Unofficial Orientation Series 2017: WesLingo

This is part of our 2017 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. You’re about to be introduced to the most crucial part of the Wesleyan experience: WesLingo.

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. And let’s be honest, if you are reading this, chances are that you’re procrastinating choosing your classes, or at the very least, doing your common reading). 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. Pro tip: If you procrastinate learning the building definitions until ten minutes before your first class, a list of building names and their acronyms can be found here. Alternatively, just ask another student. We don’t bite, I promise (and to be fair, if we do, it’ll probably be too late).

Click after the jump to learn about your home/chamber of secrets/netflix cave for the next year.

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. Freshmen and sophomores live here. Most of the people that you’ll find in the Butts live in either Butts A or Butts C. During my first year at Wes, I met only one person from Butts B. It’s rumored that Butts B is either empty, or that it’s used as Wesleyan’s squirrel breeding facility.

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 (and let’s be honest, most of us do when attempting to carry a fridge down four flights of stairs at the end of the year).  Also, two years ago the TV was stolen from the lounge in the basement, but they replaced it, so it’s a pretty sweet space for in-dorm movie night. Enjoy Clark, because this is the only year you can ever choose to. It might even be the highlight of your freshmen year.

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. Fun movie nights are hosted here, as well as group and community events. 2016 saw the introduction of an awesome slam poetry culture. All in all, it’s a really cool living space with awesome people.

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 enjoy reliving Fauver’s glory days. 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” (and every other year, because let’s be honest, it’s just really pretty and the only inhabitable space during the summer months).

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. Some dorm options are split doubles which are the ‘best of both worlds’ in housing options. Hailed as an ‘alternative’ living community, you’ll likely smell erm,‘incense’, and hear a freshman guy on his third, shaky guitar rendition of ‘Wonderwall’.

The Nics (The Nicolsons, Foss Hill Dorms 5-7). The Nics are a lovely little place where sophomores and freshmen live together in peaceful harmony. The Nics Lounge is often used by comedy groups, music groups, and other miscellaneous student groups to host events and meetings. Pro tip: The lounge makes for an effective study space, and also a great place to hold class meetings, provided that at least one of you lives in the Nics, or has a Nics ‘contact’. The Nics are relatively central, and in close proximity to Neon deli and Exley.  

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. Trust me, when you’re wading through three feet of ice cold slush, you’ll wish that you lived in Hewitt (all the more reason to hibernate with your Hewitt friends during the winter months). 

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 entry into legality, and therefore, debauchery. 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. So you can expect to hear raucous laughter well into dawn and then nice and early on a Sunday morning from both groups of culprits.

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. The houses have been praised for their individuality, and offer a chance to live somewhat independantly.  You are freshmen, 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…) And our own Avi Stein ‘17, made a handy dandy program that allows you to select your desired woodframe based on a series of criteria.

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, and they have a pretty good location on campus. A five minute walk from the gym, and a three minute jog to Neon for all those deli sandwich cravings you might have at 1PM on a Sunday.

Writer’s Block/Block. This is a 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. Failing that, you’ll have rock solid quads by the end of the year, and a fondness for alliteration.


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 How we expect the former 2021 prefrosh will feel after reading this series.

*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. Located on Washington street, AKA a terrifying prospect for all those who do not live on it, due to its lack of proximity to campus. Middle House is one of Wesleyan’s hidden gems, with a beautiful garden, library and peaceful atmosphere.

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 is back deep on High Street (107 High St), past Out House. The program house serves as a space for Asian and Asian American students to build community and host events. There were several QTPOC parties hosted there last year.

Movement house/MoHo/ (The artist formerly known as Eclectic and Music House and sometimes 200 High St): This building, when under Eclectic’s name, was a strange microcosm that hosted concerts and other events almost every weekend. Since it  switched ownership in 2016, it became a staple of the university nightlife and music scene. Now, rumor has it that it will be a community dedicated to dance, so we look forward to its new presence on campus. MoHo is located on High Street next to Public Safety. It’s the big house with columns and people carrying heavy dance/music related equipment, you can’t miss it. 

Alpha Delt: The Alpha Delta Phi house, where S&C is located, across from Eclectic on the corner of Church and High. Alpha Delt has a great basement known as the ‘Grotto’, where parties and events are sometimes hosted.

DKE (“Deek”): The Delta Kappa Epsilon house is on High Street across from Wyllys. Currently empty, but the society won its lawsuit against the university, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what else unfolds. Honestly, wait for the Greek Life post for more info.

Psi U: The Psi Upsilon house on High Street next to Judd. Again, wait for the Greek Life post.

*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. On the plus side, you have two built in buddies, or alternatively, twice as much sexiling.

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. The holy grail of rooms for wholesome fun, and dancing around in your underwear.

Two room double: Two connected “singles” that share one exit. Get there first, so that you can claim the room with some privacy.

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, the louder the better. Scili is the designated group study area on campus.

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. Pro tip: Get to know the library by falling asleep and getting locked in after 3AM. Also a great way to make friends with P-Safe officers.

