The Unofficial Orientation Series: WesLingo

Lost and Confused Signpost

Hey! You! Over there, with the brand new Wesleyan University 2018 shirt on… You don’t have to sound like a freshman just because you are one…

Bad news: you’re gonna have to relearn the names of the buildings you spent the summer memorizing off the campus map.

Good news: Wesleying is here to help. We present to you: a comprehensive guide to faking it.

Almost every building on campus has acquired some kind of nickname over the past 100-and-something years that Wesleyan students have spent on the hallowed grounds of Middletown, CT. There are the chop-and-shorten nicknames, the Wes-suffix-words, a few almost-funny-jokes, and one very famous ass-pun… We’ve outlined (almost) all of them to help alleviate the gripping terror and confusion of your first few weeks at college.

Residence Halls

The Butts (Butterfields). The three Butterfield Residence Halls enclose a very special grassy knoll affectionately called The Butthole. Concerts and events are occasionally held in this space, but usually on warm sunny days you’re likely to find students hanging out there. The Butts were designed to mimic Yale’s residential colleges at a time when Wesleyan was even more overtly sad about not being an Ivy League, but of course we ran out of money during the project. Another bright Wes idea underfunded to its death. Freshmen and sophomores live here.

Clark. It’s just Clark. This all-freshman dorm is right next to Olin.

200 Church. What used to be a frat house is now freshmen housing.

Freshman Fauver (Bennett Hall). If you call it Bennett, everyone will know you’re a freshman. It’s called Freshman Fauver because there is also Senior Fauver (the Fauver Apartments) right next door.

WestCo (West College, Foss Hill Dorms 1-4). Because I cannot put it more beautifully than A-Batte did in the original WesLingo guide, “WestCo is a very special place for very special people.” As someone who never lived in WestCo I cannot shed much light on its mysteries, but I have learned that terms like “Up 3” and “Down 1” refer to the upstairs or downstairs floors of the buildings… and that you can find semi-naked people playing music at almost any hour on almost any day. Freshmen and sophomores live here.

The Nics (The Nicolsons, Foss Hill Dorms 5-7). The Nics are a lovely little place where sophomores and freshmen live together peacefully. The Nics Lounge is often used by comedy groups, music groups, and other miscellaneous student to host events and meetings.

Hewitt (Foss Hill Dorms 8-10). The Hewitt Dorms house sophomores and bitter juniors. Personally I believe that their best quality is their proximity to Usdan, or how short of a distance one must walk in the rain/arctic vortex New England winter in order to reach food.

The Rises/Junior Village (Hi Rise and Lo Rise). These prison-looking structures house the lucky juniors that didn’t get screwed by GRS (General Room Selection, aka Hell). It seems as though there is a perpetual 21st birthday party going on as the hundreds of juniors who live there celebrate their entrance into legality. The sounds of screaming children echo through the grounds of Junior Village in the more temperate months, as the Traverse Housing Project is directly adjacent to the A and E blocks of Lo Rise.

Senior Village/Woodframes (Lawn, Home, Brainerd, Pine, Fountain, Vine, Cross, Warren). Woodframes: The Holy Grail of Housing. Groups of 2-6 seniors live in the red-doored woodframe houses that line the streets of Senior Village. For everything you need to know, please refer to this timeless work of art.

Senior Fauver (Fauver Apartments). For many seniors, woodframe dreams are crushed by the cruel fist of GRS. Senior Fauver however, boasts air conditioning, a bike room, and in-house laundry facilities, making it a pretty sweet deal all things considered.

*Program Houses & Greek Houses
BuHo: Buddhist House, on Washington St (Wash) across from Indian Hill Cemetery.
RuHo: Russian House, on High Street near WesWings.
Eclectic: This strange little Wes microchosm hosts concerts and other events almost every weekend. On High Street next to Public Safety.
Alpha Delt: The Alpha Delta Phi house, where the S&C is located, across from Eclectic on the corner of Church and High.
DKE (“Deek”): The Delta Kappa Epsilon house is on High Street across from Wyllys.

Academic Buildings

Sci-Li (Science Library). A study space that houses science-related books, squishy chairs, and students who will not glare at your for talking in the library.

Olin. A study space that houses The Stacks, hundreds of Thesis Carrels for seniors working themselves to death, and students who will absolutely judge you for talking, or coughing too hard, or dropping heavy things in the library.

PAC, “Pack” (Public Affairs Center). The government department is housed here, but the numerous classrooms host seminars and lectures from many different departments. Evening guest lecturers often speak in the basement rooms of PAC.

The Fishbowl (24 Hr Lounge). Do you want to be the kid studying in plain sight on a Saturday morning at 2am? Well you can be. You can also awkwardly make eye contact with the kid you touched mouths with last weekend through the huge glass windows and doors. Now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your studying pleasure. The Fishbowl is sandwiched between SciLi and Exley.

Allbritton, Judd, Exley, Shanklin, Downey House, Fayerweather, 41 Wyllys, College Row, North and South Colleges. As they are.

