Wesleying Unofficial Orientation Series: Wes Lingo

So, I’m not here to be your damn tour guide. Mainly because the Admissions Office rejected my application during sophomore year. Bitter, table for one. Seriously, if you want a tour to learn the names of buildings, get at tour guide extraordinaire, Hannah Vogel ’13. No jokes. I am here, though, to tell you about the hip lingo around The Tech. If you need help with buildings and campus locations or you just generally like A-Batte better than me, see his post from last year.

The first thing that you need to know is that it’s generally considered socially acceptable to add Wes in front of everything (e.g., Weshop). If you haven’t noticed already, it makes this adorably amusing double entendre. In that example, Weshop is where we shop. And sometimes it makes truly hilarious combinations (e.g., WesCrew). Take a minute. However, there is the occasional trainwreck, where the combination is so grating, and yet we soldier through to continue the Wes tradition (e.g., Espwesso).

For this post, I initially turned to the ladies of 25B Fountain Ave. for help on what students are saying these days around campus. Then, I realized that I only had one, maybe two helpful housemates. (Sorry, y’all.) But, take comfort in knowing that I have consulted sources much cooler than I am. (Not like that’s hard, amiright?!) After the jump, you’ll find a list of terms that I suggest you make flashcards to learn. Then, carry them around on the lanyard that you will inevitably place around your neck in typical freshman year style for the first couple weeks. As an upperclassman, I’ve grown to appreciate that because it makes your shining new faces that much easier to identify, other than just spotting the freshmen pack mentality.

Unlike previous posters, I’m grouping the terms in a random order of my choosing. Consider it a journey through my inner psyche. You’re welcome.

Boozedan: The most entertaining student pastime for both participants and observers, wherein students secretly carry alcohol into Usdan and consume a few too many over dinner. I don’t recommend it for your first couple weeks because your primary focus should be on not getting lost around campus, and a quality Boozedan could seriously impede that ability. Nothing like having the drunk munchies with an unlimited buffet at your disposal, right? No. Because I wouldn’t know. I obviously don’t enjoy open containers on campus except on Foss Hill or the backyards. Right, Scott?

The Hill: If you’ve even once visited Wesleyan or seen a picture, you’ll remember Foss Hill. Typically shortened to The Hill. Note the definite article, as ze is not just any hill. Foss Hill is one of the few places on campus where students (over the age of 21) can enjoy open containers. Sorry that we don’t all go to a school like Claremont McKenna College where administrators trust students of age with alcohol just anywhere on campus.

Senior Village: As you might’ve guessed, this term refers to the neighborhood where a large portion of seniors reside. In my use of the term, Senior Village includes all of the houses on Pine, Fountain, Warren, Senior Fauver, as well as a few houses on Vine and Church. As a freshman, you and your friends will likely end your weekend nights carousing this area to find a party that you may or may not be welcome to attend.

Junior Village: Junior Village, where nearly 90% of on-campus juniors reside, creates much more of a bubble effect than its senior counterpart. Nestled conveniently across the street from The Nest, juniors tend to remain too lazy to make it up the hill from Junior Village except for classes and parties. Oh wait, I’m the only one who’s that lazy? My mistake.

Bennet Hall: Please do not utter this name in my presence. Prior to this academic year, this dorm was called Freshman Fauver by University administrators and students alike. I’m convinced that President Roth and University Relations simply forgot to get a gift for our 2012 Commencement Speaker, Senator Michael Bennet ’87, so they decided, “What’s a building among friends?” I’m not sure how Edgar Fauver would’ve felt about the name change. To me, it seems kind of hard to outshine a man who was Wesleyan’s first physician and first athletic director and single-handedly saved the University from smallpox in 1914 by personally vaccinating every student. Not to mention, he is also responsible for the eventual expansion of Middlesex Hospital in the early 20th century. No big deal or anything.

Club Usdan: While the different sides of Usdan maintain several names, this one is perhaps my favorite. Each weeknight during dinner, a charming Bon Appetit staff member plays his own version of the top hits for the evening. And believe me, the bass gets bumpin’ in there. The music only plays in the left side dining room though, so please dress appropriately if you plan to hit the club.

Jock Side v. Hipster Side, Pepsi v. Coke, Tray Return v. No Tray Return: The many names that differentiate the two dining wings in Usdan can truly come to define a person. The aforementioned list follows the respective order of Left Side vs. Right Side.

The Stacks: Almost exclusively used to refer to the rows of books in the center of Olin Library. Some of the best study spaces can be found at random desks scattered throughout the stacks, as they offer some pretty serious seclusion unless it’s exam week. Then the administration really likes to cut back available study space. I’ve heard some naughty things tend to happen in the stacks. But, it seems those things may happen all over. I’ve never been quite sure what the couple at 0:21 is doing, but I’m not one to judge. (Sometimes, you might even find candy in the stacks…)

Sci Li vs. OlinAnother Wesleyan dichotomy centered on stereotypes. Some people would say that SciLi is for jocks, science or math majors, and people who like to talk in the library, while Olin is for hipsters, humanities majors, and people who like to hear a pencil drop in the library. As a Neuroscience & Behavior and History double major myself though, I’d have to ask those people, “Are You Wesleyan?” There’s also the Art Library, but don’t worry because the administration is trying to eliminate it because libraries are “just storage centers for books.”

