Good day, 2015! By this point, hopefully Orientation already has you thoroughly Oriented, Prometheus brought Fire to your Feet, and you completed several successful hip gyrations at the Beckham Bending Bash. However, you’ve likely had more than a few Wes-specific questions come up with all the Wes-specific self-educating you’ve been doing the last few days. A lot of these are likely location-based: “Where are my classes?”, “What’s that glass thing between the Chapel and the ’92 called?”, or “Seriously: Where the fuck are my classes?“.
To be fair, 2/3 of the questions given above are best answered using maps (maps of the Google, handheld, and human variety should all suffice). But you’ll likely go a long way towards understanding how to go about your business if you’ve at least got your terminology right. Keeping that in mind, dear reader, here’s a quick-and-dirty (read: by no means complete) review of some of the things you need to know if you don’t know what we know:
Afraid this guide is “too cool” for you? If so, we understand; please use the peer advisors’ blog post to learn local lingo if you can’t handle all ~*this*~ quite yet.
Arguably most prominent among the academic buildings are Olin and Exley, which face each other across Church St. Olin is the main library and has a connecting tunnel to PAC, the Public Affairs Center, where the Economics, Government, History, Sociology, and CSS (College of Social Studies) majors are based. The obviously missing social science here is Psychology, which is based in Judd Hall, the brownstone building across from the front face of PAC. Next to Judd against Church is the Allbritton Center (Allbritron in some circles), home to the SISP (Science in Society Program) and FGSS (Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies) majors, IMS (a subdivision of ITS, the information technology overlords), the Shapiro Creative Writing Center, motherfuckin’ Espwesso, and the QAC, a magical place where the aforementioned social science majors run a high risk of doing quantitative analysis.
As for Exley Science Center / Sexley, major attractions include SciLi (you can figure that one out) and Pi Café on the first floor (though SciLi has its own basement and second level as well), gigantic intro science lecture halls on the first floor (Exley 150) and basement (Exley Iforgotthenumber), and the various science departments housed in the six floors + basement of the Science Tower. Exley has a ground-floor tunnel to Hall-Atwater, home to laboratories upon laboratories and attached to Shanklin, which features another huge lecture hall. The basement of Exley houses Wesleyan’s deepest, darkest secrets. Try exploring late at night!
Other places people have classes include Fisk Hall, the Center for the Humanities, and some fancy houses which belong to this academic department or that one.
We also have a range of computer labs scattered around. I’m typing this from ST Lab, which is in the Exley Science Tower directly next to Pi. Olin has a bunch of computer spread around the first floor, but if you walk in the main entrance and go right-then-left, you’ll be in the middle of most of them. PAC Lab is a bevy of computers next to the Olin-PAC tunnel I mentioned earlier. Allbritton has a computer lab on the third floor whose name I cannot discover online, so it is henceforth christened Skylab. The mysterious HAS Lab resides in an ever-changing location within Hall-Atwater. To access it, you must find the right spot (you’ll just know) and pace back and forth three times, concentrating very hard on whatever you need to do in there. An open door should then appear.
I was convinced that the LRC was the only computer lab in Fisk and this page was a hoax, but Elijah Meadow ’13 just assured me that there’s a computer lab on the ground floor (below the main entrance on the first floor) of the building. It’s officially known as Fisk Lab – anyone caught referring to it as Keck Lab will earn themselves seven years of hard labor in the frozen wastelands of the Bates, Bowdoin, and Colby prison camps.
You, dear froshers, probably live in a triple in Fauver, Clark, or EastCo A, B, or C. With the exception of your lovely Resident Advisors, Fauver, and Clark are the only freshman-exclusive residences. You’ll find sophomores in the Butts, WestCo (deets shortly), 200 Church (occasionally), and the Nics (south to north: Nics 5, lounge, 5.5, 6, 7). If you find a junior in the Butts (or Nics), give hir (gender-neutral him/her; use ze for he/she replacement) everything you own, in accordance with Wesleyan’s official Housing Reparations Policy.
WestCo is a very special place for very special people. Westcovians have a very special system of spatial orientation: starting from the building nearest to Olin, the dorms are laid out as such: WestCo 1 ? glass tunnel thing with entrance to WeShop ? 2 ? 3 ? lounge ? 4. If you hear things like “Up 4” and “Down 1“, people are referring to the upper level of WestCo 4 and lower level of WestCo 1, respectively. Underneath Down 3 is the WestCo Café, where on Wednesday nights there’s an open mic and on weekends either loud shows or equally loud but significantly less clothed dance parties.