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. Also a handy way to never leave the library in the dead of winter.

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. Be wary, if you cough, you will be stared at.

Booger Hall/Boger Hall/Bougie Hall/Bo-zhay 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. Also sometimes known as ‘Bougie Hall’.

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


COL/CSS/CEAS/CFILM/CIS/COE. College of Letters, College of Social StudiesCollege of East Asian Studies, College of Film and the Moving Image, College of Integrative Sciences, and College of the Environment, respectively. These are the various “College” major. CSS and COL have both been around for 50 years and are interdisciplinary majors that you apply for at the end of your frosh year. CEAS, CFILM, COE and CIS were created in the last few years as additional interdisciplinary majors that bring together faculty and resources from several academic centers and departments. 

FGSS. Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

AfAm/AfAm Studies. African American Studies

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. Pro tip: If a vegetarian, you can get two or three meat free sides for the price of a full meal.

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). Be wary of the breakfast pail, AKA the easiest way to blow all your points before the end of the semester.   

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. Home to the beloved ‘Chaider’, a heavenly concoction of chai and cider.

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, unless you speak to the manager who might let you use cash.

*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, or ‘excited’ Wes kids. And sober Wes kids. And anyone who knows what true happiness is. Real money only.

The Falafel Truck/Falafel (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 (you’ll see a long and hungry queue snaking out from Scili). When it’s 3AM on a Tuesday night and you just submitted a 20pg essay due two days ago, Falafel tastes like success, and a job well done.

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!!! Don’t forget about Espwesso Pweview Night!!

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. Also is home to a variety of community organizations, such as the Buttonwood, which hosts a variety of local musicians and comedians.

Metro. Could be referring to either booze or the movies. They’re in the same plaza. A combination of the two will usually happen at some point during your first semester.

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.

The MAT (Middletown Area Transit). The bus service for Middletown. You can take the bus from two terminals in town, and can connect to the bus services for neighboring towns. One of the cheaper (albeit, slightly longer) transportation options if you do not have access to a car, or possess a driver’s license.

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

Vines on Church. This is sometimes a good place to eat food and get drunk. It boasts a loyal clientele of juniors, seniors and others for Wednesday’s bar night. Get the weekend started nice and early. Last Spring, it tried a rebrand as a jazz club under new ownership. This rebrand came startlingly close to the La La Land’s undeserved Oscar hype.

RJ Julia (The new bookstore). Where people go to buy their textbooks. Pro tip: Wait to buy your textbooks until after the first week of classes. Not all textbooks are vital, and you can often find much cheaper alternatives through student facebook groups and the like. The bookstore opened during this past senior week, and there was significant controversy about it’s hiring practices. No one has actually bought textbooks there yet, so we’ll see how it goes. They host events, have weed books on their front counter, and are located at 413 Main Street (right by the Dunkin’ on the corner of Wash and Main).

Broad Street (WESU 88.1 FM Radio/Argus HQ/ Red & Black) Prior to moving to Main St, the bookstore shared a space with the Radio, Red & Black and the Argus. The Argus, Radio and Red & Black have no plans to leave the Broad Street space.

Senior Week. After spring finals, before commencement. Much debauchery will ensue.

R&C. Reunion & Commencement, occurs during Senior Week. Is a good opportunity to work and see Wesleyan in a different environment.

UOC. University Organizing Center (190 High Street), where shit gets done. Found on High Street between Beta and Movement House. The Queer Resource Center is on the second floor, and is home to the Queer student support group and other resources. The Ankh, one of Wesleyan’s student of color (SoC) publications, and the Hermes, an activism-focused publication, have offices in the UOC. The UOC also houses the anti-oppression library and Red Feather Studios.

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 sunsets, do creepy cemetery shit, and more. The best way to get to know the campus is to take midnight graveyard walks and meet new people. Pro tip, do so during frosh week.

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 (watch out for snakes, the slithery boys can creep up on you).

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

Humans of Wesleyan

Prefrosh. Doesn’t know what “prefrosh” means until they aren’t one anymore.

Frosh. Freshmen or first years. Can sometimes be found wandering around lost on campus (or reading this post).

RA/HM. Resident Advisor or House Manager, which is the RA equivalent of Program Houses.

PSafe. Also known as Public Safety. Mostly nice; will wreck your party if they think it’s too crunk to be legal. They’ll typically begin to shut down parties at around 2AM. You’ll see a parade of about three patrol cars driving around Fountain Avenue on a Saturday night.

Fire Safety. Not to be confused with PSafe. Comes by to check your room once per semester, usually just after you’ve gotten out of the shower and half of your closet is on the floor. 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, and the inspiration for the best Wesleyan Red Bubble sticker ever created.

Squirrels: Fat, adorable and sometimes ruthless in their pursuit of food. They are fed by students and professors year round, and as a result, have lost any fear of humans. Guard your lunch if eating in their presence. They can smell your grilled cheese, and they will steal it.

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picture courtesy of Wes Squirrels

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 roommate’s 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. Or, alternatively, indulge your penchant for Photoshop.


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