This is a part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation series. Find the rest of the series here.
By the time classes start, you’ll likely be successfully moved into your dorm, blissfully free from your parents, and finally finding the time to figure your shit out. Or this year, maybe you’re doing remote learning. Either way, you’ll soon realize that you have a little too much time on your hands — and you might want to fill that time with Organized Social Activities.
Thankfully for you, there are about 300 student groups at Wesleyan, so you have many, many options. Joining student groups is one of the best way to meet people outside of your dorm and in different class years. You could find best friends! Mentors! Something new about yourself! It’s all up to you.
As your Orientation Leaders, advisors, and basically everyone else including me will tell you — stick to the Rule of Seven. Each class you take, group you join, job you have, and any other thing you might do counts as one commitment, and you should try to have only seven full-time commitments per semester. With a standard four-course load, that leaves three spots for you to fill with whatever the hell else you want. That’s what this post is for.
Of course, this year is going to be a little different. Student groups are trying to figure out their future in 2020-21 while following COVID regulations. And honestly, it’s still unclear, and different groups will find different solutions. But student groups will still exist, and they’ll still be awesome, so it’s all going to be just fine; don’t you worry, babe.
Student Group Directory
All student groups that are funded and sanctioned by the Wesleyan Student Assembly are managed and organized on the squeaky-new WesNest (circa 2020), whose picture is above. It’s got groups! It’s got events! It’s got everything you could ask for (except the nostalgia of its predecessor OrgSync. You don’t realize what you have until it’s gone). You may be wondering: what the hell is Absent Toast (it’s our fabulous Rocky Horror Picture Show Shadow Cast–v sexy, v fun)? You can find out by using your Wesleyan login to browse all of the groups that are active on campus. This centralized system will help you find what you’re looking for, even if you’re not sure what that is yet.
However, not all student groups are going to be on OrgSync. Wesleying, for example, is independent of the WSA since we manage our own fund$, so we’re not on there. If you’re looking for something specific and or still having trouble remembering your EPortfolio password, you can always just Google it. Putting “student group / activity name Wesleyan” in your search bar will give you decent results. Many of the groups’ websites are hosted on the student group server, with sites ending in .stugroup.wesleyan.edu or .group.wesleyan.edu.
Wesleying also has a page of links that may or may not be helpful in your search. (But we did give it a small update for the first time in a while! Hurrah!) If you want your student group included in our Links page, email staff[at]wesleying[dot]org and we’ll update it as quickly as we can. We also posted a social media directory, which could also help you find what you’re looking for.
Student Activities Fair
Well, this is changed a bit. Usually, the WSA holds a physical Student Activities Fair so that you can browse for your future all-consuming time commitment in person (feat: free candy, overcommitment, a future of listserv emails). This year, there’s going to be a virtual activities fair on Sunday, September 5 from 1:30-3:30. Stay tuned and check your email for links.
The Ankh is one of Wesleyan’s ~official~ Student Publications that you can join.
Like any good liberal arts school, Wesleyan has not one, not two, but THREE ultimate frisbee teams.
Create Your Own
Gonna copy-paste this from last year because it is the same and very straight-forward:
It’s surprisingly easy to create your own student group. Student group registration is handled by the WSA, and recognition comes from CoCo, or the Community Committee. By registering with CoCo, you get access to the student activities fund handled by the SBC, or Student Budget Committee, and the Student Activities & Leadership Development (SALD) office, which comes in handy when you’re planning events or other group activities.
Get more information on student group recognition from CoCo and student activities funding from the SBC.
Funds! Organization! Camaraderie!
And hey — there’s a lot of pressure at Wesleyan to ~do it all,~ but stick to your gut, heed the Rule of Seven, and keep this semester comfortable. There’s always spring semester (and the next three years) to make all the mistakes try new things. You could gleefully ignore the Rule and take five classes and join four clubs because they’re all so cool, but consider this: SLEEP. Sleep is a wonderful thing, and you won’t get nearly enough of it. Balancing fun and work and school is already a tough adjustment, don’t make it too hard on yourself by signing up for every single group at the student activity fair. That will almost certainly end with you crying on the first floor of Usdan by October. (And listen, it is okay to cry in Usdan. It seems like everyone is doing it.) Join a couple clubs and have fun, but don’t be afraid to take this semester/year to get your bearings first. The camaraderie will always be there for you.
If you have any questions that we didn’t answer, leave us a comment below, email us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org, or tweet at us @wesleying.