Author Archives: claire

Film Diversity Town Hall Meeting

From Film Majors, Minors and Prospective Film Studies Students:

Please join us this Thursday, April 27th at 5:30pm in Judd Hall Room 116 to discuss diversity within the Film Department. This will be a public meeting open to the entire student body and faculty. In this meeting we hope to reiterate our suggestions for diversity and announce our plans for moving forward. We then hope to open the meeting up to discussion from attendees. Our main goal of this meeting is to gain a clearer understanding of the department’s initiatives to achieve diversity and for us to be able to publicly and candidly clarify our own hopes for the future of diversity within the film department. We hope for this discussion to be a meeting with multiple points of view, so please encourage your friends and faculty members to participate. This open discussion will lead to mutual understanding and change for the better.

See you there!

Link to Facebook event

Date: Thursday, April 27
Time: 5:30-7PM
Place: Judd Hall Room 116

Vic Mensa Will Headline Spring Fling and We Totally Called It, We Swear

Did you guess that this year’s Spring Fling headliner would be Vic Mensa? Then you’re in luck! The Chicago rapper will grace us with his presence on May 11, along with garage rock band The Orwells and North Carolina hip-hop artist Rapsody. The show will open with a Wesleyan musical act, to be determined by the upcoming Battle of the Bands show.

Watch the announcement video, and read more about this year’s Spring Fling acts, after the jump.

What’s Going On in the Film Department?

“There has long been an inequality of opportunity within the film industry, and we know diversifying the film industry begins within our education at Wesleyan.”

On March 28, students from the University’s College of Film and the Moving Image released a letter, along with a list of signatures and testimonies, expressing dissatisfaction with aspects of Wesleyan’s Film Studies department. The letter called for systematic changes to the ways in which the department operates, including hiring three tenure-track professors (prioritizing women and POC), offering more diverse courses within the department, and reforming disciplinary procedures so that they are less reliant on “blanket threats” to drop students from the major or drop their theses.

The letter, which has been in the works since February, was a collaboration between a group of current film students – both majors and minors – as well as prospective film students. Before it was put into wide circulation on March 28, the letter was shared amongst students and alumni of the Film Studies department, along with a call for signatures and personal testimonies to present to the CFILM faculty. (From email circulation and tabling in Usdan, the letter received 175 signatures and eight accompanying testimonies.)

Read the full letter and testimonies after the jump:

Disorientation Spring 2017: A Guide to Campus Activism

disospring2017

Students arriving back from spring break on Saturday were treated to a special release party for a long-awaited staple of Wesleyan activism: Disorientation, the annual guide compiled by campus activists to, in their own words, “serve as a resource for students looking to get involved with political organizing on campus.”

Disorientation is a tradition that has, in some form or another, existed since the 1970s. In addition to serving as a guide for student activists, it’s meant to 1) act as a counterbalance to the admin-approved information that new students and prefrosh receive during campus tours, WesFest, and the official Orientation sessions, and 2) keep a historical record of campus activism, protests, and organizing, as well as administrative failures from the perspective of students. The latter is especially important because, like most four-year universities, Wesleyan’s institutional memory is short, and keeping activist movements alive on campus is difficult when there’s a constant turnover of students. Disorientation acts, in part, as a reference for those wondering what issues have been central to campus discourse in the past, and what methods can be reutilized for future organizational efforts.

The guide’s most recent iteration formed in Fall of 2014, spearheaded by Abby Cunniff ’17 and Claire Marshall ’17. It’s primarily been presented as an online PDF, posted to WesAdmits around the beginning of fall semester, but also has been distributed as a paper zine. You can view the Spring 2017 issue (edited by Abby and Paige Hutton ’18), as well as our breakdown of what’s in it, after the jump:

Overcoats Perform on NPR’s All Songs Considered

Overcoats perform a Tiny Desk Concert on March 1, 2017. (Marian Carrasquero/NPR)

As the electronic duo OvercoatsHana Elion ’15 and JJ Mitchell ’15 are quickly making a name for themselves in the indie music world. Yesterday they performed on NPR as part of All Songs Considered‘s Tiny Desk Concert series, which is a pretty big deal given who else has been featured. They also performed at this year’s South By Southwest festival earlier this month.