Dining Options

Usdan, Oozdan, Boozdan, Uzie (Usdan Center). The buffet is upstairs, where the jocks sit to the right and the hipsters sit to the left, or call them the loud side/quiet side, respectively… A small café downstairs offers snacks, to-go options, and coffee/tea/other drinks. Tables and couches in lower Usdan are perfect meeting places or study spots if you don’t mind the noise. Sneak something a little stronger into your puse plastic dinner cup and voila, you have the “Boozdan” tradition. Meals or points accepted.

Summies (Summerfields). Located in the Butts, Summies offers relatively edible food that is made-to-order. The menu isn’t very extensive, but includes different salads, burgers, chicken concoctions, tacos and burritos, and more. Most importantly you can swipe an extra banana for tomorrow’s breakfast. Meals or points accepted.

WesWings, Swings, Swangs (WesWings). Around the back of The Building Formerly Known as 156 High you will find the shining beacon that is Tupperware filled with cookie dough. WesWings is another made-to-order restaurant on campus those menu boasts a lot of fried things, but also deli sandwiches, a killer list of daily specials, and individual desserts for purchase. Points only.

The S&C (Star & Crescent Eating Club). Alpha Delta Phi is the majestic brick palace with white trim right next to 200 Church, and it houses Wesleyan’s most delicious but most expensive dining facility. They aren’t open every day, but catch them when you can because it’s totally worth it. The S&C menu is posted weekly on Wesleying, and every dish will literally bathe your tongue in fairy dust. First 3 freshmen in line when doors open get a free meal. Points only.

Pi (Pi Cafe). Just “Pi.” Meet for coffee, grab breakfast in the morning, do some work between classes… It’s a social atmosphere with a menu full of coffee and tea specials, with pastries in a big glass case and to-go items in a lil refrigerator thing. Located in Exley across from the Fishbowl. Points only.

WesShop, Wesshop, Weshop? (WesSsshop). Dear WesShop, <3 <3 <3.
Here you will find one of almost everything for sale. And this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill supermarket… Kale, quinoa, grass-fed-vegetarian-organic-tofu-burgers, a wall of candy, olive oil, mixers (also called “soft drinks”) and whatever else caters to your Liberal Arts Diet. Open late for library snacks on weekdays, inconveniently closed when you need them most on weekend evenings/nights, but still our beloved WesShop. Points only.

*Trucks/Non-Wes/Drunk Eating Options
Grilled Cheese (Whey Station). All hail. Parked on William St from 11pm-3am from Wednesday-Saturday, the Whey Station is an artisan grilled cheese food truck that turns into a feeding ground for hungry, drunk Wes kids. And sober Wes kids. And anyone who knows what true happiness is. Real money only.

The Felafel Truck (Mamoun’s). Usually referred to simply as “Felafel,” this food truck sits on the corner of Pine and Cross on weekend nights catering to the debauched humanity of Senior Village until 3am.

Neon. On the corner of Cross and Vine, the Neon Deli is an institution. Any sandwich you want, they can make. Along with paninis and other melts, breakfast orders, and cold deli salads. Snacks and coffee and ice cream and rolls of toilet paper, if you’re ever in a pinch. Real money only.

Athenian Diner. If I had a religion the Athenian Diner might be part of it. It’s a car ride away from campus, but it’s open 24 hours if you have a very kindhearted sober friend willing to drive you at 2am on a Saturday. Or treat yourself a 5am on a Tuesday after you pulled an all-nighter writing a paper and still need to study for a 9am quiz.

Miscellaneous Must-Knows

Foss, or “The Hill.” You can’t miss it… Foss is the center of the Wesleyan universe from August-September and April-May. On late-summer and spring afternoons you will see hundreds of students laying on blankets, listening to music, and throwing frisbees on Foss Hill. Look out for the occasional group of excited streakers, especially when orientation is winding down and the upperclassmen have arrived on campus.

The Ride. Campus shuttles that can be hailed as they drive around campus or requested by phone every day from 7pm-3am.

Moodle. Online platform where professors can post class readings, start discussion topics, and post quiz/test scores, among other things.

The Nest. The Cardinal’s Nest boasts a loyal clinentele of juniors, seniors and others for Wednesday’s bar night. Get the weekend started nice and early.

Indian Hill. The main gate is on the corner of Vine and Wash, but the cemetery stretches out over many acres towards Cross St. Kids go here to hang out, picnic, watch sunset, do creepy cemetery shit, and more.

Millers. Millers’ State Pond is several miles off-campus and is the unofficial Wes watering hole. It’s beautiful and serene and a perfect get-away to hang out with friends when you want to escape the Wes bubble for a little bit or just swim and chill.

Wadsworth. Also several miles off-campus but closer than Millers, Wadsworth State Park has a great waterfall with a shallow area that you can wade into when it’s warm. The rest of the park has a few mild but scenic hiking trails.

In Conclusion

Don’t worry, you’ll catch on. In a few short weeks you’ll know where things are and what these words really mean… you’ll be taking the Ride to junior village and getting Whey like a pro, heading to Millers’ in your roommates car with six people you don’t know, and Boozdaning on Thursday like it ain’t no thang.


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