Unofficial Orientation Series 2019: Wes Music Scene

This is an update of un meli-melo’s update of wilk‘s update of Maya‘s update of their post from 2015Q wrote about this in 2013 and 2014. Some things have changed, but the scene here is still ‘unique, zealous, and sweaty.’

 

This is part of our 2019 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post with links to the rest of the articles in this series here.

The more I talk to college kids at other schools, the more I realize how much the music scene at Wesleyan sets itself apart. Though we have them, we are not confined to house parties and bars — there’s music nearly every day, all week. Often, there’s so much music that you can’t possibly go to it all, but you try anyway.

Once things get going, there are 3-5 concerts every weekend, sometimes even multiple shows a night. I’ve seen more bands than I have the energy to count with more variety than I can quantify simply by wandering around at Wesleyan on a given weekend. The folks who book shows at Wesleyan work very hard to bring in all kinds of groups, well-known or just emerging, from punk to dance, and usually put one or two solid student bands on the list.

Many student bands have gone on to greater things, like OvercoatsHeems (Himanshu Suri ’07) of Das Racist (Suri and Victor Vasquez ’06), Novelty DaughterAmanda Palmer ’98the RooksHenry Hall ’14 of Grand Cousin (RIP), AND MORE.

Seriously. It’s very special. What’s even better is that 95% of this stuff is totally free.

If you have questions like “How do I find out what’s going on?” or “How do I find people to play music with?” or “Where can I go to concerts?”, this is the post for you.

Where are all the concerts at? Who has this crucial info?

Concert news tends to spread primarily through Facebook nowadays. One friend marks that they’re “interested” in an event, then all your friends say they’re also “interested,” and the cycle continues. This does sometimes happen in person, through real conversations with real other people. And walking between classes, you can usually find a few concert advertisement posters stapled to the many poster kiosks around campus.

Aural Wes is Wesleyan’s student-run music blog. It’s The Place to find out what’s going on each weekend, the home of several artist interviews, a list of on-campus and alumni bands, and a very helpful weekly concert preview.

When I’m roaming around campus with my frosh horde-pack, where can I go to see shows?

First, here’s my (mostly Maya‘s with some 2k17 updates by wilk and some from the past year by un meli-melo) personal rundown of where you can go to catch shows at Wesleyan on the weekends (and the occasional Wednesday) and what you’ll be able to find there:

Movement House (MoHo?) (200 High St.)

This year, Movement House is joined by Eclectic, which is sharing 200 High St for the 2019-2020 school year. Movement House joined Ubuntu House, Haven Hall, and South Asian House as one of four new program houses/halls in the fall of 2017. Movement House took the place of Music House, which took the place of Eclectic in the fall of 2016. Attempts by MuHo and Eclectic to regain 200 High for the 2017-2018 academic year were unsuccessful, but Eclectic was finally half-successful in the fall of 2018.

Proposed by Naomi Wright ’17 and Julia Natt ’19, the house’s mission lists as one of its goals: “to throw functions that showcase and support performing artists.” Because of this and the sheer size of 200 High’s ballroom, I think Movement House will be a staple of the music scene.

As a group, the MoHo folks get to decide who plays in their living room, which is arguably the most spacious on campus and is perhaps the holy grail of gig places.

Music House (MuHo) (202 Washington St.)

Music House used to be at 230 Washington St. alongside Art House, and their joint efforts put on some good punk shows and some weird shit, too. In 2016, MuHo had their own space for the first time since 2014. Now, they’re back to sharing.

MuHo shares 202 Washington St. with Full House. The house is actually quite large and had no reputation whatsoever for parties until last year, when I attended a “mac & cheese party” at the beginning of last Fall. The party had the full sound co-op PA setup along with 5 or so trays of mac & cheese to eat during the dance party. The space is definitely large enough to host concerts, but both the residents and HMs of MuHo and Full House will have to agree to host them.

The Music House Vibe tends to be on the punk/indie side, which means that there will probably be fewer rap concerts and raves at 202 Wash, but I still expect some excellent shows. Two years ago, the residents of MuHo brought Frankie Cosmos for an intimate pre-finals show.

Art House (230 Washington St.)
Art House, over the course of its two-year partnership with Music House, became a great spot for punk groups like Girlpool, the amazing Downtown Boysthe Murdertones (Luke ’17 and Angus Macdonald ’16 do punk covers of Beatles songs), and Wesleyan band Faceplant as well as some pretty out-there experimental rock groups like VAXAnybody But The Cops and Juan Wautersalso performed there in 2014. Overcoats played a very good show there in 2015, where they debuted “The Fog”Busty and the Bass also changed my life at Art House. Art/MuHo has been the home of a lot of good Thursday night shows. Hopefully that trend continues.

Art House tends to be a very student-band-friendly space. Rui Barbosa and friends played a show of Disney covers there once, and the 2015 alumni in Slow Parade came back two years ago to relive their glory days. In May of 2018, Art House brought Playboy ManbabyBarbara Shop, and Badabing.

Malcolm X House (X House) (345 High St)

Malcolm X House (or ‘X House’ for short) is a program house attached to the back of the Center for African American Studies (CAAS). The house has a basement that is one of the largest student-run event spaces on campus (along with the WestCo Cafe and the 200 High St. Ballroom), and often hosts concerts, dance parties, ciphers, and numerous other performances.

Two years ago, two of my favorite shows were hosted in the X House basement. Noname graced a full house in mid-fall 2016 and Kool A.D. came back to Wesleyan at the end of Spring Break for a truly wild show.

Lotus House (MidHo) (356 Washington St.)
Earlier MidHo, but now Lotus House, is hard to categorize as a concert venue — it’s been home to concerts from shoegazey rock band Delicate Steve, alt cellist Mel Hsu ’13, indie darling Mount Eerie, math/post-rock group Horse Lords, and North Carolina jam band Midnight Snack. Generally, the acts are all pretty out there, all extremely unique, and worth the trek to their far corner of campus. Due to another house name change two years ago, you might be confused when you hear people talking about a show at “BuHo” (‘Buddhist House’) but they really mean “MidHo.”

200 Church
Church is kind of an ‘anything goes’ type of space — it holds musicals, DJ sets, a cappella concerts, student bands, spoken-word acts like Darkmatter, shows by the student-run story collective The Sloth. seriously anything.

