LIVEBLOG: Eclectic Community Forum

We’re liveblogging tonight’s Eclectic Community Forum so that those who can’t attend know what’s being discussed in the meeting. Eclectic is reapplying for program housing status on Campus. Tonight’s forum will be co-hosted by the Undergraduate Residential Live Committee (URLC) and Eclectic members. Eclectic members will give a presentation and then the forum will be opened to the greater Wesleyan community.

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:06 PM

Guidelines:

– be respectful

– step up/back when necessary

– provide a place for voices to be heard

wilk December 6, 20177:06 PM

Jackie Manginelli ’19, chair of the Undegraduate Residential Life Committee, just introduced the session

wilk December 6, 20177:06 PM

Eclectic presentation beginning

wilk December 6, 20177:07 PM

Starting out: “Recognizing that Eclectic’s application for program housing status is pretty different than most.”

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:07 PM

“[Eclectic] brings up a paradox in institutional memory”

wilk December 6, 20177:07 PM

“Institutional memory is short here”

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:08 PM

“Eclectic brings up a paradox in institutional memory”

wilk December 6, 20177:09 PM

“Many buildings on Wesleyan’s campus have been named after Eclectic alumni.” – Matilda Hague ’18

sdz December 6, 20177:09 PM

buildings include Olin, Foss, and Van Fleck

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:10 PM

“from an all-white-male cis space to an inclusive space”

sdz December 6, 20177:10 PM

“all Eclectic members must be trained in bystander intervention”

wilk December 6, 20177:10 PM

Matilda Hague ’18 is referencing events referenced by Karmenife Paulino ’15 in her 2015 interview for Wesleying.

Karmenife Paulino ’15: On Reclamation and Other Things

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:10 PM

“from an all-white-male cis-space to an inclusive space”

wilk December 6, 20177:11 PM

“Any instance of sexual assault warrants immediate removal from the society.” – Matilda Hague ’18

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:11 PM

“an organization that is dedicated to hosting many campus activities throughout the day” – Matilda Hague ’18

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:13 PM

“a fraction of what we could do if we had the space” – Ruby ’20

sdz December 6, 20177:14 PM

Currently talking about Eclectic’s ability to host events with/without a house, saying that Eclectic would be able to provide the campus community with more events if they had their own space

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:15 PM

“Members consider…which perspectives are missing in the Wesleyan sphere”

sdz December 6, 20177:16 PM

Many (all?) of the Eclectic members currently speaking were not yet at Wesleyan when Eclectic had their house previously

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:16 PM

“the ability to morph is indeed fundamental to what Eclectic means and does on campus” – Tiler ’20

wilk December 6, 20177:16 PM

The general themes of Eclectic’s presentation:
– Eclectic has historical importance to Wesleyan
– Eclectic has shifted from a white male-dominated space to a space that prioritizes underrepresented students and students with radical ideas
– Eclectic has contributed to student life through the arts and music scenes
– Eclectic has implemented a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault
– The application process is holistic

wilk December 6, 20177:18 PM

@sdz There are at least two people presenting that were on campus when Eclectic had a house; no idea whether or not they were involved with the society then

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:19 PM

The Eclectic community is deeply stressing their want to “grow” and be inclusive, and the “logistical struggles…of not having a house to schedule events”

sdz December 6, 20177:19 PM

“we recognize the paradox of our exclusivity as we actively counter exclusionary [practices/ideals]” –Tiler ’20

wilk December 6, 20177:19 PM

New theme of the presentation: Eclectic has had to squeeze into spaces around campus and the logistical hurdles of organizing events that this creates is impeding on the success of the society

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:20 PM

“We are inspired to uphold this legacy”

wilk December 6, 20177:20 PM

I’m really confused about how managing a house is logistically easier than not? – wilk editorializing

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:20 PM

Eclectic’s presentation is over, Q&A is opening

sdz December 6, 20177:21 PM

moving into testimonials by current Eclectic members. First up is Owen, a senior.

sdz December 6, 20177:22 PM

@wilk probably just because right now they spend time trying to find places to have events rather then that not even being a concern if they had their own house. But i agree, having a house comes with its own host of logistical concerns.

sdz December 6, 20177:23 PM

Owen is a former Res-Life HM and current HR.

wilk December 6, 20177:23 PM

Presentation has ended; floor opened up to testimonials by Eclectic members. Conversation not yet open to non-eclectic

