DKE Wins Lawsuit Against University

This afternoon, President Michael Roth ’78 sent out an email informing the campus community that DKE has won its lawsuit against the University. The trial, which was public, began on June 6th, and President Roth testified on June 7th.

The original suit was filed by DKE and Kent Literary Society, which is DKE’s alumni chapter. DKE accused the University of discrimination and deceptive practices in its handling of DKE after the decision that all fraternities on campus must be co-educated. DKE had submitted plans for co-education that did not meet the University’s requirements.

The University has not said what will happen with DKE’s house, or whether it will re-achieve program housing status. Roth states that the University is searching for further legal avenues to pursue, and the University must also decide what to do in terms of its plans for coeducation.

The full text of the email is below:

LIVEBLOG: Wesleyan Commencement 2017

Today at 10am, the class of 2017 will begin lining up around the Wesleyan graveyard, probably hungover from tent party. Actual commencement will begin at 11am. There will be a livestream of the ceremony featuring commencement speaker Claudia Rankine on the Wesleyan Facebook page and on WesCast.

Congratulations to the class of 2017 and to Wesleying’s graduating seniors Maya, kitab, rachel, and medusa. We’re going to miss y’all!

Douglas Cannon Spotted in the Career Center

It’s Reunion & Commencement Weekend, which means campus is crawling with wealthy alumni; nervous soon-to-be-graduates; underclassmen working temp jobs as ushers or golf cart drivers or squatting in their senior friends’ houses; and, of course, Wesleyan dads.

In between all the snoozing on Usdan couches, schmoozing on Foss Hill, engaging in Senior Week shenanigans, chasing after famous alumni currently on campus (shoutout to Joss Whedon ’87, Matthew Weiner ’87, Craig Thomas ’97Carter Bays ’97, Santigold ’97), and packing up your life’s belongings with your parents (godspeed), you may have missed an important piece of Wesleyan history reemerge in the Gordon Career Center.

That’s right: after a multi-year absence, the Douglas Cannon has made an appearance once more. Read past the jump for more details

Special Collections & Archives Open House 5/27/17

From SC&A:

Everyone welcome! — students, graduating seniors, alumni, friends and family.
Drop in at the University’s Special Collections & Archives to show your friends and family the impressive Davison Rare Book Room. If you are an alum, remember your student days through the yearbooks, The Argus, Hermes, face books, and many other historical Wesleyan materials, which are available here. Chat with SC&A staff about the riches of the University’s rare book collection and how it supports Wesleyan’s educational mission.

Date: Saturday, May 27
Time: 12-4 PM
Place: Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library

Talk: “Poems, Pictures, and Prints: Cuneiform Press”

From the Friends of the Wesleyan Library:

Kyle Schlesinger, Director of Cuneiform Press, discusses the state of the book in our current cultural climate, while sharing his passion for producing enduring works that merge historically-informed typographic practices with the latest industry trends. From letterpress-printed chapbooks to collaborations with writers and artists such as Johanna Drucker, Bill Berkson, and Jim Dine, Cuneiform publishes poetry, artists’ books, and nonfiction with an emphasis on enriching the human­ities. Works will be on display in both the Develin Room and the Olin Lobby, including posters from Schlesinger’s recent social-movement letterpress project, A People’s Curriculum for the United States.

Date: Friday, May 26
Time: 11 AM – 12 PM
Place: Develin Room, Olin Memorial Library

Petition Calls for the Wesleyan Administration to Admit Mishandling of Sexual Misconduct Cases

“Admitting that a man with a long history of sexual predation acted inappropriately and hurt students’ lives in his role as Associate Dean of Students for almost ten years is a necessary first step, and further changes and amends also need to follow.”

Content warning: This article discusses issues of sexual assault involving current and former Wesleyan students, faculty and staff.

Since last Monday’s news of Scott Backer’s arrest, many in the Wesleyan community have been responding with renewed frustration and anger at the current administration for their present and past handling of sexual misconduct cases.

One survivor has stated publicly that Scott Backer allowed for statements about a respondents character (e.g. “He’s such a good guy.”) during a hearing, despite this being against University policy, according to their account. Other accounts tell of Scott Backer asking invasive personal questions during the investigation process.

As a result of these stories and others, a petition was created calling for Wesleyan to admit that Scott Backer mishandled cases of sexual assault during his time on campus. Back in October, when the Wesleyan community was notified of the real reasons for Scott Backer’s firing 3 months after Wesleyan announced his departure sans commentary, President Roth mentioned that after a consultation from Pepper Hamilton, they found “nothing amiss” in the four years’ worth of sexual misconduct cases that Backer oversaw. Since then, there has been no detailed public mention of how Pepper Hamilton went about reviewing cases.

The petition has been circulating on social media and in other channels. It demands for an acknowledgement of Backer’s mishandling of Title IX cases; a disclosure of how Pepper Hamilton conducted its review; and a commitment to “[taking] real steps to make amends for the harm [Backer] caused,” suggesting a task force made up of more students than administrators to conduct Title IX reform as a possible solution. The petition was later updated to include a demand that Wesleyan acknowledge Backer’s mishandling of disability services, which he also oversaw as Associate Dean of Students. Read past the jump for the full text of the petition.

Senior Voices 2017

Come to Wesleyan’s Baccalaureate Ceremony with Seniors, family, and friends and listen as your peers share some of their unique and transformative moments from their years at Wesleyan. The keynote will be given by Assistant Professor Anthony Hatch, of Science in Society, African American Studies, Sociology, with Senior reflections by Lili Kadets, Haenah Kwon, Arnelle Williams, and Mika Reyes.

Date: Saturday, May 27
Time: 6 PM
Place: Memorial Chapel

Banners on Move Out Day Call for Rejection of Sexual Predators

Content warning: This article discusses issues of sexual assault involving current and former Wesleyan students, faculty and staff. 

It has been more than 24 hours since keys were due to ResLife for all who aren’t seniors or people who are working for senior week. Campus is much quieter and there are 96% fewer parents on campus today than there were yesterday.

In anticipation of the frenzy of move out day, a collection of students have taken this time to bring light to some of the issues surrounding cases of sexual assault at Wesleyan. At several prominent locations around campus (Music House, Community Engagement House, WestCo, and Hewitt), banners were hung reading “Reject Sexual Predators Emboldened by Institutional Power.”

Did You Ever Write a Paper About Wesleyan? Send It to Us!

This past finals week (or in any semester prior tbh), did you write a paper about Wesleyan? I frequently stumble down the WesScholar rabbit hole at inopportune times and procrastinate by reading about the history of coeducation at Wesleyan or University partnerships in urban renewal in Middletown. I may be desperately alone in this, but I’d like to think that I’m not.

I was thinking it would be cool to have a more extensive aggregation of student scholarship about Wesleyan and so I was like “Let me find all of the WesScholar theses about Wesleyan and then ask the aether.”

(Late) Procrastination Destination: Francis and the Lights Dance with Chance

Grades for graduation candidates are due Monday at noon, so hopefully at least those folks graduating are no longer procrastinating on school work. Whether or not you’re still working, this short and sweet procrastination destination is for you, with some nice dancing, reassurance that you’ll figure things out whether or not you graduate, and a reminder that “It’s Alright 2 Cry.”