Alpha Delt (185 High St.)
They don’t throw concert parties that often, but the Alpha Delta Phi society really knows how to do so. I’ve seen dark-pop duo Turbo Goth, New Jersey punk trio Screaming Females, alumni band The Rooks, former student band MFDP (it stands for ‘Music for Drunk People’. A few of the members went on to form the band The Racquets, who won the Battle of the Bands in Spring 2016 and opened for A$AP Ferg and Borns), Asian-American rap extraordinaire Awkwafina, the inimitable Sky Bars, and just purely amazing Garth. They put on a concert on Halloween two years ago year that I only vaguely remember, but it was fun. This last year, there was an Anxiety! at the Function (a Panic! at the Disco cover band) concert to end Zonker Harris Day— a wonderful reminder that no matter our differences and personal grown, we are all such angsty teens.

WestCo Café (underneath WestCo 3)
Since the Café has a lot of space, it’s usually the home of weird musicals like Tragikingdom, a musical set in the Middle Ages and written around the songs of No Doubt, as well as a bunch of smaller concerts. Bands like Sun Parade and Cuddle Magic have performed here. Sometimes there are also raves there? I’m not sure. It’s also home to an open mic night, and occasionally people get to play sad acoustic music in a graveyard. Sometimes, it’s just a bunch of drunk frosh raving to a small speaker. Still a good night if you believe in it. :)

Earth House (159 High St.)
Earth House is generally a pretty chill space. From the mouth of Q: “Almost any band can come through here as long as they’re down for a comfy tight space, warm lights, and dope atmosphere. Earth House always provides fresh concerts that vary widely in genre but stay consistent in quality.” Two years ago, Earth House was home to concerts from badass rocker Mitski, Latin-inspired jazz alumni band Don Froot, one-musician powerhouse Mal Devisa, and “Providence techno weirdos” Container. Last year, alumni artists like Jess Best and Overcoats came back to perform here. I also have a video somewhere of Cuddle Magic performing in an Earth House bedroom last year (shh don’t tell).

Last year, most off-campus bands would perform in Music House, Middle House, or Art House, but I noticed that Earth House tended to be a very student-oriented space. Maya‘s band Dark Circles played there several times, along with other student bands like The Good Lonely, Five Guys, Evil Deceiver, and many many more.

Senior Houses / Junior Village
A lot of student bands end up playing in someone’s living room just for fun. In various places around Senior Village, High Rise, and Lo Rise, I’ve seen a Strokes cover band, a cappella groups, and student DJs. In the words of Q, “No real point in saying much except that there are parties and concerts there, so why not go?”

However, these eight spots aren’t the only places to find music at Wesleyan. The Center for the Arts brings a lot of unique music, dance, and other performing arts groups from across the country and even internationally. They brought the Vijay Iyer Trio a couple years ago and even Heems for an artist talk in 2015, and have held a lot of interesting artist talks, among many, many other things. You can find a lot of jazz and classical stuff in Crowell Concert Hall, theater in the CFA Hall, world music in the World Music Hall. CFA events are usually ticketed and not always free, so it’s best to keep your eyes peeled on this here blog for CFA event posts (submitted by our friend Andy Chatfield) or bookmark the CFA events calendar so you’re always a step ahead.

Wesleyan is home to a dozen or so a cappella groups which perform all around campus — in Olin Library, in the Memorial Chapel, wherever. The Memorial Chapel also hosts a lot of concerts, with acts like Waxahatchee and Henry Hall, and the space is very mellow. But my favorite musical event BY FAR that happened in there was the yearly Organ Romp, the final concert for the organ class, every May. Two years ago, two guys who wore tin foil hats performed “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats in onesies. On the organ. Last year, the same guys played “Bohemian Rhapsody” on the organ, and Justin Green ’16 sang while STANDING ON TOP OF THE ORGAN. There were also a lot of strange costumes and interpretive dancing. (Welcome to Wesleyan.)

Beckham Hall (located in that big Hogwarts-y building with the two spires) is also a very large event space that occasionally hosts concerts. This space usually has to be booked months in advance. Last year, Isaiah Rashad performed in Beckham and I wrote about it. Also, before my time, Cam’ronperformed in Beckham for 24 minutes.

The infamous Zonker Harris Day happens every April, usually around 4/20 but ‘officially’ on the weekend after WesFest. Along with the, uh, recreations is a day-long music festival in the WestCo courtyard with around ten campus bands playing their tunes for you. ZHD has a twin festival (Duke Day) in November held in the WestCo Cafe. The four presidents of WestCo, along with some other committed residents and members of Klub Cafe work to plan both festivals. If you’re a frosh living in WestCo, there are a lot of ways to get immediately involved in organizing shows and events.

There’s also Spring Fling every May, for which a committee of students brings in a hip-hop headliner, a supporting indie band, a DJ, and whatever student band wins the Battle of the Bands that year. Then they all play at the foot of Foss Hill and everyone gets drunk. It’s a good time. Last year’s Spring Fling headliner was Vic Mensa. In the past, we’ve also managed to book Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar. Also, sometimes, shit goes down.

The next of many outdoor concerts is The Mash, in which the CFA sets up three or four different stages around campus and at which bands play each day. This year, the Mash will be on Saturday, Sept. 9, and maybe you can even watch President Michael Roth’s band, Smokin Lilliesat a stage near you. Wesleying will likely be extending its coverage of the Mash this year, so look out for some preview posts going up fairly soon.

What’s the concert atmosphere like?

The concert atmosphere kind of depends on the place, but people at Wes are generally pretty good about looking after each other. Rock shows have mosh pits, all shows have crowds and people dancing. Some crowds are smaller than others, and that largely depends on the venue and band playing, but they’re all fun, regardless of how many people are there.

An important note from Maya:

“Another personal interjection: mosh pits are great. They’re terrifying as a smaller person, but I love them. And I’ve found the ubiquitous mosh pits at Wes to be much safer and less annoying than the ones in my hometown’s punk scene. That being said, I’d still like to volunteer ztevenz’s 2014 post “‘______ Fall Back’: On Concert Culture, Moshing and (Un)Safe Spaces” as recommended reading.”

How are the student bands here?

Two words: fucking awesome.

Last year, I think I went to more shows headlined by or prominently featuring current Wesleyan musicians than I went to shows by off-campus artists. These are almost all the bands currently operating on campus. A lot of musicians graduated last year but I hope and expect that some of you will start to fill the ranks, dear froshies. Wesleyan is home to punk groups, rock-pop groups, experimental thrash groups, emo/pop-punk groups, and a unique brand of jazz/hip-hop fusion.

A couple of years ago, Rachel Day ’16 started the Live Recording Collective, a group loosely related to Sound Co-op that set out to record as many Wesleyan concerts as possible. Their Soundcloud page has recordings from student bands and pros alike, including Sloopy Coos Canyon, Waxahatchee, Mal Devisa, and more. 2017 update: THIS SHOULD CONTINUE! 2019 update: This continued in 2018 on some occasions, but more is always welcome!