The TechI’ve always had a bit of trouble understanding the meaning behind this term. Last night, I think I finally got it right though. A tech school is apparently known as one that is bad at sports and has ugly girls. While we are both bad at sports and have ugly girls… I mean… Anyway, the term has enjoyed a cultural renaissance over the last few years, as athletes and tools like myself alike have re-appropriated the term in a positive manner.

Techies: Here’s the contradictory part. On the rare occasion that I hear the word “techies,” it’s typically uttered from a brother of DKE or Beta to refer to hipsters, nerds, or people who are just generally bad at sports. So, though athletes use The Tech in a positive manner, to be called a techie connotes an impulse to derogate the person. Think: Techies make it a Tech.

Summies: Short for Summerfields, which is located in the Butts and represents the dining hall that stays open the latest.

The Butthole: Even after living in the Butts for a year and a half, this term still makes me uncomfortable. I guess “poop” and “butthole” are just my version of the typical “moist” or “crusty”; I can’t say them without prompting my gag reflex. The Butthole, though, in the Wesleyan sense, is the green courtyard located in the center of the Butts dormitories. If you’re lucky and you happen to live in the Butts, keep a watchful eye on the Butthole for LARPers.

LARPers: LARP stands for Live Action Role Playing. And no, it does not just happen in the movies. LARPers can be spotted getting their LARP on in the Butthole. So grab some green, get the popcorn ready, and sit back and enjoy the show. LARPing practice was always probably my favorite, though, because the costumes aren’t out to play, so it’s just a bunch of people hopping around on one foot with styrofoam swords Monty Python-style.

Fish BowlThe area surrounded by glass on three sides in SciLi. Get it?

Foss Hill Dorms: No one actually says this term, but it will help me explain how the dorms get their numbers. In a nearby land long before any of us were even conceived, WestCo, the Nics, and Hewitt did not have their proper names. Rather simply, they were called Foss Hill Dorm 1-10. Today, we know and love WestCo 1-4, Nics 5-7, and Hewitt 8-10. The numbers start on the farthest east portion of WestCo and snake around until you eventually reach Hewitt 10. When someone tells you that they are in Down Four, they mean that they are in the portion of WestCo closest to Foss Hill on the bottom floor. Up 2? The portion immediately to the west of Weshop on the top floor.

‘swings (alternatively, ‘swangs): Short for WesWings, an overpriced but delicious campus eatery where you can use points. (Shoutout to WesWings for feeding campus during last year’s blackout!)

Mamoun’s, Whey Station, Brick House: Here at Wesleyan, we take our drunk eating very seriously. The aforementioned terms are your various choices around campus. Though it’s important to note that people may often refer to Mamoun’s (one parked on Pine and Church, another parked on High and Church) simply as “Falafel” or “The Falafel Cart,” e.g. “I’ll meet you at Falafel after I’m done with this girl.” The Whey Station is one of the newer additions to Wesleyan Food Cart Culture, and as our sidebar poll will indicate, it’s delicious.

P-SafeShort for Public Safety. They’re the guys and gals in the spiffy grey uniforms and black pants. You’ll learn very quickly which ones are nice and which ones aren’t so nice. Don’t believe the rumors. They can and they will chase after you, provided they are physically capable of doing so, which can be a big variable. My sophomore year, I also learned that in extreme situations, they are also entitled to pull your vehicle over with their flashing lights. Don’t let that happen to you, folks.

A-BattePerhaps the most ridiculous person to reside on campus over the last three years, and that’s saying something at this school. Known for his outlandish and often offensive, albeit hilarious, repartee, he can be spotted behind the circulation desk at SciLi or chuckling to himself around campus. I luckily had the privilege of meeting him within my first few days. For those of you who aren’t as fortunate, just keep an eye out for his blog posts here or his inadvertent WSA campaigns.

WesCelebI guess the natural segue after a definition of Anwar Batte ’13 would be this term. A WesCeleb is someone whom almost everyone knows, if only by name. The term also commands its own section of The Argus, though I’m not sure how much faith I have in them since they waited until mid-April to recognize Max Bevilacqua ’12.

With that, I’m sure that you’re sick of reading this post as much as I’m sick of writing it. I’m sorry if you don’t think that this post lives up to my last one. But if I’ve bored you to tears, I will try to cheer you up in our last few moments together with a completely irrelevant, though strikingly adorable, photo of my Corgi pups. The little man on the left is working on his wink for when he comes to visit in October. Look out.


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9 thoughts on “Wesleying Unofficial Orientation Series: Wes Lingo

  1. shmish shmosh

    Motherfucker Bennet banned chalking (the practice of making announcements/statements/art on the sidewalk with chalk). When Roth was a candidate to be Prez he promised to reinstate chalking. But….. he didn’t. Lame.

  2. shmish shmosh

    Bennet Hall is named after DOUG Bennet, who was the President before Roth, and father of Senator Michael. He was pretty sucky (at least by the end), and so it’s no wonder they forgot to give him a present when he retired.

  3. boastful

    im struggling to hide the insult i feel for not being outright named as one of your two helpful housemates (Danielle Craig ’13, ladies and gentlemen). however beyond that i am bursting with pride.

  4. formerfrosh

    “As a freshman, you and your friends will likely end your weekend nights carousing this area to find a party that you may or may not be welcome to attend.”

    this hits home.

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