Author Archives: Gabe

About Gabe

Journalist, pun aficionado.

Wesleyan University Commencement 2015 [Liveblog]

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Rather than halfheartedly trying to quote lyrics from “In the Heights” or some other thing written by this year’s commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, we’ll just skip ahead to: “Hey y’all, good morning!” It’s the 183rd Commencement at Wesleyan University, and we’re outdoors at Denison Terrace/Andrus Field/Foss Hill live-blogging all the speeches, processions, and every single name read (okay, none of the names) at today’s graduation ceremony.

Along with Miranda, Spellman College president Beverly Daniel Tatum ’75 and Goodspeed Musicals executive director Michael P. Price are receiving honorary degrees. Things should be getting started around 11 a.m.

Congratulations to the Class of 2015, and even more congratulations to all the many Wesleying editors and contributors who are graduating as well! You can watch a livestream of the ceremony here

Update: You read all the speeches and watch Miranda’s address below. And here’s the official Wesleyan newsletter article on the event.

Psi U Suspended From All Social Activities Through 2015

Psi U

The all-male residential fraternity Psi Upsilon has been placed on probationary housing status and suspended from all social activities through the end of 2015, according to an all-campus email today from President Roth and Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Whaley. 

These new sanctions come as a direct result of two reported sexual assault cases against Psi U—one of Wesleyan University’s three all-male residential fraternities, and one of five total Greek residences, on campus—with the first incident occurring at an “unregistered pledge event” in spring 2011, and the second in the spring of 2013. The second case is detailed in a lawsuit filed in March 2014, currently pending against Psi Upsilon, the Wesleyan Xi Chapter, and several Psi U members (but not against the University itself), that asserts negligence on the part of the defendants. The perpetrators in both cases, according the University, were “dismissed from the University after being found responsible for sexual assault.”

Although the email acknowledges that many or all of the current fraternity members were not present at the time of either assault, the University believes that “some sanction of the fraternity is appropriate,” and the resulting decision is “consistent with our policies to support survivors, punish assailants and change the culture so as to eliminate elements that lead to sexual assault.” This action follows a busy semester of changes to and increased oversight of Greek life on campus, including the announcement that the Beta Theta Pi house would be off-limits to students for the 2014-2015 academic year. The entirety of the email has been reproduced below.

#ThrowbackThursday: Victor Dreams of Foss

Photograph of item held by Wesleyan University, Special Collections & Archives, Middletown, CT 06459

Butterfield

“A man watching his ideas becoming reality.” For a special Wesleyan #throwbackthursday, Wesleying brings you this beautiful, beautiful gift: a little bit of majesty, a little bit of history.

Make fun of the Butts as you will, but in 1965, they were a revolutionary addition to Wesleyan University, and the dream of Wesleyan’s longest-serving President, Victor Lloyd Butterfield. Originally constructed to house the College of Letters and College of Social Studies in an academic-residential cohabitation, the Butts didn’t become the dorms you see today until a 2012 complete renovationButterfield, as pictured above, also dreamed up the Foss Hill Dorms, which include WestCo, Nicolson, and Hewitt (which is why they’re numbered Foss 9, Foss 7, etc.)

But this photo from an Wesleyan Argus issue dated Saturday, February 5, 1966 was a throwback itself, because that day, the newspaper announced Butterfield’s resignation to the community and ran a retrospective of the president’s 23 years of service. Butterfield had announced in January to the Board of Trustees his plan to retire his post by June of 1967, and to the rest of the faculty in early February. So the Argus reflected on all the changes Butterfield had made to the campus, including these new dorms, creating the Center for Humanities (formerly the Center for Advanced Studies, which will be the subject of an upcoming Wesleying feature), building the Ph.D. programs, and making the school’s endowment skyrocket.

More importantly, whoever took and captioned this photo had a serious flair for the dramatic. Much thanks to the folks at Olin Library’s Special Collections & Archives for preserving this for us, some 50 years later. Now go out, fine classmates, and make the Foss of your dreams a reality.

WESU Freakers’ Ball

From David Whitney ’16:

Join the staff of WESU 88.1 FM this Thursday for a celebration of 75 years of alternative radio! DRESS CODE IS “FREAK”

Tickets $5 
This is a fundraiser! Tickets will be sold in Usdan Monday 11/17 through Thursday 11/20 from 12PM to 1PM, and 5:30 to 6:30PM Weds/Thurs. Attendance is capped at a maximum capacity of 285; any unsold tickets will be available at the door.

Coat Check
This is a dance party! Casually leaning against walls will not be tolerated. Toward this end, we will be providing a limited coat check (100 spots) available on a first-come first-serve basis.

Dance-Off 11:00PM
Jonathan Toubin will be running his well known ‘Soul-Clap’ dance-off; winner blows out the candles on WESU’s 75th birthday cake. Wear your dancing shoes.

JONATHAN TOUBIN // 10:00PM-12:00AM
Chosen by the Village Voice editors and in their readers choice poll for the title of “Best Club DJ NY 2014,” Toubin spins obscure soul and rock ‘n’ roll LP’s with a sound that is ideal for freaks of all stripes. Rock/Soul/Freak

LORD LEWIS // 9:00PM-10:00PM
WESU’s own Lord Lewis of “The Rumpus Room”, which airs every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Monday of the month from 8:00-9:30 pm. Funk/Mojo/Freak

Date: Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Time: 9PM-12AM
Place: Eclectic
Cost: $5

The Argus is Looking for a Business Manager!