Wait. What’s Sound Co-op?

The Wesleyan Sound Cooperative provides gear for all the kiddos angsting to play loud music in front of people. They operate out of the basement of the University Organizing Center and if you join, you can learn how to mix a good live set, use all the equipment, make friends with musicians and have an ~in~ with the scene, and maybe make some money while you’re at it.

Cool! I play some sort of music too. How do I play music with other people who also play music so we can all play music together?

At the beginning of the year, I can guarantee that someone will post something on a WesAdmits page like: “Hey everyone! I play guitar and am looking for some people to play some post-rock shoegaze with. Anyone down to jam? :)” And this will likely be how you find a band. But as a musician, you’ll probably end up making friends with other musicians anyway, and these friendships will be your gateway into the world of music at Wesleyan. If you don’t know how to make friends with other musicians, consider going to the biweekly open mics in the WestCo Café or just going to a lot of shows. With regards to rehearsal spaces, no need to fret (ahahahah) if every member in your frosh band lives in a double with roommates that can’t deal with all that jiving, Usdan has rehearsal rooms in the basement that you can book.

If you want to record things, you can do that here too! Red Feather Studios, located in the basement of the University Organizing Center, is an entirely free student-run recording studio. They have the shmancy gear and several album recording credits to prove it.

If you want to book an outside band to play at Wesleyan sometime this year, the process is long and tedious but worth it. You can read how to do that here on Aural Wes.

Also, we’ve got WESU which is, as Cristina LoGiudice ’21 describes it, a free-form radio station where community members and students come together to bring new and unique broadcasting. You can get involved as early as your first semester here, but just tune in at 88.1 FM when you’re setting up your room or looking for some new tunes for a chill college playlist.

The scene is changing? How is it changing?

Before I get too deep into some history and policy, I do want to say that I think Maya‘s closing words from last year’s post still ring true for the most part:

A lot of student musicians graduated last year and the venue scene is changing, but things change all the time. Wesleyan’s music scene has always thrived despite all these large changes, and I don’t think the scene will suffer. So, expect anything. Expect everything.

This is perennially true. Another perennial truth is that many seniors will always complain that the music/party scene is so much worse than when they were a freshman. You probably will do this too.

But, while there are many real historical events that people often cite as evidence for this conclusion (the ending of Senior Cocksthe ban of Tour de Franziathe closure of fratsthe lowering of senior house capacities, and more), the rhetoric that is used to connect these events to the tired conclusion always seems as though it comes directly from the mouth of Owen Wilson’s character from Midnight in Paris while he is drunk-crying in a rocking chair on the porch of 52 Home after a night of angst-ridden soul searching on Fountain. In other words, the argument is always real bad.

BUT, there are several things that I want to highlight that happened two years ago that have had and will have an impact on the music scene at Wesleyan:

ResLife almost-banning all concerts at program houses

If you have ever read a “no-jumping” joke on this blog, you are about to get the backstory. Last August, during ResLife student worker training (right before Orientation), all HMs (House Managers, the RA-pseudo-equivalent of program houses) were called into a meeting with their area coordinators (non-student ResLife employees that you might have to meet with if you get some points) and told that all parties and concerts would be banned from program houses for the upcoming school year. Their initial reasoning was that the floors of program houses and certain new furniture purchased over the summer could not handle the “jumping” and associated rowdiness that concerts bring.

This prompted around 30 or so ResLife student employees (HMs and RAs alike) to meet separately and approve a 7-page letter detailing the negative impacts this decision would have on the Wesleyan community.

Within a day, ResLife had rolled back its new “policy” of a blanket ban on all concerts in program houses. Fran Koerting, director of ResLife, communicated a new policy that would restrict program houses to hosting one concert per mission-based event (a pre-existing requirement for program houses). The stated rationale for this policy was different from the rationale for the initial ban. This policy was to ensure that program houses kept true to their mission statements.

To my knowledge, this was the first regulation on concerts based on their value to the community and not on other factors such as safety and financial contracts. At the time, this policy was stated to be in a trial period, but there has been no update to the greater campus community as to whether this policy will continue.

ResLife bans stages from concerts

Questions over the administration’s perspective on the value of the student-run concert scene at Wesleyan gained new life when, toward the end of the Fall 2016 semester, ResLife banned all stages for concerts, pending stress tests of the floors. This Argus article from February of this year summarizes both the intent and response to this stage ban. President Roth and Fran Koerting both cited safety as the primary motivator of this policy, after instances of several floors collapsing (AAA House a few years ago, along with the floors of two senior houses in the past year alone).

Several students familiar with the policy mentioned that the Malcolm X House basement and the WestCo Cafe were exempt from the ban because their floors couldn’t possibly collapse by virtue of them being basement spaces. However, I didn’t confirm this with ResLife employees.

During Reunion & Commencement, several students remarked that the Eclectic alumni event held in 200 High was permitted to have a stage in the ballroom. It’s still unclear if a stress test was formally done on the floor of 200 High St before that event, but several students didn’t refrain from speculating that there was a double-standard operating which allowed for the alumni to have a stage, while student-organized events were still barred from using stages.

***

The impact of both of these policies on the music scene are fairly difficult to parse for a number of reasons: (1) there is natural drift in the music scene, (2) the policies are a year (or less) old, (3) it’s just hard to measure.

Certainly, they’ve had an impact on student musicians and others who help organize the music scene. More regulations means more work. And, speaking from personal experience, students often max out their work capacity every semester, whether they want to or not. So, while it’s hard for me to imagine a specific person making the decision to forego booking a specific show because of the new concert policy, I recognize that the perception of the work involved is hugely powerful and potentially detrimental to the music scene.

Also, while the safety concerns over stages are extremely valid, there is also a safety issue in the absence of stages. Stages can serve to separate performers and expensive equipment from occasionally-rowdy crowds. This, in addition to a Public Safety and/or Event Staff presence can ensure the safety of the performers. However, it’s hard to know whether this is a common concern among musicians on- and off-campus.

The music scene will continue to thrive if people want it to do so. Go to shows. Book them. Do both of these things frequently, for no other reason than because you want to and because people like music. And, if new regulations come down the line, talk about them, demand to help shape them, and respond to them if you need to.

And have a real good time.

