By Anne Levin
A petition signed by 130 students and alumni of Westminster Choir College of Rider University, expressing concerns about inadequate facilities, decreasing enrollment, unfulfilled promises, and more, was delivered to Rider administration on Tuesday afternoon.
“We, the students of Westminster Choir College (WCC), undersigned, are concerned about our education, our institution, the impact inadequate facilities have on our education, the value that our degrees will hold upon graduation, and the quality of support that we receive from the administration,” reads the opening paragraph.
The 22-acre choral college campus, located on Walnut Lane since the 1930s, became part of Rider in 1992. Four years ago, Rider announced it would sell Westminster and its Princeton campus, saying the institution had been losing money. But the controversial plan was dropped in 2017 after attempts to sell fell through, and last year Rider absorbed Westminster into its Lawrenceville campus.
“The move was made with promises to build a premier fine arts building, with more practice rooms, teaching studios, performance facilities, dance studios, offices for music faculty, and accommodations for everyone taking courses in the Westminster College of the Arts (WCA) and Westminster Choir College,” the petition reads. “As we near the end of the fall 2021 semester, we have yet to see what was promised.”
The petition was spearheaded by Marion Jacob, pursuing a graduate degree in master choral conducting; and Debbie-Ann Francis, a graduate student in piano pedagogy. Jacob said she and other students had attempted to express their concerns in the past, with little or no response from Rider administration. more