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:24 PM

They aren’t talking about what the previous Eclectic community meant as much as how having a house will help with scheduling events and the inclusive community they want to build

wilk December 6, 20177:24 PM

Owen Christoph ’18 – Joined Eclectic in the spring of his frosh year (when eclectic had a house); speaking about how Eclectic “exceeds ResLife’s expectations” for program house status

sdz December 6, 20177:25 PM

As a freshman, Owen made the decision to not live in Eclectic’s house his sophomore year, due to the fact that his eclectic relationships had become toxic and draining

sdz December 6, 20177:25 PM

As a freshman, Owen made the decision to not live in Eclectic’s house his sophomore year, due to the fact that his eclectic relationships had started to feel toxic and draining

sdz December 6, 20177:26 PM

Now opening up to questions by the community at large

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:27 PM

I find this problematic. As someone who personally has not seen any of the Eclectic drama but has been guided to look upon the community with a wary stance, there has been no discussion yet of the previous community other than saying that the previous issues concerned drugs and sexual harassment and the current community condemns that.

wilk December 6, 20177:28 PM

Last year, Owen Christoph ’18 chaired the Undergraduate Residential Life Committee last year. Last year the URLC voted unanimously to not give Eclectic back its program housing status

wilk December 6, 20177:29 PM

A student just expressed hope for Eclectic being a safe space for black and brown students on campus

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:29 PM

Of course, there must be talk about what Eclectic wants to become. But there is no discussion about the uneasiness that the upperclassmen seem to feel towards the community.

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:30 PM

Someone just said that they are “dedicated to bringing these voices to the campus”

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:30 PM

“for people like us”

sdz December 6, 20177:31 PM

response to the first question includes the fact that Eclectic makes an effort to bring under represented voices to campus

“when was the last time you went to an art show hosted by the Wesleyan art department with a POC artist?” –Ruby

super important point IMO

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:33 PM

“And all around me, all I could see was these [amazing] black women…and I thought, “How do I get to know their struggle and relate it to my struggle?”..the reason I joined Eclectic” was to see “a lineage of people who look like you and have similar experiences as you raw people as a community and as a society” – Testimonial

sdz December 6, 20177:33 PM

Nila ’18 is asking for Matilda Hague to explain Title IX procedures within Eclectic, and wondering how they will play out IRL

wilk December 6, 20177:33 PM

WSA President Nila Ravi ’18, interested in Matilda Hague ’18s position as the “social wellness chair” of Eclectic just asked about specifics of Eclectic’s policy with respect to Title IX

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:35 PM

I’m very surprised right now; from whatever I’ve about Eclectic, I’ve never heard about the POC representation–which steered quite a bit of the conversation earlier.

wilk December 6, 20177:35 PM

Zeno Scott ’18 articulating the importance of having individuals chosen by the society that is emotionally ready to be a liaison about sexual assault cases

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:36 PM

Nila Ravi ’18 asked if someone outside of the community may inquire regarding concerns of someone in the community. The answer was yes.

wilk December 6, 20177:36 PM

Someone is singing loudly next door lmao

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:37 PM

^^very well too

sdz December 6, 20177:38 PM

the forum just got a pretty heated question.
“what is your criteria for accepting people into Eclectic? Do they have to be the HM of 200 High? How can you explain your blatant attempts at recalling the house form the moment it got taken away last year?”

sdz December 6, 20177:39 PM

lol they’re having an audition next door

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:39 PM

The blunt stated reason why they want the house: to host events and live together.

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:40 PM

They want just Eclectic members answers questions.

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:41 PM

A question was asked “what specifically is the history lesson that new members get”. Zeno Scott ’18 requested that a newly initiated member answer.

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:42 PM

“talked about Eclectic’s [recent] history of apathy and how it is important to recognize this and to not forget this instance from a couple years ago”

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:43 PM

“The application which was quoted as the thing”…

sdz December 6, 20177:45 PM

currently discussing this incident

http://wesleying.org/2015/11/21/responding-to-eclectics-problematic-application-for-new-memberskey

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:45 PM

“we know we are not perceived as this on campus, although…we are a range, an amalgam of race, class, gender”

sdz December 6, 20177:46 PM

current question: why is there a focus on 200 High, why must it specifically be 200 High. Last year, other program houses that were initiated for this year were not given this choice.

sdz December 6, 20177:47 PM

answer by res life: the decision tomorrow is specifically about whether Eclectic should even get program housing status, not about which space.

