A First-Year’s Guide to Wescamming in a Pandemic

So you’re a first year in the Spring of 2021. By this point in the year you’re pretty sure you’ve got the hang of Wesleyan’s campus culture; You’ve run into your fair share of “WestCo boys”, your mom has told you that she thinks your sense of style has changed for the worse, and you know where Fountain is (though you’ve yet to be asked in a packed and sweaty Pine Palace , “WHO DO YOU KNOW HERE?!?”)

But then that upperclassman you follow started plastering their Wes email all over their social media. And at first you thought, “No one cares.” But then came the masses. And you’ll admit, you’re a little curious.

Well, sweet first year, be a little curious no more! Let me tell you allll the ins and outs of Wescam, one of Wesleyan’s best traditions, four weeks after it went live. lol.

For New Scam-ers

Imagine a time before Tinder – before Facebook, if you can – when demand for bad sex was just as high as it is now, but there was no vehicle through which to supply it (except of course, actually talking to each other.) Enter: Wescam. A messaging platform released at the end of Spring semester, designed for graduating seniors to get laid on their way out. To put it bluntly.
If you’d like a more formal summary of Wescam’s history, click here.

It’s a secret-admirer-social-media, of sorts. Seniors are able to send Wescams to anyone on campus and underclassmen can send Wescams to any senior they’re crushing on. The secret admirer’s name is hidden by a Pokemon name, and the Wescam-ee can only see the person’s year and pronouns. The scam-ee will then ask the scam-er for hints about who they are, and thus you find yourself trying to guess who that 2022 she/they Swinub could be. If it helps they say they’ve seen you in the Swings line?

So say that Swinub tells you that you have a KBB class together, and you know who’s been nonchalantly running a hand through their hair while staring right into the Zoom camera with their mouth just a little open. Once you think you know who your Wescam is, you can guess them by typing their name into the search bar and sending them a Wescam of their own. Here’s where the emails come in handy, because you never know who goes by a nickname or who spells their name a lil different.

If you guess correctly, Swinub will be replaced by a little heart and the full name of that fine person from Friendship and Collaboration. Then you both dance awkwardly around the fact that you’re confessing a crush through Wescam, and if you’re lucky enough to be mutually interested, you hang out!

But! That’d be too easy. You send that ‘scam, and Swinub is still there. And now the full name of that narcissist from your FGSS class is at the top of your list, with a little paper airplane to mark it as “sent.” Congratulations. You have “Guesscam-ed.”

A Guesscam is an unintentional Wescam. It happens when someone incorrectly guesses who their admirer is, and now that incorrect guess thinks that someone is crushing on them. You can tell when you’ve probably been Guesscammed when you ask for a hint and the Snorlax gives you absolutely nothing. And then you ask again in a cuter way to be more approachable, and still nothing. A Guesscam typically looks like this:

Another relevant Wescam term is “Friendscam.” And if you send me a Friendscam, you are no longer my friend to scam. A Friendscam is when a platonic peer sends you a Wescam and you, blissfully unaware, get all excited about the prospect of being lusted over, only to later find out it was your housemate from the next bed over all along.

Unfortunately underclassmen aren’t able to send Wescams to each other, with the exception of the “Super Crush” Wescam. A Super Crush lets an underclassmen send a Wescam to anyone of any year, but you only get one each Wescam season. (Technically you can get more, but you’d need to correctly guess 7 Wescams to get one more super crush, which means that 7 people would have to Wescam you in the first place.)

For Returning Scam-ers

This year Wescam does have a new look: she doubles as a Covid dashboard monitor! Which by the way currently reads ~0 cases on campus~, so that’s something. She also advises us not to hang out with our Wescams in person, which has the same energy as when the University told us to have sex with our masks on in the beginning of the year.

Also new this year is the fact that you can can only Wescam students who have also signed up for Wescam. In previous years you could scam anyone and they’d get an email with the message and an invitation to sign up. In all seriousness, this is a valuable change. Wescam does have the potential to be perp-y and it certainly enforces power dynamics between seniors and underclassmen, so making sure that both parties are willing to be crushed on is a necessary step ethically partaking in this end-of-year festivity.

Since you’ve read this far, bestie, let me clue you in on a little Wescam hack: pronouns. Because Wescam lets you write out your pronouns, each person’s might look a little different, even if their gender identity is the same. When you type someone’s name into the search bar, the drop-down suggestions preview people’s names, years, and the pronouns they wrote. For instance, my pronouns come up as “she/her,” but my friend wrote hers as “she/hurrrr.”

So, when a 2021 she/hurrrr Pikachu Wescammed me, I typed my friend’s name into the search bar, saw her niche pronouns, and took a leap of faith. This applies to “she/theys” vs. “She/Theys,” “they/thems” vs. “anything u want bbyyy ;),” and, if you’re a real sleuth, you’ll know the difference between the kinds of boys who write their pronouns as, “he/him,” “he/his,” “he, him, his,” and so on.

 

Alright. I’ve passed on everything I know. This year’s domain name is Wescam.me, so go get scamming you crazy kids!! Hey – if you’re lucky, you might get a secret admirer as chivalrous as this one.

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