Unofficial Orientation Series 2016: WesLingo

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This is part of our 2016 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

This post is an updated repost of a repost of a repost of a repost of a repost of a post for anyone who’s worried about sounding like a totally unassimilated dweeb walking around campus – which is inevitable, but this post is tradition by now. So frosh, listen up. Conformity is key. Which is probably the last thing you’d expect to hear at Wes.

At this point, you’ve probably spent your summer knowing the names of buildings as they are on the campus map (which is conveniently linked here for those of you who are procrastinating even that). Let me just tell you now: almost all of them have earned some nickname or other over the course of Wesleyan’s long lifetime. We’re here to help you relearn their de facto names, so you aren’t marching around looking like the uninformed frosh you are. Once again though, it’s inevitable; even if you’re “on your phone” we know you are looking at the school map as you head towards one direction and do a completely noticeable 180 degree turn towards your building of choice.

Click after the jump to fake it ’til you make it.
Residential Life

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 weird windy hallways are rumored to have been designed to “prevent rioting.” Apparently, these buildings were designed by an architect who built jails – so if you feel trapped, its because you’re meant to. If you live here and your friends don’t, they’ll always be complaining about how far away you live. Wherever they’re coming from is probably a ten minute walk, max. 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. It has air conditioning, which people are jealous of for about three weeks on either end of the school year. They’ve got an elevator which is good for move ins-and-outs, if you care. Also, last year the TV was stolen from the lounge in the basement, but they replaced it, so its a pretty sweet space for in-dorm movie night. Enjoy Clark, because this is the only year you can ever choose to.

Church/200 Church. What used to be a frat house is now freshmen housing, specifically under the social justice theme. It’s not one of the religious houses on campus. Residents are almost always pretty cult-y. They host one event every three months, but its usually worth it if you can break into the prayer circle. (Haha, prayer? Because “Church”? I’ll see myself out.)

Bennet (Freshman Fauver (Bennet Hall)). This primarily freshman housing is one of the closest dorms to the gym. Upperclassmen who are set in their ways might tell you it’s called Fauver because it recently got renamed and they can’t get over themselves. Bennet used to be called Freshman Fauver because there is also Senior Fauver (the Fauver Apartments) right next door. Also air-conditioned. This dorm holds the unofficial award for “Dorm Most Likely to be Toured by Pre-Frosh of 2021”.

WestCo (West College, Foss Hill Dorms 1-4). According to A-Batte in the original WesLingo guide, “WestCo is a very special place for very special people.” As someone who never lived in WestCo, I can’t really speak about what goes on here. A lot goes on here. WestCo residents refer to their general living location by saying “Up”/”Down” (in reference to upstairs or downstairs) followed by a number (in reference to one of the four buildings). They hold pretty cool open mics and 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 groups 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.

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. You are freshman, yet you will already begin planning your group for Senior year to live in a Woodframe. (And then second semester comes and you re-plan your group, and then sophmore year comes and you re-re-plan your group…)

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. They get to live in groups of five and don’t have to do house maintenance during the winter.

Writer’s Block/Block (156 High). This is a relatively new community based living option for—you guessed it—writers. Mostly freshmen and sophomores. Almost always smells like fried chicken or brunch, thanks to Swings which is housed on the first floor. A mini-lounge for all three floors is also part of the deal. You don’t get an elevator, so if you are moving into the second or third floors… I hope your stair-climbing skills are impeccable.

Pictured above: The class of 2020 after reading this article.

Pictured above: The class of 2020 after reading this article.

*Program Houses & Greek Houses
MidHo (Formerly Known as BuHo): Middle House, on Washington St (Wash) across from Indian Hill Cemetery. It used to be Buddhist House but changed its name last year.
RuHo: Russian House, on High Street near WesWings.
WoCoHo: Woman of Color house, on Pine Street next to where the seniors do their laundry.
Triple A/AAA: Asian/Asian American House
Music House/MuHo/ (Formerly Known as Eclectic): This building, when under Eclectic’s name, was a strange microcosm that hosted concerts and other events almost every weekend. Now that it’s switched ownership, no one is really sure what will happen – but we have high hopes for Music House. On High Street next to Public Safety.
Alpha Delt: The Alpha Delta Phi house, where 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. Currently empty.
Psi U: The Psi Upsilon house on High Street next to Judd. Freshly empty.
Beta (that is no longer but I’ll explain): Former Greek life house that got put up for sale. Who is going to buy it? No one knows. We still all call it Beta.

*Living Conditions
Single/Double/Triple: In reference to the number of people who are sharing a room. 1-2-3. You might be in a Double turned Triple this year – so expect to be real tight-knit with your roomies.
Dingle: A room that’s supposed to be a double where one of the people moved out. A single that’s supposed to be a double.
Two room double: Two connected “singles” that share one exit.

Academic Buildings

Sci-Li (Science Library). A study space that houses science-related books, squishy chairs, and students who will not glare at you for talking in the library. People here are usually procrastinating. Second floor is a bit more typical library-ish. Whispers recommended.

Olin. A study space that houses The Stacks (of bookshelves with books), 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, or logging onto Facebook real quick for just, like, five minutes. You will not be judged, but will be looked at strangely if you work on the floor. Unless its finals because then every seat is taken anyway. Ask an upperclassman about the Incident on Floor 2A, for shits and giggles.