Unofficial Orientation 2019: Official Orientation 101

This is part of our 2019 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here! Welcome to fakeshark’s lightly updated version of michelle’s post

 

Congratulations! You’ve made it through unofficial orientation with a little help from your friends here at Wesleying. You’re one step closer to evolving from a pre-frosh to a frosh! Now, for your final challenge before you are officially Wesleyan students: ~Official Orientation~

Orientation is a wild time. There are the parties you hear about people going to, but have no idea how to find. There are those first awkward meals with your hallmates/roommates. There are the nights when you curl up in bed with a picture of your best friends from high school and wonder why you didn’t just follow them to college.

Our goal today is to teach you (nearly) everything you need to know in order to make the most out of your orientation experience!

~REGISTRATION~

Definitely count on meeting the cardinal during your first days here. No, not the one that looks like an angry-bird. 

Before you do anything else, you’re going to want to register. Registration is usually in Usdan. Basically, you’ll go down a line of tables and people will hand you important papers, wifi instructions, instructions for filing your W-9 tax form (important for anyone who’s planning on working a campus job). In addition to all that, you’ll get Wes swag to rock for the next 4 years, like your Wes2023 t-shirt, a reusable cup, and drawstring bags. Hang on to this stuff, they’re more useful than they seem, and you’ll thank yourself later when your parents are gone, and you have no idea what’s going on. 

MOVE-IN

All of your earthly possessions will be unloaded unceremoniously into a patch of dirt/grass/concrete.

This is probably the most hectic part of the entire orientation process at Wes. Basically, depending on where your dorm is, you will be directed to bring your car/truck/whatever to a certain unloading location. There, you will get everything out of your car and into a taped-off section of ground so that your parents can move the car to a more permanent parking spot and make room for one of the other 700-and-something frosh trying to unload their stuff.

While this is happening, you will go up to a table with orientation workers who will get you your room key and point you in the general direction of your new home for the next year.

Then, student volunteers (usually athletes who had to move in early for pre-season practice) will help you move all your stuff from the unloading area to your room. There are some carts available, but you’re going to end up carrying a lot of stuff, so dress accordingly (and wear closed toed shoes – take it from someone who dropped  a mini-fridge on their toe during move in).

#MoveInHack: Label all of your stuff with your name and room number. Get a roll of masking tape and a Sharpie, or if you’re feeling really fancy, print up some sticky labels. There’s going to be so much stuff everywhere, and you don’t want the box with your underwear and shower caddy accidentally ending up in some stranger’s room down the hall. (Trust me, you will want to shower and change as soon as you’re done moving in. It is HOT, and most of you won’t be fortunate enough to be living in Hotel Bennet with air conditioning.)

Once all your things are in your room, you get to begin the fun process of fitting all the stuff you thought you needed into a room that is a solid 25% smaller than you pictured it being. If your mom is anything like mine, she will insist on organizing your shelf by genre, and title. But that’s okay, because she will be gone before you know it, and you’ll miss her organizational skills. 

 

OFFICIAL ORIENTATION ACTIVITES

 

Get ready to sit uncomfortably close to a complete stranger as we capture the class photo. This, and Graduation are probably the only times you’ll ever be with all 700-and-something people in your class year! 

New Student Orientation rolled out a digital schedule on the app Guidebook. To find the schedule for Official Orientation 2019 – download Guidebook onto your phone, and search search “Wesleyan New Student Orientation 2019-2020”. Click on download, and you’re good to go! Make sure to keep checking in for official details. 

Once the schedule is posted, you’ll notice that there are more sessions than you can possibly go to (and definitely way more than you’ll want to). Some sessions are listed as “mandatory,” and you really should do your best to attend all of those. While no one is going to track you down and drag you out of your newly-decorated dorm room, it really is important to show up to these sessions. In addition to providing you with important information as new members of the Wesleyan community, these are also great places to make some friends. Most of the mandatory sessions will be with your hall/dorm, so this is another great opportunity for ~bonding~. You’ll be sharing a bathroom with these people for a year, so it’s in your best interest to be on friendly terms with them. That is not to say that you’re going to be besties with your whole hall, or even your roommate, but it’s much nicer to come home to a smile or a wave from your neighbors than awkwardly pretending you didn’t see each other to avoid having to interact.

They’re also going to take a giant panoramic photo of the entire class on the steps behind Olin Library. It’s going to be hectic, but it’ll be a nice memory to look back on (and to find your friends/enemies//tinder matches in once it’s posted). You should definitely show up to this. (If you really want to enjoy this experience twice as much, sit in one corner, and run to the opposite side while it’s being taken and you can be in the photo twice!) 

Then there are all the other sessions. There are departmental open houses, meetings for groups like first-generation and low-income students, financial aid info sessions, ice cream mixers. Again, no one is forcing you to go to any of these, but if you have any questions, these are a really good way to get them answered. Also, going to these keeps you from being bored and alone in your room all day.

As they tell you on the Official Orientation website:

“Some events are required as an essential part of Orientation. There will also many optional events, which you’ll be able to choose from according to your interests. Orientation programs will help you form a foundation for your college life, and students often find themselves at a disadvantage when they miss essential events. We have planned time for you to move in, and there is also free time during the weekend.”

Some of my personal favorite events at orientation last year were: In the Company of Others and We Speak We Stand!

Devon Cooper ’19 shares one of her favorite, non-mandatory orientation experiences:

“Even if other people think something is super dorky *cough cough* square dancing in Andrus field, just DO IT! You will end up having tons of fun and being able to tell some pretty fun stories about it later :)”

The best part about orientation is that you get to shape your own experience. Most of you won’t come into college knowing that many people, if any, and the only way to change that is to put yourself out there. Sit next to someone new. Compliment someone on their outfit/shoes/hair/music/other thing you can bond over. Reach out to the person standing alone and invite them to join you. The fact is, everyone is going to be a little overwhelmed by everything that comes along with being in a new place with new people, so no one is going to think you’re weird for being proactive and friendly.

TL;DR: Go to the mandatory sessions, go to the non-mandatory sessions, meet new people, have fun!

UNOFFICIAL ACTIVITIES DURING OFFICIAL ORIENTATION

You’ll have plenty to do if you just go to the official orientation events, but we all know that there’s plenty of stuff that happens outside the official schedule.

As good Wesleyan students, you’ll probably spend an afternoon or two lounging on Foss Hill with your ~orientation besties~. Don’t feel weird just walking up to a group of people chilling on Foss – that’s what this entire week is for. 

 

Sometimes MRoth even jams on Foss

Then, there’s the parties. For many of you, this will be your first foray into the world of non-parent-chaperoned partying. There may be drinking. There may be dancing. There may be hooking up in shady corners of houses that you don’t know how to find your way out of. The key to a fun orientation party experience is to follow the golden rule: everything in moderation (including moderation). There will be plenty of parties throughout the year. There will be plenty of times to drunkenly make out with a stranger (or two) on the dance floor. There will be plenty of time to see how bad of a hangover you can give yourself. Don’t feel compelled to have every college experience in the book during your first week. 

MAKING FRIENDS

This is fakeshark’s repost of michelle’s update of kitab‘s update of daniphantom‘s update of their own post.

Make lots of friends to share lots of sandwiches with.

Orientation is the time when you’ll meet so many new people that you’ll begin to doubt that Wesleyan actually has less than 3,500 students. (Don’t worry, in a few months, you’ll start to realize exactly how small this place really is.) In order to help you on your journey to make those lifelong college friends that everyone gushes about, here are a few tips and tricks to use during orientation and beyond:

  1. Leave your door open

When you’re in your room and you feel like being social (especially in all freshmen dorms), leaving your door open effortlessly increases the chances of meeting new people in your building, most importantly your hallmates. It sort of acts like an open invitation to passersby to say “hi.” You’re going to thank me for this when it’s freezing outside, and you have friends in your building/floor. 

  1. Go to Usdan to eat

Usdan is by far the most social eating space on campus. It’s almost always crowded during meal time, so it’s easy to bump into people and have simple, yet lasting conversation. There’s a good chance you might be in the sandwich line with that cool kid with the glasses from film class – what better way to get to know each other than to start a conversation about yesterday’s lecture? Especially early in the year, try eating with people you recognize. Lots of people are happy to have someone new to chat with during a meal. Are you going to be a loud side person or a quiet side person? 

As a side note – make friends with the Usdan workers and cooks (I know Tom, the pasta guy, is intimidating, but he’s really nice!); they work super hard and a smile and quick chat can make their shifts much more pleasant. ALSO, clean up after yourself! 

  1. Just smile and wave, boys. Just smile and wave! 

This is a small campus; even though you won’t meet everyone, you’ll definitely start to notice a lot of the same faces once you form a routine. Don’t awkwardly look at the ground or pretend to answer a call you’re really not getting when you bump into familiar faces. Be friendly! Say hi! Smile as you pass! It’s not weird, trust me. I do it all the time and I haven’t been rejected yet. You never know who you will meet on your way to class.

  1. Go to events—and invite people to come with you

Some of my closest friends were acquaintances I invited to performances, meals, or even walks to Rite Aid (fakeshark: RIP). It’s great to feel comfortable going to things alone, especially as schedules get busier, but it’s also really nice to have company. Especially if you get socially anxious, going to a Second Stage show or a concert in the CFA is a great lowkey way to get to know someone: there’s a built-in conversation topic and activity, and you can always hang out afterwards if you hit it off.

  1. Get involved with student groups

There are SO many clubs, teams, and societies on campus that it’s pretty hard not to be involved in some capacity. Being active on campus gives you an instant network of people that you share interests with. Many groups on campus also host lots of pre-games, outings and formals for its members, increasing the chances of friend-making even more. This is a great way to meet upperclassmen, and to expand your friend group beyond your hallmates, and/or orientation friends. Which leads me to…

  1. Have various different groups and relationships

It’s easy to get really close really fast when you start college, and that’s a good thing! That being said, remember to spend time with different people. You and your roommate may get along really well, but if you spend all your time together, there’s likely to be some tension. Most of us are used to having distance from our friends—going home after high school, for example.  This distance is pretty important for a lot of relationships—don’t be afraid to take time for yourself and for other relationships. It’s okay if not all your friends know each other; it gives you an opportunity to explore different things and meet more people.

  1. Balance old and new friendships

Maintaining relationships at home is important too: some of my best friends are people I’ve known since I was little. Don’t get too caught up in old relationships though—spending all your time on the phone with your best friend from home makes it hard to make new friends. As important as old friends are, having friends who understand your current environment and are physically there gets more and more valuable as you get settled at Wes. You’ll be a lot less homesick when you have new friends, and you’ll have more stories for your old friends anyway. Sometimes it’ll feel like you’re leading two different lives: one with your friends at Wes, and one with your friends back home. It’s pretty fun! 

  1. Go out on the weekends—and follow up

There’s tons to do on the weekends, especially when workloads are light and the weather is nice, still. Apart from parties, there are tons of art and performance events, both university and student-produced, sporting events, and student group activities. The weekends are also good opportunities to grab a meal in Middletown, or just to hang out with friends in their rooms or on Foss. Especially at the beginning of the year, you meet lots of people going out. Just talking to people when you’re drunk, however, isn’t the best way to make lasting friendships. If you have a cool conversation with someone in the Fountain backyards, say hi to them next time you see them. Invite them to grab a meal with you during the week. I know way too many people, myself included, with the tendency to awkwardly avoid people we meet at parties, which is super silly. Probably (hopefully) they remember you and were also into the conversation; if they don’t, you get to bond over their crazy night.

  1. Relax, nothing’s set in stone

You’re going to make friends. You’re going to make friends you don’t stay friends with. You’re going to make acquaintance-friend hybrids you feel differently about over the course of your time at Wesleyan. You’re probably going to make friends you later hook up with and then feel really awkward around for a while. You’re going to end up with phone numbers of people you talked to twice during orientation. The point being, people will change and grow over the next four years and your relationships will change and grow with them. Don’t stress if you don’t immediately find people you can see yourself being friends with forever. Keep making new friends—your random Usdan acquaintance might end up being your best friend later on. It often feels like everyone has a wonderful, permanent group of friends they’re completely thrilled with, but lots of people are open to new relationships, take advantage.

Best of luck, new (and even returning!) students. Make lots of friends, maybe even some here at Wesleying!

ADJUSTMENT, ADVISORS, AND COURSE SELECTION—OH MY!

We know you’re freaking out about classes. There’s people who are here to help.

Sometime during orientation, you’ll have a chance to sit down with several different people to help you plot out your academic trajectory for the next semester, year, or if you’ve really figured out your shit, four years. You’ll probably start off with a Peer Advisor. Each Orientation Group is assigned one of these students to help them get a better feel for what types of classes they may want to take. You’ll have the opportunity to meet with this person in both group and individual settings.

Then, you’ll have both group and individual advising sessions with your faculty pre-major advisor. This person is usually assigned to you because they teach one of the courses you got during pre-registration, or teach in a department that you’ve expressed an interest in. It’s okay if they don’t end up actually being your teacher (I dropped the class my advisor taught immediately once adjustment began), or even in your intended major department, they’re still a great resource to help you navigate academics at Wes. One thing to keep in mind as you meet with your advisor is that they will likely not remain your advisor all four years. Once you declare a major, you will be assigned/select a major advisor in that department. While your pre-major advisor may not be able to give you tailored advice based on your specific academic interests, they can usually point you to someone who can.

