Macalester students protest school’s relationship with Wells Fargo

Tyler Gieseke

A group called Kick Wells Fargo Off Campus organized a Tuesday protest of Macalester College’s ties with Wells Fargo.

A meeting between the group and the school's president was scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday, the Pioneer Press reported. 

"We believe the administration plans to negotiatie in good faith," student organizer Rebecca Hornstein told the Pioneer Press. 

Tuesday evening, 35 students gathered inside Macalester’s administrative building, the Pioneer Press reported.

About 25 students stayed in the building overnight, according to the Star Tribune.

“We saw that Wells Fargo was the biggest forecloser in the state of Minnesota,” Hornstein told the Pioneer Press. “Some of our community banks can actually handle the relationship we have with Wells Fargo. It would be a really easy switch for the school to do, and it would have a huge positive impact on the community.”

Macalester employees use Wells Fargo to purchase services or supplies for the school, the Star Tribune reported — a service that, for months, students have requested be moved to a community bank.

Before the meeting scheduled Friday with Macalester's president, David Wheaton, Macalester’s vice president for finance and administration, responded to protesters in a letter saying the school wouldn’t change banks, the Pioneer Press reported.

“Singling out Wells Fargo and moving a small piece of the college’s banking business is not the right course of action for us,” the letter stated.

A larger demonstration of 80 to 90 students, alumni and community members formed around noon Tuesday in front of the administrative building, according to the Pioneer Press.

“The administration seems to believe that staying with the status quo was the easier decision,” Hornstein told the Star Tribune. “So we’re trying to make it a little harder.”