In their Wesleyan days, Overcoats played everywhere from Earth House’s intimate living room to the Spring Fling stage. Even as undergrads, their combination of sparse electronics and warm vocal harmonies allowed them to occupy a unique space in the campus music scene. Now, they’re looking forward to their debut album, Young, which comes out April 21.

You can watch Overcoats’ full Tiny Desk concert after the jump:

New Horizons Supply Donation Drive

From Owen Christoph ’18:

Open House x Light House x Unity Group are doing a supply drive! All supplies will be donated to New Horizons, a domestic violence support organization which serves the Middletown community.

New Horizons is looking for:
– rain jackets (kids & adults)
– umbrellas
– art and craft supplies
– cell phones

Please stop by Open House on April Fool’s Day (Saturday, April 1st) and drop off what you might have!

Date: Saturday, April 1
Time: 9-11:30AM
Place: Open House (154 Church St.)

The 2017 Commencement Speaker: Claudia Rankine

At 9:45am today, Michael Roth sent an all-campus email announcing this year’s Commencement speaker as well as the 2017 Honorary Degree recipients. Poet, essayist and playwright Claudia Rankine will deliver the 185th Commencement address on May 28, 2017.

Additionally, Wesleyan will honor Jo Handelsman, a former Associate Director for Science at the White House, and Cristina Jiménez, the executive director and co-founder of United We Dream, the largest youth-led immigration organization in the country. The Alumni Association’s Baldwin Award will be presented to John Driscoll ’62 and Gina Driscoll.

Here’s the full text of the email:

BREAKING: Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees Extend President Roth’s Contract Through 2023

mroth

At around 1:45pm today, the Chair of the Board of Trustees Donna Morea ’76 sent out an all-campus email announcing the extension of President Michael Roth‘s contract. He will continue to remain President of the University through 2023.

Morea’s email highlighted the success of Roth’s “This Is Why” fundraising campaign; his launch of multiple academic programs during his nearly decade-long run as President; and his future plans for the “Beyond 2020” initiative (although the email doesn’t go into much detail on this front). It makes no mention of the fact that last October, over 200 students called for the removal of President Roth and Vice President of Equity & Inclusion Antonio Farias in a town hall.

Here is the full email text:

WesMaps 2017-2018 Is Live (Kind Of) (For the Most Part)

I thought I was going to get work done tonight, but the pre-reg deities had other plans. Welcome to WesMaps 2017-2018, your new form of future-building, stress-inducing procrastination.

Truth be told, we don’t usually post about fall WesMaps until spring pre-reg, but since the new WesMaps link is already spreading like wildfire on social media, we thought we’d make an exception. Most of the courses aren’t even up yet, so we’ll hold off on our “best of” list, but here are some initial observations:

In Depth: Wesleyan Refugee Project (Part 2)

Members of the Wesleyan Refugee Project

Libby Salzman-Fiske ’19, Caroline Kravitz ’19, and Sahar Shaikh ’17

Note: The information found in this feature was recorded in early to mid-February. Immigration and refugee policies in the United States are still in flux under the Trump administration, and the exact details regarding immigration laws and their enforcement may have changed since these interviews were conducted.

Since the Wesleyan Refugee Project (WRP) was founded in the Fall 2015, the volunteer organization has been hard at work in their contributions to resettlement programs, legal aid, tutoring services, and fundraising events. We spoke to one of the group’s founders, Casey Smith ’17, last September. Since then, it’s become even more difficult for refugees to enter the United States under Trump’s new immigration policies, and the future for refugee resettlement in the US is uncertain.

This semester, I spoke to several different members of the WRP, all in different leadership positions. I asked each of them how they got involved with WRP, what the group is focusing on this semester, and how other students can volunteer and participate. Read their stories after the jump: