If there existed a short list of classic Wesleying posts (note: there doesn’t, though there should), Ishuku’s 2007 rundown of the most interesting Wes-related articles in the New York Times archives would undoubtedly make the cut. Woven into the post you’ll find primary source information regarding the early 2000s chalking debacle, the 1990 firebombing of President Chase’s office, the 2000 “Naked Dorm” controversy—basically, crucial facets in semi-recent Wes history. If you haven’t already perused it, take the time now. I’ll wait.
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Anyway. Relevant Wes mentions in the country’s most prestigious newspaper show one side of the school. Mentions in the bitingly satirical realm, albeit fictional, show another, snapshotting cultural notions of Wesleyan in the popular mind at least as well as any snarky Daily Show punchline. So it’s in the spirit of that classic Wesleying throwback that I’m posting some (all?) of Wesleyan’s mentions in The Onion archives, dating back to 1999. Is it any surprise they have us pegged as harboring vaguely environmental, unequivocally impassioned anti-straw-hegemony activism?
College-Aged Daughter Against Using Straws Now — May 14, 2003
Brief yet piercing satire on rampant, meaningless PCU-style college activism. A college freshman’s parents are baffled at daughter’s sudden refusal to use straws. Shocker: she goes to Wesleyan.
I’ll Try Anything With A Detached Air Of Superiority — November 6, 2002
A decent opinions piece advocating the enjoyment of anything—”no matter how pedestrian or mainstream”—with a “detached air of superiority.” Clever. The speaker? A long-haired, NPR-listening, well-traveled Wesleyan alum with a B.A. in comparative literature. OMG WE’RE ALL SNOBZ GTFO.
Temp Hides Fun, Fulfilling Life From Rest Of Office — October 2, 2002
Self-explanatory, mildly amusing: “Ty Braxton, 23, continues to hide his fun and fulfilling life from the full-time employees of Hale & Dorr, the Boston law firm for which he has temped since July.” Ty rocks a goofy-looking semi-afro and plays in a band called Sophie Drillteam. He graduated from Wes in May, 2000, with a degree in Russian literature. Cool.
Hundreds Of Thousands Of Sad, Lonely People Waiting To Take Your Call — September 1, 1999
Mocks mental health of phone-assisted-sales industry employees: “friendless, deeply depressed wretch[es] trapped in sterile cubicle[s].” Extensively quotes (nonexistent) Wesleyan University sociologist Dr. Jonathan Kinnard.
College Senior Hopes To Turn Love Of Data Entry Into Career — March 16, 2007
Here’s a good one: soon-to-be college graduate strives to follow life’s passion that happens to be as mundane and awful as, you know—not following your life’s passion. Our main protagonist attends the University of Maryland; a supplementary subject, “Frances Hardwick,” is a Wesleyan senior who expresses sincere concern that “she won’t be able to find employment as a personal assistant even after graduating in the top 10 percent of her class.” (“The only thing I’ve ever wanted is a life of service.”) This mention seems more arbitrary than the others, but so it goes.
Because it matters: Your search for Amherst College returned 4 results. Wes wins.