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:49 PM

With a member discussing how the house would be terrific for concerts, I just remembered that during housing selection over the summer, someone was complaining that Eclectic could no longer be an option to live in because it was super cool.

sdz December 6, 20177:49 PM

also, res life says that they assumed that Eclectic wanted 200 High and that that was what was communicated to them. Rightfully so, the person who asked the question said that that isn’t really an answer.

wilk December 6, 20177:49 PM

Seems to be a lot of confusion around the policy specifics about applying for a specific program house space (i.e. 200 High st.)

sdz December 6, 20177:51 PM

no sure but one of the eclectic member’s might have just answered the 200 High question by saying that having 200 High specifically would motivate people within Eclectic to want to be more involved in Eclectic’s mission…

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:52 PM

“makes me feel erased who I don’t feel is on the receiving end of all elitist meritocracy. I think that really silences and takes away the individuality of the members in Eclectic who are not the beneficiaries of the behavior of elitist societies…because absolute comfort is not generative. But [measures would be taken if someone’s behavior was dangerous]” – Zeno ’18

sdz December 6, 20177:52 PM

Last year a lot of the conversation surrounded the fact that Music house last year did not do an effective job of using 200 High as a space. no mention of movement house yet this year.

wilk December 6, 20177:52 PM

Owen Christoph ’18, explaining that all program houses operate on a selection process that is by nature exclusionary; Eclectic isn’t an exception to this

wilk December 6, 20177:54 PM

Chair of WSA Community Committee Anthony Price ’20 asks a question about Eclectic’s collaboration with other SOC and queer student groups on campus

sdz December 6, 20177:55 PM

owen also said that he sees the eclectic application process as an even more thorough version of how other program houses vet potential residents.

This is an interesting parallel to make. I’m wondering if Eclectic’s own process is actually equivalent to how program houses pick residents, and if ResLife sees the two processes as equivalent. Like could a non eclectic member request a room in eclectic?

wilk December 6, 20177:58 PM

Tiler Wilson ’20 is speaking about Eclectic’s welcoming of intersectionality in light of his discomfort in other SOC groups on campus

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:59 PM

A non-member is saying that Eclectic should have 200 High Street specifically because the (inclusive) People of Color spaces aren’t big or central on campus.

sdz December 6, 20177:59 PM

A lot of people are saying that they consider Eclectic to be a safe space for both SOC and queer SOC. I think this is a cool point. There is no denying that Eclectic right now is very different than what it historically was. It’s a different space than it used to be. It’s really important to recognize that there might be more people in the greater wes community who see Eclectic as a safe space now.

un meli-melo December 6, 20177:59 PM

A non-member is saying that Eclectic should have 200 High Street specifically because the (inclusive) People of Color spaces aren’t big or central on our physical campus.

un meli-melo December 6, 20178:01 PM

A student doesn’t want to call it a “safe space”, but finds Eclectic a “comfortable space”

un meli-melo December 6, 20178:03 PM

There is a question about how to “rebrand” Eclectic with what it is now: an inclusive queer (and) SOC space. Zeno ’18 said it was a good question.

un meli-melo December 6, 20178:05 PM

Owen ’18 said that an issue is how Eclectic doesn’t like categorizing generally and rubrics, which causes an external confusion on how to feel about the community.

sdz December 6, 20178:06 PM

anon q: other program houses have a more clear rubric for having people apply, what is eclectic’s clear rubric?

response: we have an application process that is open to the entire campus community

un meli-melo December 6, 20178:11 PM

There was a question regarding how guidelines play into the zero-tolerance policy. The response is that just knowing that someone is a perpetrator is enough to kick them out of the society since every person picked is held accountable for their behavior and for representing Eclectic.

un meli-melo December 6, 20178:12 PM

Stack is closing. We went through all of the anonymous questions.

sdz December 6, 20178:14 PM

B – Applying to be in eclectic is not the same as applying to live in the program house itself. It’s important to make a distinction here.

sdz December 6, 20178:16 PM

“as a program house we lose the privilege of only being responsible to ourselves” and must have a public conversation when it comes time to cross the bridge of what to do if non members are living in the house.

sdz December 6, 20178:17 PM

current q is about who the HM would be/how they would be decided if there were people in the house who were non-eclectic members

un meli-melo December 6, 20178:19 PM

Jacqueline Manginelli ’19 is explaining the next steps.

sdz December 6, 20178:19 PM

Now URLC/Reslife is explaining further steps.

