To the Editor:
I am writing in response to the article “FPC Loses Financial Sponsor” (1/28). As the former director of FPC, I do not feel that this article adequately captures the true story behind the cancellation of FPC and its future as a program.
As the article indicated, the Executive Committee of Dwight Hall voted nearly two years ago to end its involvement with FPC. Dwight Hall agreed to sponsor the program for one last summer, since planning had already begun. An e-mail dated Dec. 12 from Johnny Scafidi to me confirms this fact that indeed in fall 2001 the Dwight Hall Executive Committee voted to end the program. However, the e-mail went on to state that at an Oct. 2, 2001 meeting of the heads of all preorientation programs, this decision was made known.
I feel that the Dwight Hall Executive Committee greatly wronged FPC by the way in which the decision was undertaken and announced. At no point was I contacted by the Executive Committee to speak on FPC’s behalf nor was I or my co-director Javier Rivera ’02, ever told that FPC was on the agenda of that meeting. I find this turn of events extremely disrespectful. I am not intricately familiar with the procedures of Dwight Hall. However, common courtesy suggests that if Dwight Hall wants to cancel a member group or a part of their organization since 1961, one would think the leaders of the organization would at least be informed directly. In the end, I was not informed directly and did not hear the news until December 2002. While the leaders of FPC 2002 were informed in a September 2002 letter and perhaps earlier verbally, I was the leader at the time of the cancellation, and thus should have at least received an e-mail.
Furthermore, I want to express my belief that FPC 2003 is still a possibility. While Johnny Scafidi is quoted as saying that there has been no response to the letter, by that I assume he means from the Dean’s Office, there has been response from myself and other interested FPC parties. We will shortly commence negotiations with other interested parties about possible future sponsorship of FPC. While the decision to keep or cancel FPC does ultimately lie with the Yale College Dean’s Office, I want to clarify that Yale students associated with FPC are and will be doing everything in their power to keep the program alive. As someone suggested to me yesterday, perhaps the YCC could even help save the program. After all, saving a program that has been an intricate part of freshman life since 1961 would seem just as important if not more so than the YCC’s recent drive for opposite-sex roommates.
Alyssa Greenwald ’03
January 28, 2003
The writer is a former director of the FreshPerson Conference.