PAC, “Pronounced 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. Connected to the basement of the library, so you can go print something and come back to turn it in without bracing the outside world.

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. It’s almost always silent in here. Also, it was recently refurnished with nicer chairs and encouragingly collaborative large tables.

Booger Hall/Boger Hall/Formerly 41 Wyllys: Some rich dude in pharmaceuticals donated enough money that we needed a building named after him or something. Nobody likes it – 50% of the population because his last name is lame/50% because… well, just read it here. Thanks for the money though.

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

*Academics
COL/CSS/CEAS. College of Letters, College of Social Studies, and College of East Asian Studies, respectively. These are the three year majors. CSS majors typically drop off the social grid their sophomore year.
COE. College of the Environment
FGSS. Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
AfAm/AfAm Studies. African American Studies
CIS. College of Integrative Sciences

 

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 (they renamed it East and West Wing but no one bothered to learn which is which so quiet/loud side it is). 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. Charging stations can be found both upstairs or downstairs. Sneak something a little stronger into your plastic dinner cup and voila, you have the “Boozdan” tradition. Meals or points accepted. You can also find Daniel Family Commons (for fancier dinner events or free lunch with your professor) on the third floor.

Summies (Summerfields). Located in the Butts connected to Butt C, 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. You can text in your order and get it to go if you are in a time crunch. They recently started doing daily specials, but who knows how long that’ll last  it lasted one whole year! Most importantly you can swipe an extra banana for tomorrow’s breakfast. Meals or points accepted. Summies is good at the first bite and greasy around the fifth, and then it just vacillates wildly. Person(s) behind the cash register are really nice – so say thank you sincerely and they will probably remember your fave order.

WesWings, Swings, Swangs (WesWings). Around the back of The Building Formerly Known as 156 High (Writer’s Block) you will find the shining beacon that is Tupperware filled with cookie dough. WesWings is another made-to-order restaurant on campus whose menu boasts a lot of fried things, but also deli sandwiches, a killer list of daily specials, and individual desserts for purchase. Killer weekend brunch for your hangovers. Points only. Follow them on Twitter and Snapchat because they are fun(nier than us).

Red & Black (Red & Black Cafe). Housed in Broad Street & home of the best turkey paninos ever. Red & Black also exhibits an adorably questionable taste in music. Points only.

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. Free meal – don’t waste this opportunity. 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 (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 Falafel Truck (Mamoun’s). Usually referred to simply as “Falafel,” this food truck sits on the corner of Pine and Cross on weekend nights catering to the debauched humanity of Senior Village until 3am. Sometimes they come out every day during a finals week. When its 3AM on a Tuesday night and you just submitted a 20pg essay due two days ago, Falafel tastes like success.

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.

Espwesso. Not really a drunk eating option so much as a late night place. Wesleyan’s student-run coffee shop. Usually open as soon as the daytime coffee places (Pi, Usdan) close. Espwesso is going to start having weekday hours this year which is exciting!!!

Main/Main Street/Middletown. Where people go when they actually leave Wesleyan’s campus. Boasts restaurants with a surprising range of different cuisines to try, a Rite Aid, and Metro.

Metro. Could be referring to either booze or the movies. They’re in the same plaza.

 

Miscellaneous Must-Knows

Foss. 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. First snow is also super fun for sledding and stuff. 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 occasionally useful if you happen to look desperately cold yet sober near a posted Ride sign 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.

Vines on Church (formerly known as The Nest). The Nest, a good place to eat food and get drunk, closed about a year ago and reopened this spring as Vines on Church. It boasts a loyal clientele of juniors, seniors and others for Wednesday’s bar night. Get the weekend started nice and early.

Broad Street (Broad Street Books). Where people go to buy their textbooks and eat R&B. Also where you can find Argus headquarters. Also the radio station’s headquarters.

Senior Week. After spring finals, before commencement.

R&C. Reunion & Commencement, occurs during Senior Week.

UOC. University Organizing Center, where shit gets done. Found on High Street between Beta and Eclectic.

 

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.

 

Humans

Prefrosh. Doesn’t know what “prefrosh” means until they aren’t one anymore.
Frosh. Freshmen or first years. The reason for this post.
RA/HM. Resident Advisor or House Manager, which is the RA equivalent of Program Houses
AC. Area Coordinator, in charge of RAs
PSafe. Also known as Public Safety. Mostly nice; will wreck your party if they think it’s too crunk to be legal.
Fire Safety. Not to be confused with PSafe. Comes by to check your room once per semester. Hide your paraphernalia from them.
Ed. The WesWings guy. Also a Class of 1989 Wes alum, so probably the inspiration for TSwift’s album.
Tom/Pasta Guy. One of the many pasta chefs in Usdan, but for all intents and purposes, The Pasta Guy. Known for his signature line: “Go ahead.”
Roth. Or Michael Roth. Or MRoth. Not THE_REAL_MROTH. Full-time university president, part-time victim of amateur Photoshop images.

Roth is not Sorry to be your Dean, and I'm not Sorry for making another Roth edit. The cycle goes on.

Roth is not Sorry to be your Dean, and I’m not Sorry for making another Roth edit. The cycle goes on.

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. And if you can’t, for the life of you, figure out what the lingo is for something, just add the prefix Wes- to whatever you say. If nothing else, maybe you can make new lingo for us at Wesleying to document next year.

  • aluo

    this is making me emotional

    i’m already missing wesleyan as a junior :((((((((((((((((((