until later this summer.

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