Monday, October 4, 2004 Posted: 11:11 AM EDT (1511 GMT)
AURORA, New York (AP) -- More than a third of Wells College's all-female student body protested trustees' decision to admit male students Sunday, sleeping in the lobby of the administration building or in the 15 tents set up on the lawn outside.
About 170 students protested for a second day after Saturday's decision to admit men to the 400-student school beginning next year.
Students in this Finger Lakes village will continue to protest until the board reverses its decision, said sophomore Rachel Crosbie. Opponents say they want to preserve the college's 136-year tradition as a school for women, and worry men may dominate the classroom if they are admitted.
College President Lisa Marsh Ryerson said she met with students Saturday and Sunday and told them Wells is committed to going coed.
"This is just a day after the decision was announced, and the entire community is working through a range of responses to the decision," she said.
Students papered the hallways inside Macmillan Hall with signs that read: "Coeducation Silences Women" and "Single-sex Education is Alive and Wells." They kept busy Sunday at the protest site, reading, doing homework, planning their strategy and occasionally singing protest songs.
Board of Trustees President Stephen Zabriskie had said the decision to admit male students stems from a need to increase enrollment and revenue.
Aurora is about 35 miles southwest of Syracuse.
fathers 4 justice news