Author Archives: claire

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

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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:

VIDEO: Karmenife Paulino ’15 Delivers Powerful Comedy Set at Malcolm X House

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Content warning: the following post and video discuss sexual violence and assault.

[Updated 2/16/17, 11:53AM] Check the bottom of the post for photos of the performance from Jejomar Erln Ysit ’19

If you were on campus at any point from Fall 2014 – Fall 2015, you might remember Karmenife Paulino ’15 as being something of a legend. Here are a few ways you may be familiar with her:

  • She became a very public activist against sexual violence, openly talking about her assault at Psi U her freshman year.
  • She also spoke out against members of Eclectic (which she was also a member of) for allowing her rapist into their home and perpetuating rape culture. Along with controversy surrounding a racial slur on a membership application, this contributed to Eclectic losing their house for the 2016-2017 school year.
  • She, along with Tess Altman ’17, created a photo project titled Reclamation during the Fall 2015 semester. We covered the project in a 12,000-word interview with Karmenife, and then the photos went viral. Even Margaret Cho took notice.

Since graduating, Karmenife has gotten involved with numerous projects and collaborations. She created a portrait series of black icons and turned OKCupid harassment (and her comebacks) into art. She’s written and spoken extensively on how white feminism perpetuates rape culture. She’s a very active presence on social media. And, to top it all off, Karmenife has started to perform as a comedian.

She returned to campus last Friday for a one-hour stand-up routine, “Make Your Own Reparations 101,” and delivered a rousing set to the packed basement of Malcolm X House. Her jokes covered everything from the Wes administration, to casual racism at her workplace, to scamming white men on Tinder. Watch the video of her performance after the jump:

Rocky Horror Picture Show Auditions

Some time-warpin’ news from Lucy Rubin ’17:

Amazing costumes?? Dance with friends? Watch an amazing(ly bad) movie? If yes, then Absent Toast, Wesleyan’s only (and sexiest) Rocky Horror Shadowcast, is where you should be! The show is a low time commitment, once a week rehearsals, and one show on the last days of classes at midnight!

Auditions? Super low key. Just show up with some attitude!
Auditions are
Monday, February 13th from 7:30-9 @ Exley 150
Tuesday, February 14th from 7:30-9 @ Exley 150

Each audition shouldn’t take that long. Come by, feel the vibe, makes some friends, looking bangin in a corset.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/248450712248933/

Date: February 13-14
Time: 7:30-9 pm
Place: Exley 150

“Hedwig & the Angry Inch” is Weird, Queer, and Very Wesleyan

Photo credit: Chloe Briskin

Last weekend, a production of the rock musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch performed three shows in Alpha Delta Phi’s Grotto. If you’ve never heard of Hedwig, let’s just say that it is a sight to behold, and this version was no exception.

I live in Alpha Delt, so skipping this show was out of the question for me; I do my laundry down the hall from the Grotto, and I kept walking in on Hedwig rehearsals during the first two weeks of school. I also knew several of the people who worked on it, including the director (Maia Nelles-Sager ’17), the stage manager (Chloe Briskin ’18), and the bassist (our managing editor Maya). But I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew a Wesleyan alum, Stephen Trask ’89, had written the music and lyrics. I knew that the main character was genderqueer – traditionally performed by a cis man in women’s clothing, although in this version the actor was also genderqueer – and that the only other character onstage was a gay man played by a woman. And I knew there was a rock band. But that’s about it.

Yep, Starbucks is opening in Middletown. And it has a drive-thru.

“I’m not basic,” whispered I, a white girl, as I trudged through the snow to take iPhone photos of a Starbucks.

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This banner was almost falling off when we got there, but we fixed it. You’re welcome, Middletown.