Last week they sat down to listen to the Eclectic presentation and asked questions. Tomorrow there will be a vote, which will be proceeded by a campus wide email

(probably)

un meli-melo December 6, 20178:20 PM

the singing next door is still exceptional.

sdz December 7, 20171:26 AM

There’s a lot to be said about how this meeting went. Last year, there was not a huge turnout, and the question “isn’t it too soon for Eclectic to get it’s house back” was super relevant. At least, that was my biggest concern. I felt that the campus community had not yet had enough time to see how Eclectic claimed to have changed, and Eclectic itself had not had enough time to give substantial evidence that it had changed. Last year it was Eclectic telling us that it had changed, whereas this year it was Eclectic showing us that it had changed.

I think also, taking into account how the greater campus community feels towards Eclectic is important. The fact that a number of non-eclectics at the forum stated that they found Eclectic and Eclectic events to be safe or comfortable spaces for SOC matters. I would be interested in hearing more people from the greater campus community weigh in on that topic.

It is important to also differentiate that Eclectic the society is not equal to Eclectic as a program house. They are different entities. Eclectic’s implementation of a zero tolerance sexual assault/title IX policy is important, but how does that fit with ResLife? Yes, if an Eclectic member is accused of sexual assault then they might be kicked out of Eclectic. But how does that work with ResLife, which has its own institutional barriers regarding sexual assault (at the detriment of the Wesleyan community, but still)? Would the person remain in the house? Eclectic doesn’t have to have all its answers right now, but these are important to keep in mind. What works theoretical does not always work in real life. (All creds go to @wilk for asking this question and raising this concern)

Some are concerned with the fact that Eclectic has to “explain itself” or “defend itself” “over and over” again. I argue that it is actually Eclectic’s duty to identify problematic aspects of its past and address them continually. This does not mean that Eclectic is on trial for its past, but instead that Eclectic is recognizing its past and showing us how it has changed. How can we value how much Eclectic has changed right now at point B if we don’t have point A to compare to?

Finally, it’s important to recognize that the Eclectic that we have today is very different from the Eclectic of 5 years ago and the Eclectic of 179 years ago. If Eclectic effectively follows through on its mission and on the goals it has set itself, it has the potential to set an entirely new standard for Greek life at Wesleyan.

– saadia

sdz December 7, 20171:26 AM

There’s a lot to be said about how this meeting went. Last year, there was not a huge turnout, and the question “isn’t it too soon for Eclectic to get it’s house back” was super relevant. At least, that was my biggest concern. I felt that the campus community had not yet had enough time to see how Eclectic claimed to have changed, and Eclectic itself had not had enough time to give substantial evidence that it had changed. Last year it was Eclectic telling us that it had changed, whereas this year it was Eclectic showing us that it had changed.

I think also, taking into account how the greater campus community feels towards Eclectic is important. The fact that a number of non-eclectics at the forum stated that they found Eclectic and Eclectic events to be safe or comfortable spaces for SOC matters. I would be interested in hearing more people from the greater campus community weigh in on that topic.

It is important to also differentiate that Eclectic the society is not equal to Eclectic as a program house. They are different entities. Eclectic’s implementation of a zero tolerance sexual assault/title IX policy is important, but how does that fit with ResLife? Yes, if an Eclectic member is accused of sexual assault then they might be kicked out of Eclectic. But how does that work with ResLife, which has its own institutional barriers regarding sexual assault (at the detriment of the Wesleyan community, but still)? Would the person remain in the house? Eclectic doesn’t have to have all its answers right now, but these are important to keep in mind. What works theoretical does not always work in real life. (All creds go to @wilk for asking this question and raising this concern)

Some are concerned with the fact that Eclectic has to “explain itself” or “defend itself” “over and over” again. I argue that it is actually Eclectic’s duty to identify problematic aspects of its past and address them continually. This does not mean that Eclectic is on trial for its past, but instead that Eclectic is recognizing its past and showing us how it has changed. How can we value how much Eclectic has changed right now at point B if we don’t have point A to compare to?

Finally, it’s important to recognize that the Eclectic that we have today is very different from the Eclectic of 5 years ago and the Eclectic of 179 years ago. If Eclectic effectively follows through on its mission and on the goals it has set itself, it has the potential to set an entirely new standard for Greek life at Wesleyan.

– saadia

(all opinions stated above are mine, and not representative of Wesleying as a whole)

wilk December 8, 201711:12 AM

UPDATE: At Wednesday’s forum, URLC chair Jackie Manginelli said that a vote would take place yesterday, Thursday 12/7/18 and a subsequent all-campus email will be sent out about the decision.

We’ve learned that the vote has been postponed to January due to a series of questions submitted to the URLC that introduced doubt into the deliberations of the committee. It isn’t clear why these questions were sufficient to postpone the vote, or if there will be another community forum before the January vote.