From Gwendolyn Rosen ’15:

Wesleyan’s student-run newspaper, The Argus, is looking for a new Business Manager. Not only is it a great opportunity to develop your finance, management, communication, and organizational skills, but it is a paid position and you get to hang out with the wonderful members of The Argus. The new manager will be briefly trained and then expected to take on the position independently in the spring.

The role includes:

  •  Planning semesterly budgets
  •  Submitting budget proposals to the SBC
  •  Meeting with the WSA to review Argus finances
  •  Communicating with the Argus production staff
  •  Managing weekly timeclock submissions

If you are interested or have any questions, please contact Andrew Hove (ahove(at)wesleyan(dot)edu), Rebecca Seidel (rseidel(at)wesleyan(dot)edu), and Gwen Rosen (grosen(at)wesleyan(dot)edu) with a few sentences describing why you are qualified for the position.

AEPie an AEPi (Support Movember)

From Jason Brandner ’16, who I’m absolutely going to pie in the face tomorrow:

Do you find yourself making AEPi puns? Have you ever wanted to see a fraternity brother get humiliated with a pie? Do you want to support Prostate cancer research? If you answered yes to any of these come to AEPie an AEPi! If we raise $75 we get to shave George Pollack’s head! Come out and support a great cause!

We are hoping to raise money for Movember, a national charitable movement seeking to combat Prostate, and Testicular Cancer as well as various mental health issues. The brothers of AEPi will also be selling Hot Apple Cider and Donuts. Prices:

  • Pie in the face of an AEPi member: $1
  • Hot Apple Cider: $1
  • Donuts: $1

If you can’t make the event but still hope to donate here is our Movember page and here is the FB event.

Date: Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Time: Noon–3PM
Place: In front of Usdan
Cost: Each item is $1

Abuse is Abuse: Students for Consent and Communication Demand Policy Changes

Pictured: Nina Gurak ’16, co-president of Students for Consent and Communication.
"Shaming you for your sexuality"

TRIGGER WARNING: The following discusses emotional and psychological abuse, and the issue of sexual assault at Wesleyan, and may be triggering for some readers. Community and official support resources can be accessed herehere, and here.

Students for Consent and Communication have had a busy semester so far. After staging a “How Much Longer Will We Carry That Weight?” demonstration, confronting the Board of Trustees about the alarming frequency of sexual assault on campus, SFCC brought their latest campaign online. With an “Abuse Is Abuse” photo campaign, showing students holding up signs describing forms of psychological and emotional abuse, the group looks to push the administration into action about creating a definition and policy about that abuse. (Photo campaigns in general are having quite the week, and for good reason.) Their petition, which you can read and sign online, has over 90 signatures at the time of publishing:

We, the community of Wesleyan University, believe that emotional and psychological abuse poses a direct threat to the health and safety of our students and community.

We as a school stand in solidarity with survivors of emotional and psychological abuse.

We strongly believe that the Department of Education got it wrong and that we can do better.

We demand a strong and clear policy that defines emotional and psychological abuse and advocate for its inclusion in Wesleyan’s existing Sexual Misconduct Policy.

I reached out to Nina Gurak ’16one of the co-presidents of SFCC, about the campaign. Below, you can see a few of the photographs from the campaign, which are also on Facebook and Twitter. On a related note, there is a forum to discuss Title IX policy and procedure tonight at 7PM in the Daniel Family Commons, which will inform policy changes for next semester.

Best of WesMaps: Spring 2015 Edition

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Spring 2015 PreRegistration is open, meaning it’s 2+ weeks of fretting—mostly for frosh, but it’s no treat for everyone else, either. WesMaps takes in your feelings, your worries, your hopes, your dreams, your prerequisites, and it spits them out into a nonsensical schedule as if to say, I am a roulette of chance and class hierarchy and you shall bow to my authority.

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So to help everyone out in their quest, I’ve been going around looking for the weirdest/most liberal arts/funniest course names and descriptions on WesMaps. Just remember, just because it sounds stupid doesn’t mean it’s not the most awesome and fascinating class you might ever take—take that from a guy who was in “Exotic Latin Corporealities” (LAST 213, Spring 2013).

Disclaimer: As with everytime we do this sort of post, the classes are heavily weighted in the Humanties and Social Sciences categories, because, as hard as you try, you won’t get far on laughs with “Molecular Biophysics Journal Club II.” If you see anything that is noteworthy that I didn’t include here, put it in the comments!

FGSS 2014 Fall Symposium: Activism in Queer Times

Cool stuff ahead! From Gwendolyn Rosen ’15:

This Friday, the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program will host the Fall 2014 Symposium “Activism in Queer Times.” The symposium will feature speakers Reina Gossett and Amber Hollibaugh from Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women (BCRW). Previous to their work with BCRW, Gossett served as membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Hollibaugh served as Executive Director and co-founder of Queers for Economic Justice. The symposium will be moderated by Associate Professor of American Studies and Anthropology Margot Weiss. Reception to immediately follow.

Date: Today, Friday, October 31st, 2014
Time: 3:30PM
Place: Usdan 108