As you might have heard from the Argus or the Middletown Press or both, a Starbucks is opening on Washington Street next month. Specifically, it’s opening in the hilariously-named Price Chopper Plaza (edit by kitab 2/2/17: the Plaza is actually the Home Depot/Price Chopper Plaza, inexplicably sometimes just called the Home Depot Plaza, so they definitely make the name up at random), meaning it’s opening in a rectangular block located in the Price Chopper/Home Depot parking lot. Whether you think of the coffee empire as Pumpkin Spice Heaven or “Um, May I Speak To Your Manager?” Hell, this is decidedly a game-changer. No longer will the Dunkin Donuts on Wash be the sole purveyor of mediocre chain coffee in this town. Choose your side.

I decided to check out the new location, because I had no class today and it’s only Week 1 and I had internship apps piling up nothing better to do. (Shoutout to Kat Kaplan ’18 for giving me a ride over). This led to the eerie experience of driving through an empty, snow-covered Starbucks drive-thru and parking next to a sad, sinking banner announcing the location’s opening. See photos after the jump:

University Plans to Conduct Title IX Assessment With Victim Rights Law Center

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This morning at around 9:15, Vice President for Equity & Inclusion and Title IX Officer Antonio Farias sent out a campus-wide email, announcing that the University will be conducting a Title IX policy review this semester in partnership with the Victim Rights Law Center. Three representatives from VRLC – Lindy Aldrich, Amanda Walsh, and Candi N. Smiley – will be on campus February 8-9 to host panel discussions and Q&As with faculty members, class deans, and student representatives (you can view bios of the representatives and a full schedule of the panels here). A full report is expected to be completed and made publicly available by late March or early April.

The news follows several months of high-profile controversy surrounding Scott Backer, the former Associate Dean of Students, whose history as a sexual predator was only made public due to an investigative report by the Boston Globe. Last semester was marked by multiple student protests over how Wesleyan handles sexual assault cases and faculty accountability; at an open forum, students expressed their wish for Farias and President Michael Roth to be removed from office. A number of faculty members expressed their own disappointment at the University’s Title IX policy by sending an open letter to the Argus, demanding that faculty sexual harassment cases required independent review by an outside party.

Read Farias’ full email and more information on the VRLC after the jump:

Write-In: This Semester, How Do You Plan To Resist?

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The world is a scary place right now, but one thing is for certain: we’re going to need a lot of organizing these next four years, and especially these next few months, while there’s still so much momentum for grassroots movements. National groups such as Planned Parenthood and Democratic Socialists of America have already made their intentions to resist against Trump’s proposed policies clear. And however you may feel towards the Women’s March on Washington and its sister marches, they did encourage millions to take the first step in any sort of activism: showing up.

Here at Wesleying, we’d like to ask: how do you plan to resist, get involved, protest, sit-in, or show up this semester? Your plans can be as menial as making a few calls to representatives, or as grandiose as organizing a large-scale rally. They can be a cohesive schedule or just a rambling brainstorm of causes you’d like to get involved with. We’re especially looking for ways to help right here in Middletown with local groups, but whatever your cause may be, we want to hear from you!

Share your ideas here, or below. Responses may be recorded anonymously, if you so choose, and there’s also a box to check if you’re okay with your responses being published on Wesleying. Depending on how many responses we get, we’re hoping to post a bunch of them throughout the semester, in the hopes of generating discussion of how others can get involved.

Mel Hsu ’13 releases new album, “i was a phoenix”

This past December, Wesleyan’s very own Mel Hsu ’13 released her third album, i was a phoenixIt features original jazz compositions and performances by Hsu, who studied music composition at Wes. Her previous record, 2014’s Call Home the Crow, is comprised of her senior music thesis and was recorded in Memorial Chapel.

Hsu dedicated i was a phoenix to Claire Randall ’12, who passed away just before its release. She describes Randall as “the fierce and transcendent force that taught us how to be our most courageous and vulnerable selves– an anchor and a rock of this ensemble who breathed magic into every nook and cranny of this album.”

i was a phoenix is available for CD, MP3, and streaming on Bandcamp.