You will have to meet with your faculty advisor every semester during pre-registration/adjustment for them to approve your schedule. If you don’t, you may not be registered for classes. It is your responsibility to set up those meetings; think of it as one of your first adult-college-responsibilities.

 

This will be your home for the next 4 years. Soak it all in – this place is truly something special. 

We hope this guide to ~Official~ Orientation helps you as you embark on your Wesleyan journey. If there’s anything you still have questions about (or we made a mistake somewhere), please reach out to us via Twitter, Facebook, Email, or in the comments! 

Best of luck, Class of 2023!

 

Unofficial Orientation 2019: Drop/Add Tips and Tricks

 

 

 

This is part of our 2019 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder (although, you really don’t need one anymore) that you can check out the welcome post here.

Disclaimer: While the tips introduced in this post can be applied universally, you should remember that your odds of getting into a class depend primarily not on your effort, but on the professor’s policies and how popular the class is (and, also, maybe how lucky you are). It’s pretty much impossible to convince a professor of an extremely popular class who simply won’t go over the limit to accept you into their class, even if you do absolutely everything right. But, trying can’t hurt, right? 

Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of Unofficial Orientation. The focus of today’s episode will be mainly on the devil known as drop/add. If you don’t know what that is (seriously, how do you not know what that is yet?), the folks at the registrar’s office have provided this overview. During this period, students are able to add or drop pretty much any class to their schedule, regardless of the limits posed by pre-reg (however, your faculty advisor will have to approve an extension in your credit limit if you go above 4 credits). I also highly recommend you check out this FAQ, also kindly prepared by the registrar’s office, as a way to get the basics down before proceeding. This post will not be doing much explaining of Drop/Add itself. It will, however, try to warn you, innocent, unassuming frosh, about the reality of this brutal race and offer some insights (read: randomly gathered knowledge that may have been the results of embarrassing behaviours of the author (and past authors)).

If reading long articles is not your thing, scroll down to the bottom for a step-by-step guide.

The first thing you need to know about drop/add is that it is brutal if pre-reg seriously messed you up, or you seriously messed up your pre-reg. By brutal, I’m not just referring to having to look up dozens of classes — that’s the easy part, often even fun. I’m referring to the simple fact that sometimes even if you nag the professor day and night in person and by email, participate and prove yourself worthy, or beg your advisor to put in a good word, or perform a satanic ritual, your efforts will be wasted. 

I mention this first because it is the harsh truth, and you should, therefore, adjust your expectations accordingly. Also, you should know, for future reference, that pre-registration is the most important time to shape your schedule. (I learned this the hard way) I know Wesleyan’s general atmosphere is one that is of ‘spontaneity’ and ‘flexibility’, but you’re not going to think that when pre-reg royally screws you over, and you have to pin all your hopes and dreams on drop/add. 

Now that I’ve probably scared you into giving up, let’s get your hopes up again by talking about how, against all odds, you can wiggle your way into a class.

Since all other students have participated in a full pre-reg process, this may seem to put you at a disadvantage, although that is not actually the case. Even if the pre-reg process completely screws you over, there are still plenty of options to choose from. For instance, there are a ton of First Year Seminars (FYS) available which you can read more about here. Since, FYS are only available to freshman, your odds of wiggling your way into one is significantly higher. While the school may recommend taking an FYS, they aren’t a requirement. So, if taking one is really stressing you out or messing up your plans, you can always opt out. If, like me, you prefer problem sets over readings, you don’t have to force yourself to take an FYS. On the flip side, you’re also welcome to take more than one FYS in a year or even in a semester! 

Another reason why new students shouldn’t stress too much about pre-reg is that most frosh generally take intro-level classes. These classes are usually quite big and/or have many sections, and are geared towards first-year students, so you have everyone’s blessings to be in those classes. As long as… you show up to the first class.

I cannot stress enough how important showing up to the first class of the semester is, whether you desperately want to get in or would like to keep that class in your schedule, or just as a general rule to leave a good impression. (Also, come on, do you really want to skip class on your first week?) Showing up to the first class will let the professor know that you are trying to get in, and putting your name and face out there helps the professor remember you, which leads to better chances of getting in. To bump your chances of getting into the class, try talking to the professor after class, and make your case. 

A word of caution to those who get too cocky and don’t plan on showing up on the first day because they are already ‘enrolled’ in the class: according to the EPC statement on attendance, professors may kick you out. If the class is especially popular, professors may give away your slot to someone who did show up on the first day, and expressed real interest in the class. Professors could also take offence of your absence, and, trust me, that will come back to bite you when you need that extension on an overdue midterm paper. 

In my experience, showing up to the first class pretty much guarantees you a spot if you want to get into classes with 100+ seats. But things are more complicated when you want to get in a smaller, seminar-style and/or non-intro-level class. WesMaps’ Past Enrollment Probability may tell you that in the past students had less than 50% percent chance of getting in (that’s the lowest tier, btw). What can you do to improve your odds of getting in?

First of all, don’t blindly pursue any one class just because it sounds generally interesting. (But generally, you should go for any class that catches your eye because we here at Wes encourage ~exploration~ and ~experimentation~) If you spend all of your energy on this one super hard to get into class, you may miss out on a whole WesMaps of classes that are unexpectedly incredibly fun. So think hard about the reasons that make it sound interesting to you. Is it a field you would like to major in? Is it related to some experience in your past which you would like to find out more about? Is it something you’re extremely passionate about? Tell your professor about it! If your reason for wanting to take the class is personal and close to you, you may stand out from all the other people trying to get in. 

Don’t forget to follow up with email. Professors are incredibly busy during this time, and you can’t blame them for forgetting a few things here and there. You just have to make sure that they don’t forget you. Be courteous but firm in your email. Highlight your personal reason for wanting to take the class. But don’t spam. Nobody likes a spammer. 

When you’ve done the two things above, don’t forget to attend every class during drop/add! Simply by showing up, listening and participating in the class, you’re demonstrating your commitment to the class (and let’s not forget that you can learn quite a lot from just four sessions), and trust me, the professors will notice that. You will automatically move up on the “waiting list”. In some cases, the professor might just ignore the limit and admit you into the class even when there isn’t technically a seat available! (However, several professors have seen enough cases over the years to not be moved by your intense commitment or passionate reason for wanting to take the class). Most frosh don’t know about this, but if all else fails, you can ask to audit the class. Auditing is quite a flexible option, but not every professor allows it. Essentially, you and the professor can come up with your own arrangement, which usually involves you participating in class and doing some work, and at the end of the semester, if the professor is satisfied with your performance, they will place “Audited, without credit” on your transcript. It is completely up to the professor whether they will allow auditing, and it is up to you to think about whether it is worth the extra time commitment.

