When you first look at a campus map on a tour, everything makes sense. There is Andrus Field, Foss Hill, Freeman Athletic Center, Memorial Chapel. You gently slide your pointer finger along the Wesleyan Campus Map and neatly digest all of the fun-filled spots you’re about to call home.
However, it becomes overwhelming how quickly things get shortened at Wesleyan. What your hefty, fanny-pack wearing father once pointed out as Foss Hill is shortened to Foss, or just The Hill. The Alpha Delta Phi Literary Society has now become Alpha Delt. “Where I got regrettably drunk,” has now become Fountain.
Also, on your second day at campus you notice the abundant usage of “Wes.” Your friends walk out of Usdan, approach you, the new face around town and say, “Yo friend, WesChill somehwere.” You respond, “Weswings or Espwesso?”
The Wesleyan Slang is a bit much at times. Here’s our guide to it.
Most Frequented Spots
Usdan University Center: (Yooz- dan)
AKA Usdanistan, sometimes mispronounced “Ooze-Dan,” covertly called BoozeDan… You will be eating meals here and petitioning the WSA for more money to fund your freestyle rapping abstract art collecting collective here. On the second floor, you will come to Usdan Marketplace. The right side (technically Mink Dining Hall is
designated as The Quiet Side, or The Hipster Side. To your left is The Loud Side, or The Jock Side, or Club Usdan. The right side does not play music. The left side plays music and sports.
Freeman Athletic Center
Known as Freeman. Lift weights. Play sports. Sauna. Not to be confused with the Freeman Center for East Asian Studies, which is located on the opposite end of campus.
You read books here and occasionally watch as
students Michael Roth disrobes for the springtime Undies in Olin festival. It’s the library. The bookshelves in the central part of Olin are The Stacks. Watch out for strangers banging between the bookshelves.
Exley Science Center is the giant brown building across from Olin, home to Wesleyan’s highest point atop the roof of Sci-Tow (the Science Tower). As you might imagine, most of the sciences are hosted here, as well as Pi Cafe, or Pi, and…
Formally known as the Science Library, Sci-Li can often be pretty fuckin’ loud. You might enjoy this Field Recording of SciLi for a sense of the noise. A decent place to work on a group project, meet with your TA, but not always a great place to study. The second floor and basement are usually quieter, though. Immediately adjacent to Sci-Li is the Fishbowl (get it?), which is now a 24-hour study space.
Some more academic related things per the esteemed-but-graduated A-Batte:
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 Sci-Li and Pi Café on the first floor (though Sci-Li 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.
Where people live
This dorm houses freshmen and sophomores, is loosely student-run community-based living and often the most lawless of all the fresh/soph dorms. There are weekly meetings called Guidance that happen at the quirky old hour of 10:07PM every Monday. And there is a bad-ass graffiti covered music venue in the basement called the Westco Cafe (it used to be an old dining hall). Also, the halls in WestCo are named in two parts. Upper floor WestCo 3 is called “Up Three,” Bottom floor in Westco 1 is called “Down One.” And such. There’s also Weshop, which is essentially the mini-grocery store where you can use up your points on candy.
It’s small and intimate. They often host coffee-shop poetry reading type events. Very friendly, warm and open atmosphere.
Butterfields (The Butts)
Freshman/sophomore mega-dorm complex that was designed to be riot proof in the ’70s. (Seriously, look at the blueprints and try to imagine people congregating indoors). The Butts has a central courtyard called The Butthole.
The crosswalk approaching the Butthole is called The Sphincter. The first floors of all three (A, B, and C) were recently renovated. Nice kitchens and laundry and such. The Butts also host Summerfields, or Summies, which is prominent dining option on campus because it’s one of the few places you can use up Meals. Bennet Fauver Hall
Also known as Freshman Fauver. Don’t ever call it Bennet. There’s also Senior Fauver right next door.
Smack in the middle of campus. All-freshman dorm. Not much more to say, here.
Junior Village, or The Rises
It is down the hill from main campus on William St. (Same direction you head to go to Broad Street Books). It consists of a bunch of low-rise apartments called Low Rise as well as some high rise apartments called High Rise.
It is the crisscross of streets next to Exley Science Center and before Freeman. Pine, Fountain, Warren, Vine, Brainerd, Home, Lawn, Knowles, etc. Many parties are thrown here. Many a walk home forgotten.
DKE (pronounced Deek), Beta, and Psi Upsilon (Psi U) are all on High St. They all have slightly different characters. Ask around if you’re interested. Good places to find parties and concerts.
Technically a “society.” Many artsy types and musicians call Eclectic’s grand High Street residence home. On any given weekend, there should be a great show to check out at Eclectic.
They’re everywhere. They range from Science Hall to La Casa to Outhouse. Tons of people live in them sophomore and sometimes junior year. They host cool events which you should attend.
Michael Roth is the President of Wesleyan. With policies like rescinding Wesleyan’s former Need-Blind admissions, he has become somewhat of a controversial figure. Either way, he has a sweet crib on the corner of Wyllys Ave and High Street. He can be found walking his dog around campus or managing the school from his iPhone.
There is a system of tunnels under most dorms that you can usually sneak into. In there, people make loves and smoke streebo, among other things. There’s a shitload of graffiti as well as graffiti. If you walk very far down these isolated tunnels, you might also find graffiti.
It’s a bar on Church Street. It is very popular on Bar Night AKA Wednesdays. You can use your Middletown Cash to pay for your shwaste.
Home to one of Wesleyan’s several secret societies, in this case Skull and Serpent. A location on campus where they film lots of music videos. Like this one. Also, they have bloodletting there on Tuesdays after Bingo for senior citizens.
Often includes Thursdays. Sometimes, other days will be thrown in, (eg., Wednesday’s Bar Night).
A big’ol graveyard down on Washington St. (see: Wash). It’s a very under-rated place to hang. Lush grass. A fucking massive hill with crucial views of scenic Middletown and beyond. There is another secret society, the Order of the Skull and Swerve that is rumored to meet there occasionally. Bring a 40.
More campus life shtuff courtesy of also esteemed-but-graduated Melodious:
The Tech: I’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.
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.
WesCeleb:A WesCeleb is someone whom almost everyone knows, if only by name. The term also commands its own section of The Argus.
‘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!)
All in all
Wesleyan slang is a matter of knowing where things are and what they mean. Be aware of the fanatical imposition of “Wes” that somehow finds its way into every word. Other than that, see you at Boozedan.