As for the rest of us…sophomores and rather disgruntled juniors occupy Hewitt (dorms 8, 9, and 10 on Foss) or live above WesWings (and smell like it!) in 156 High. Juniors concentrate in Lo Rise and Hi Rise, neighboring complexes of four- or two-person apartments. Seniors live in Senior Fauver, or houses on Fountain and Warren, (you go there to party, remember?) Pine, Vine St., or rather quietly on Home, Lawn, and Brainerd behind SciLi – drunken activity there is held in check by neighbors who are not, in fact, college students.
There is lots of program housing, which is applied for independently and outside of the housing lottery that is GRS (the source of most of your drama every spring). They have themes, like Buddhist House (BuHo), the Bayit (Judaism), and German Haus, which are intended to unite the residents and guide programs the houses put on for the larger Wesleyan public, but are not especially strict in terms of accepting residents. With the exception of 200 Church and WestCo, only sophomores and above can live in program housing. Other programs that aren’t actually in a house include the Japanese, French, and Film Halls on the lowest levels of the Nics.
Also, frats! At the corner of Church and High is Beta, which almost neighbors Eclectic (society, not a frat), which is across the street from Alpha Delt, which are both a block or two down High from Psi U, which is kinda far down high but not as far as DKE (“deek”), which is home to Deltas, who as everyone knows never die. You’ve probably partied at some of these places too.
Everyone else falls into the “random shit” category, which includes, but is not limited to, Pearl and Court Streets towards downtown Middletown, something on Washington Street (bordering the CFA), crossing swords on Cross (by Freeman Athletic Center), or the less than 1% of students with permission to reside off-campus. Alternately, you’re a graduate student and no one really cares where you live. :(
See this post for a detailed rundown of campus dining options. If you’re already hip with the kids on this subject, maybe this cryptic and hyperbolic passage won’t be a total waste of your time:
“Why, Usdan is a shining city on a hill.” And President Roth is right. In many ways Usdan is a shining city on a hill.
The hard truth is that not everyone is sharing the University Center’s splendor and glory. A shining city is perhaps all President Roth sees from the portico of South College and the veranda of his house, where everyone seems to be doing well.
But there’s another Usdan, there’s another part of the “shining city,” the part where some people can’t afford to use up their points and most young people don’t have time to wait in the stir-fry line, where students can’t be on time for the classes they take and middle-class parents watch the meal plan they bought for their children evaporate.
… There is despair. There is despair, Mr. President, in faces that you don’t see, in the places that you don’t visit in your shining city.
You’ll observe or participate in all kinds of arts in the numerous building of the CFA (Center for the Arts), whenever you’re not enjoying the Film Series in the Goldsmith Family Cinema, catching a student-produced (usually through Second Stage) play in the ’92 Theater, or at a Czech punk show in the Memorial Chapel. (The crazy glass thing in between the Chapen and ’92 is the Zelnick Pavilion.) If you have to go to North College, it’s probably something administrative and not very fun. If you have to go to South College, you might be this guy. Hopefully, you’ll sparingly need to visit the Davison Health Center neighboring the CFA, and will even more sparingly need to venture to the Art Library. Fayerweather, next to Ruby Tuesdan, features Beckham Hall up top and dance and rehearsal space down low. If you’re at Beckham, it’s probably for some really big thing or another.
“The pool” sometimes refers to the state-of-the-art Wesleyan Natatorium in Freeman Athletic Center (“Bacon Field House” refers to the Freeman building made entirely out of bacon), but most often refers to the more chillaxed pool on the 5th floor of Exley. Anyone know if the party there last week got busted?
Bonus Bullet-Point Category:
- The ‘Tech: it’s where you go to school. Techies: it’s what y’all are.
- There are tunnels all over the place. The Butts have tunnels underneath that are somewhat blocked off and very covered in graffiti (if you live in Butt A, and are lucky or knowledgeable, you can get to the Butt B laundry room without going outside). WestCo has some toooooo. The CFA tunnels are centered around a single extremely long megatunnel that has starred in at least one intense chase scene in a senior thesis film. It’s awesome and someone should play a guerrilla drone show down there.
- Gravestones mark bodies buried in a small plot between WestCo and the Van Vleck Observatory on top of Foss Hill. Their souls reside in The Tomb, across Wyllys St. from the under-renovations building next to Usdan. If you’re really serious about death and psychedelics, however, you probably cross Vine St. to make your way to Indian Hill Cemetery.
- If you’re in South College and you’re not Michael Roth, then you’re almost definitely one of the bell-ringers. Reveal yourself!
- You know all those little info card things on the tables in Usdan (upstairs)? Once, some people went through and replaced whatever food or nutrient Bon Appetit was praising that week with a similarly designed card on devouring brains. It was great. Honor your civic duty and screw with those insert things every chance you get. Just leave the salt and pepper alone.
- Don’t call people townies.
Hopefully, this helps. Feel free to comment with any glaring omissions, though it looks like this post ended up being a lot longer than promised anyhow.
Edit: Corrections implemented, thanks to commenters.