Massive Legal Daytime Chalk-In

Earlier today, Evan Bieder ’15 and A-Batte, the two students documented by Public Safety in last Saturday’s confrontation with President Roth over “legal chalking,” received confirmation that their actions were totally kosher and not in violation of the Code of Non-Academic Conduct. In celebration, Daniel Plafker ’15, the student who filmed (part of) the incident, invites you to chalk about the passion up and down Church Street sidewalks, with no fear of disciplinary action. Facebook event here, more info below:

Wesleyan rejoice! This Friday, a massive legal daytime chalk-in will take place on the Church Street sidewalks outside Pi Cafe at 12:30 pm. Join your community for a carnival of free-expression, resistance, and art. Demonstrate that administrative intimidation won’t silence student voices being exercised in a civil, legal manner, on public streets where chalking is not banned. Wanna protest the lack of administrative transparency, give a shout-out to that cutie in your Anthro class, oppose class discrimination in our admissions process, do a lame Banksy imitation, raise questions about our rapidly crumbling relationship with this city, get high and draw flowers? Let’s do it together! Let’s make Church Street beautiful!

This is not about any single cause or issue. This is about reclaiming the right to shape our public space democratically as a community.

Chalk will be provided. Bring it if you got it.

I thought chalking was banned? How is this legal?

Wesleyan policy states only “chalking is prohibited on University property.” Church Street and its sidewalks are public streets. Middletown allows chalking on its sidewalks. This has been confirmed with the city government.

What about those kids from Parents’ Weekend? Weren’t they written up?

Anwar and Evan were both documented by P-Safe but because their actions were not in violation of the code, no SJB charges were filed. The Dean’s office has confirmed that chalking on public city streets does not violate the code.

But isn’t chalking vandalism?

Chalking is innocuous and temporary. It either gets worn away in a matter of days by footsteps or washed away as soon as it rains.

So how do I preserve my masterpiece?

Never fear! Got Instagram? Simply snap your handiwork and tag it with the hashtag ‘#chalkwes’, and it will be preserved for posterity.

Date: Friday, October 26
Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Place: Church Street sidewalks, near Pi
Cost: Free
Facebook: Yep.

For a very brief rundown on the history of chalking at Wes, click here. Too bad those kids in ’02 didn’t have Instagram.

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  • Alum
  • ’13

    Who wants to help me chalk the Last Supper?

  • An alum and a townie (what?!)

    Dear Students, Truly delighted to hear you will chalk again. But please don’t swear in your artwork, because that could conceivably get you in dutch with city authorities, and I would just hate to see that happen. After all, preschoolers walk on those sidewalks every day, and some of them can read. Long live civil discourse.

  • Student-Nabbing Roth

    “The Dean’s office has confirmed that chalking on public city streets does not violate the code.” Are you sure the sidewalk isn’t Wesleyan property? Wyllys sidewalk is…

    • I Checked

      Wyllys sidewalks are actually city property (although they’re maintained by the school).

  • Crackle

    Chalking just to piss people off isn’t cool. There are ways to protest that could actually achieve your goals…chalking isn’t it. Why not meet with the administration or try to contact parents or alumni more effectively if this is about raising need-blind funds. I get it, everyone at Wesleyan is liberal, so let’s annoy the administration, right? That’s what liberals do.

    • “The point of chalking is neither to reinstate need-blind nor to ‘annoy the administration.’ The point of chalking is to chalk.” —Oscar Wilde

      • Snapple

        pretty sure the people organizing this are trying to do both. but as Crackle said, it’s not gonna do much of anything

        • “Pretty sure the people organizing this are trying to chalk.” —Victor Lloyd Butterfield

        • danny bonnadutski

          Yeah I know, rite?! All this bs about reclaiming public space. All these kids take too many humanities classes and get their brains stupid! Don’t they know that any activism is pointless and simplistic and just done by selfish rich kids who want to feel cool about themselves? Like can you really believe all these excuses these kids make to try to act like there’s an intelligent, nuanced stance behind their actions, and that these are issues they actually spend a huge amount of time thinking about, which makes a lot of sense given how invested they are in them, and that making judgments about these hippy protesters just reveals an unwillingness to engage in an intelligent conversation and just makes you look kind of goofy? LAWL

          • hipster (ish)

            Pretty sure chalking is about as un-intelligent as you can get. Except cave drawings.

    • Reclaiming space

      The idea behind chalking is not “just to piss people off”. The idea is coming together to collectively shape what we want our civic space to look like. It’s an assertion that we are more than customers at the university and that we can beautify our campus according to our own aesthetics and values rather than relying on physical plant to mow the lawns and leave it at that. It’s saying that our living space can be more than just a 3D postcard for tour groups and admissions pamphlets but a living social ecosystem that we share and interact with. It’s about reclaiming public space.