If you ever find yourself in the position of having multiple classes that you are equally interested in taking but don’t all fit into your schedule, it can be hard to prioritize them. In these desperate (but lucky!!!) scenarios, it’s good to move beyond the subject matter and base your decision on its other aspects, such as:

  1. The time the class starts – Some people are absurdly cheery in the morning (I will never understand how), and others are not. I know most of you think you can wake up at 8:00am every morning (you did it for the last four years in high school anyway!), but trust me, it’s harder than it was in high school. Be honest with yourself about what you think you can handle, and consider what kind of schedule would work best with your body clock.
  2. The kind of class it is – this is probably the most important aspect for me. Consider the nature of the class and its assignments. The ‘Examination and Assignments’ section will generally provide you with an insight into the kind of class it is. In most cases, it is wise to balance your courses, and try to take some reading-heavy classes, and some math-heavy classes. When you first get to college, it can be tempting to concentrate on a specific area of study that you might have been wanting to pursue for years, and while doing so, you may find yourself in all four reading or math-heavy classes. Taking something outside of that bubble is a good way to give your poor brain a break. However, if you are like me, and cannot read more than 3 sentences without zoning out, reading-heavy classes may not be the best move. So, take what you’re comfortable with, and what you are more likely to enjoy. 
  3. The way it works with the rest of your schedule – consider how you want your classes distributed throughout each day and each week. Would you rather have all your classes on some days and none on others? Would you rather have all afternoon classes? If a class makes a day seem especially hellish, maybe it’d be best to put your energy towards other options. Additionally, if you have two classes back-to-back, ask yourself if you’d need more than a 10-minute break between them, or if your brain would be able to switch gears between classes. Some classes may also have mandatory TA sessions or lab sessions – make sure to consider them whilst curating your perfect schedule. 
  4. The location of the class – this is the most trivial aspect of them all, but is something that should be considered when you have two classes back-to-back with just a 10-minute break between them. In my freshman fall, when I was just as naive and unassuming as you, I took a class at Russell House that ended at 2:40pm, and a class at Exley that started at 2:50pm. After a semester of frantically running from Russell to Exley in record time, I learned my mistakes and know better now.   

This is also a good time to emphasize the importance of having back-up options. In case you are unable to get into a particular class, make sure you have a back-up class you can turn your efforts towards. You don’t want to be left with fewer credits than you wanted at the end of drop/add.

The last thing you need to know: yes, it sucks when all your methods fail and you just can’t take the class you want or have the perfect schedule, but don’t let it get to you. You have four years here – you will have plenty of opportunities to take the classes you want, young grasshopper.

 

Here’s the tl;dr for all you lazy frosh: 

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR GETTING INTO CLASSES:

  1. Rank the class as No.1 during pre-reg. 
  2. Submit an enrollment request on Wesmaps even before classes begin. (You can also send an email to the professor to give them a heads-up.)
  3. Show up to the first class! Determine your level of interest in the class, your eligibility to take it, and your probability of getting into it. 
  4. Make sure you talk to the professor before or after class. Be polite, reasonable, but compelling when you explain why you want to take this class. (Frosh: Saying it is a prerequisite for your intended major almost always helps. Many Wes students come here with absolutely no idea what they want to major in, so the “major” card does gain you an edge. Don’t lie, but it is entirely reasonable to have two or more prospective majors. Or if it is an advanced class that doesn’t usually admit first years, present all your credentials – AP scores, places in competitions, extracurricular time spent in the field, etc. – and fight for your place. Politely.)
  5. Follow up with an email to gently remind the professor. Be courteous, yet firm. Do. Not. Spam. The. Professor. You may not get a response immediately, be patient. 
  6. Show up to class. Don’t be tempted to skip class during drop/add. (easier said than done, I know) If/When seats open up, you’ve got to be there.  
  7. Typically, by the time a seat becomes available, there won’t be that many students who have kept up throughout Drop/Add, so it will probably be yours. 
  8. If you don’t get in, don’t fret! This will make a much stronger case for next semester, especially if the same professor teaches the class.

* Again, remember: your odds of getting into a class depend primarily not on your effort, but on the professor’s policies and how popular the class is. Proceed with this in mind.

OTHER RANDOM, BUT HELPFUL, TIPS:

  1. Even if a class allows zero freshmen on WesMaps, you can still ask for the professor’s permission to take the class if you are interested. If there’s space, the professors would probably allow you into the class (after warning you about the challenges) and will provide ample assistance throughout the semester just in case. You really can’t take a class if freshmen are crossed out – “X” – though.
  2. You should try to enroll in 4 full-credit classes, because then if you find yourself unsatisfied with one of your classes, you can withdraw and still complete the semester. Wesleyan requires at least 3 full credit classes each semester for you to be considered enrolled full-time.
  3. Should you find yourself wanting to take 5 or more full-credit classes, talk to your advisor. Some would raise your credit limit without any question, and some would be very strict about it. But reason with your advisor nonetheless. If you think you can do it, go for it! Don’t be intimidated by your advisor or some arbitrary rules. However, keep in mind, the ‘Rule of Seven’ (if you don’t know about it now, you will by the end of orientation, I promise) 
  4. Closer to the beginning of the school year you may see some announcements on the WesAdmits about Student Forums, which are Pass/Fail classes designed and led by students along with a faculty advisor. While these courses can be taken for credit, there is a limit to how many student forum credits will actually count towards graduation. (The same applies to PHED classes) 
  5. Lastly, know that you will probably make some mistakes with pre-reg and drop/add. That’s okay. The good news is that you will have plenty of chances not to make those mistakes in the future. You could prepare way ahead of time, and plan every detail meticulously, and still not be completely happy (are any of us ever truly, completely happy, though?) with what you receive, but the academic freedom you have as a frosh at Wes is really quite precious. Cherish it. 

Good luck, frosh!  

 

Unofficial Orientation Series 2019: First Year Classes

This is an update of un meli-melo’s post which was an update of Jackson‘s post from 2015, which was an update of skorn‘s post from 2014. Which was an update of DaPope‘s post from 2013. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, or some shit like that, right?

