Wesleyingiversary: Samira Says ‘Sup

Wesleying is “A student life blog run by a bunch of people in their underwear who have nothing better to do.”

samira

Samira liked her post about the concert on the WestCo skybridge. I wish there were more concerts on the WestCo skybridge.

This is part of our series of Wesleyingiversary interviews. You can find the rest here.

You know those alums that tell you cool stories about posts about videos of animals eating other animals outside of your Freshman dorm? Fuck, why did I start this post with a question.

Samira and I talked on Facebook Messenger for Wesleying’s 10 year anniversary. She wrote over 500 posts on the blog, including letting all of campus know that the one-and-only Tallahassee Pain would be performing at Wes for Senior Week 2k15. We talked about the state of media, changes in campus discourse, and jade plants in neon green pots.

So it’s Wesleying’s 10 year anniversary soon. I feel like that’s a big deal maybe?

Samira: Probably. I just realized that suggesting we do this interview over FB message is one of the more Wesleying douchebaggy things to suggest. We could have done phone or skype. Oh well.

wilk: Tru I feel that. It’s like that gchat interview that Zach and A-Batte did with Holly and Xue for the 5 year

Samira: Yeah, that was probably on my mind. On a more serious note, it is cool that Wesleying has lasted this long

wilk: Lol. Yeah I mean 10 years is a long time in the blogosphere.

Samira: *almost too long*

wilk: And in the Wesleyan student group multiverse

Samira: Definitely

So what is wesleying?

Samira: “A student life blog run by a bunch of people in their underwear who have nothing better to do”
I feel that this motto and not taking the website too seriously this whole time has made it come pretty far.

So how would you describe your role and time at wesleying?

Samira: I was the “managing editor” for my last two years [Fall 2013-Spring 2015]. Which is kind of just a term that means making sure the site was running. And my first two years I was writing and stuff.

Do you have a favorite article that you wrote?

Samira: Uuum…Probably one of my first ones. Which was a fake PSafe announcement about a crow..or vulture eating a squirrel outside of WestCo. And then I like the Unofficial Orientation Series dorm living FAQ that I did my freshman or sophomore year. Which is still used. Pics and all.

In general, I enjoyed writing the more absurdist stuff. But, the tone of the blog is changing constantly based on who is a part of it from year-to-year and events that happen on campus. Wesleyan always has a lot of activism going on, but I noticed a palpable change my junior year, when activism was more “mainstream” around the country.

Wesleying not only covered certain things like sexual assaults/frats/black lives matter and other movements more and in more in-depth ways, but more people were just expecting that kind of content. And talking about it more on their own blogs/social media outlets.

Do you feel like there is a specific event or article that demonstrates that tone shift?

Samira: You could kind of see the internet trending towards that stuff. Hmm. So, I think some of the FAQs about the status of frats. Maybe the end of my sophomore year or very beginning of junior year (2013) probably started that trend. The frats and sexual assault stuff on campus was becoming a bigger deal at that time and we were rightfully covering it.

But it definitely consumed a lot of our content for various reasons (greater staff interest in the *issues* and greater campus interest in them as well). Then Black Lives Matter was really gaining traction around the same time.

I think both movements really came to a head the beginning of my junior year. And you felt it on campus too. Those were the beginnings of some real polarization that gradually got worse until I graduated and I’m sure has continued to some extent.

wilk: Yeah and your senior year was the march on Washington (street) right?

Samira: Yep. That was awesome. That felt like a real unifying event though and was great

So is wesleying “real journalism”

Samira: lol. What is real journalism nowadays? I’m asking rhetorically. I don’t think that journalistic standards exist as they were five years ago.

wilk: Peep: this election

Samira: Like, in high school I was pretty certain that I loved journalism and all of that. Iwas head of the paper
and even from then to my freshman year of college, the journalism landscape was drastically changing. Everyone can have a platform which is awesome and terrifying.

I guess the platform isn’t the issue for me. It’s more just the fact that we will consume anything and everything
because it’s at our fingertips. That there aren’t any societal standards of what is more worthy of absorbing into our brains. I think a lot of journalists/media people whatever create content because they know that
and I don’t think journalism really exists as a traditional medium with strict boundaries anymore…it’s more apt to call it media.

So, I guess to answer your question of whether Wesleying is real journalism or not, I think it can be if we’re talking about the most traditional sense of journalism, which is carefully investigated pieces with sources to back it up. But I don’t think think Wesleying as a platform will ever be traditional journalism.

I mean it’s a blog.

wilk: True

Anything you wanna say to current college beings?

Samira: uh
“take care of yourself and your happiness”
“dont spend too much time on the internet”

wilk: “Your liberal arts degree teaches you critical thinking and you can put that on a resume”

Samira: Yeah. it’s true. Unless you major in a hard science/math/something applied then you have additional skills. But it’ll all be fine!

So what are you up to these days?

Samira: Like, what is my job? Where am i? How i enjoy spending my time?

wilk: Yeah sure anything. All of that?

Samira: I’m in DC and I just bought a jade plant in a neon green pot. That was the highlight of my day.
in terms of my job: I work in policy research evaluating international development projects; mostly in climate change, urban development, and health.

Um, in terms of how I like to spend my time more generally, idk. I can give more answers. Haha

wilk: Word that sounds awesome tho. Ok last q. I’ve been grappling with this one meself for the past two years.

What is Wesleyan?

Samira: I feel like that is the answer to the Jeopardy question “this is why”

wilk: 10 points to gryffindor!

Samira: Ha. I’ll just stick with that.

Oh wait I forgot a q: do you wanna shout out or say anything to other writers/editors?

Samira: I was going to say something like: anything I have to say to them I can tweet @them over twitter, but I don’t have a twitter. #noregrets

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