 

This is part of our 2019 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Take a nice deep breath in, at this point you’re either on-campus or just days away.  The excitement is tangible, new campus, new room, new people.  Before you get too wrapped up in your new freedom let’s talk about the real excitement: Your courses, the splendid garden that is Wesmaps, and what this year might be like academically.

I myself remember being confused by the process of choosing and then actually signing up for that class during my first semester so hopefully, this post provides a little clarity in the whole subject (and not the opposite).  Worst comes to worst just remember that most first-year classes are fairly big and your chances of getting into them are pretty high.

On that happy note, let’s dive right into this abyss!

Unofficial Orientation 2019: Student Groups

This is a repost of a repost of wilk‘s update of michelle‘s update of Maya‘s 2015 post, which was an update of alt‘s 2014 post, which was an update of Q‘s 2013 post, which was an update of Syed‘s 2012 post

            This is the annual student activities fair, where you can schmooze or, more likely, be schmoozed to your heart’s content.

This is part of our 2019 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

By the time classes start, you’ll likely be successfully moved into your dorm, blissfully free from your parents, and finally finding the time to figure your shit out. Soon, you’ll realize that you have a little too much time on your hands — and you might want to fill that time with Organized Social Activities.

Thankfully for you, there are about 300 student groups at Wesleyan, so you have many, many options. Joining student groups is one of the best way to meet people outside of your dorm and in different class years. You could find best friends! Mentors! Something new about yourself! It’s all up to you.

Unofficial Orientation 2019: Middletown Eating

This is an updated repost of michelle’s repost of sophie’s repost of maya‘s repost. Please note: this is by no means an exhaustive list of eating options in Middletown, as this perfunctory Yelp search will show you. Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comments! 

This is part of our 2019 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Middletown has so many fantastic dining options that at first you might feel like this turtle: faced with an almost insurmountable mountain of deliciousness. Much like the above turtle, though, you’ve got to start somewhere. We’re here to give you a head start.

From coffee-shop casual to awkward-family-dinner upscale, there’s food in Middletown for every occasion. This is our guide to some of the best places to eat in town.  Prices are on a $ to $$$ scale. Also worth noting is that a lot of Middletown restaurants accept Middletown Cash, so save up some of that laundry money for your dining excursions. Wesleyan also provides a nifty guide to restaurants in and around Middletown, if you need more guidance (though theirs doesn’t come with student feedback and that special Wesleying flair)! Read all of our food list after the jump!

Unofficial Orientation 2019: Eating and Drinking at Wes

This post is an updated version of Sam’s update which was an updated version of wilk’s Eating and Drinking orientation article.

Eating and drinking is a necessity for all living beings, even during your hazy college days. While we all have to adjust our food standards from delicious home-cooked meals to university food, trust me, it could be worse. This year Wesleyan is ranked #22 (we were demoted from #7, sad) in college food on Niche out of all the colleges in the U.S. so you know it’s going to be good. Wes has many options for dining that you can enjoy regardless of your dietary orientation. We’re even ranked #2 by One Green Planet for Most Vegan-Friendly Colleges. There’s a plethora of awesome vegan food and our friends at the Mongolian Grill are always willing to cook up a chicken tortilla topped with cheese if it’s protein that you want.

This is the part of the orientation series where we remind you to eat your veggies.

A quick reminder that you can check out our welcome post here and past years’ series  here.

Unofficial Orientation Series 2019: Middletown Outings

This is an update of wilk‘s update of his previous post!

 

 

Toto, we’re not in Bushwick anymore. You’ve now left the comfort of deep Brooklyn, as they call it, for the not-so-dissimilar milieu of Wesleyan. Just kidding, a vast majority of Weskids are from not-Brooklyn, not-LA, and not-Bay-Area, although it might seem otherwise.

For all of you from those (wonderful) places, and all of you from other places, Middletown is different than those places (shocking!). It was once the largest city in Connecticut, circa pre-war-of-1812. Can your hometown claim that title? Nah. Unless you’re from Middletown, in which case you are probably way more qualified than me to write this post.

While Wesleyan is fine and there is usually never a shortage of things to do on campus, Middletown and the surrounding area truly have some wonderful gems that are worth knowing about as you settle in and look for things to do other than vape on Foss.

And if you’re really bold and somehow have an abundance of time before finals arrive, there’s some cool shit beyond the local area too.  Here’s the 2019 Outing guide, advice from a Connecticut local. 

 

A quick reminder that you can check out our welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Unofficial Orientation 2019: Rage Update

There is not much more esteemed at Wes than its history of activism. Wesleying’s Rage Updates are here to welcome you all to the issues of the day, and to educate you on the issues of the past. While it seems to have been an even year sort of update for Wesleying with our first article in 2014, our second in 2016, and our third in 2018, more than enough has happened this past school year to warrant another for 2019.

As a publication and a series steeped in tradition, we must open with the eloquent words of alt, the author of our first rage update:

You’ve now arrived on campus, and we hope that you find your time here enriching and transformative. In that hope, we feel that it would be ill-advised to allow you to not have at least a foundational understanding of the things that have forced us as a community into dialogue, disagreement, and action.

This is not to scare you or to give you a negative impression of the University. However, we are certain that most if not all of you were told about the “passion” that Wesleyan students have and the issues that we care about on campus are at the forefront of those passions. While there is certainly no requirement to take an activist stance on any of these issues and it is in fact easy to sink beneath the radar on these issues and all the others not covered here, we would plead with you to be engaged in the community that you are now a part of.

Read this, ask questions, and reach out to students and faculty that have been here before you. We hope that as you begin your time here, you fully invest yourself as a community member committed to making Wesleyan as good as it can be for you and for those after you. Caring about Wesleyan does not foreclose critique on Wesleyan and as you read this, and other things like it, we hope you understand that too.

Ending this intro with a disclaimer that this article is not comprehensive, and merely serves as a taster for the Wesleyan brand of fiery social justice.

Unofficial Orientation 2019: Greek Lyfe

“I mean, I studied abroad in Athens. Is that what you mean by Greek Life?”

frats

This is fos’ update of sdz‘s update of wilk‘s update from 2016 as part of our 2019 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out our welcome post here and past years’ series here.

So this article is gonna be interesting. It includes an aggregation of updates from both 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. These years included some pretty pivotal Greek Life related things that you probably wanna know about. Some of you may be surprised that we even have Greek life (apparently other lib arts schools don’t?). Others might have already delved into our storied Greek Life related past. Are we about to tell you that Wes Greek Life is back to its prime? No. But there’s some new stuff here that you’re probably gonna wanna know, so it’s probably best that you hit the jump.