Author Archives: Meli

About Meli

I accept donations of coffee in exchange for a randomized article

UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage

When I walked into Artspace in New Haven, the studio was relatively empty except for a few people and the art pieces. Each piece tells the story of a refugee, both for the eyes and the ears.

Mohamad Hafez, an architect and artist, takes these stories and creates suitcases, each reflecting the refugee experience. He recreates the rooms, homes, and lives of those who have suffered the damage from war. Ahmed Badr ‘20 records these stories, and curates them. When viewing the pieces, you can put on the headphones hung beside the pieces and listen to these refugees recount their stories.

I put on a pair of headphones, and listened. Each detail has made it onto the pieces. They help show the disaster, but also the innate beauty that these spaces occupied. The small details that compose the entirety of the piece–– dents in car license plates, toys that have accumulated dust from the rubble–– further emphasize the reality of these stories. Within those few minutes, I felt like I was in each of these places: Syria, Iraq, Congo, Sudan, all war-torn and never to be entirely the same as they were before.

I took off my headphones and the room swelled with a familiar sound: prayers being read in Arabic. It was strange to be in a public space in America and hear Arabic prayers so loud and clear. In that moment, I was home, with my grandfather, who lived right next door to the masjid. This juxtaposition of space and time took me by surprise, particularly because I wasn’t quite expecting it. The Arabic has its home at home, and here I am exposed to that via television shows, but not such an open space. Nevertheless, the ambient sounds made the entire experience that much more impactful. Here I was, hearing a language so familiar to me, for the most part associated with happiness, and having it transformed to this moment, to something not necessarily happy, but to that of strength, of courage, and of a new life.

The project was created to humanize the refugee narrative, that the refugee crisis is not simply numbers and statistics, but rather human beings, each who hold their own experiences and stories to share to us.

If you missed out on the gallery, fear not, dear Wesleyan’er! Mohamad and Ahmed will be holding a WESeminar on Friday, November 3rd at 5 PM in Fisk 208.

 

Halloween Costume Round Up 2017!

“For your viewing pleasure”
Ed Thorndike ’89 of WesWings

Alright, ya’ll. It’s the day that we all look forward to. It’s the end of Spooptober, the start of Christmas, because we can’t capitalize off of Thanksgiving, unless it’s Black Friday.

It’s Halloween. And did ya’ll impress. We asked (yesterday) for your costumes, and I think my eyes are still burning I’m very impressed by the creativity of the student body.

Check out the costumes after the jump!

The BIG Roll: Let’s Break a World Record!

HERE YE, HERE YE, WESLEYAN’ERS!

We all love our beloved Foss Hill, the place where we have napped on, fell down, and avoided at all costs because my calves hurt. And ya know what, Wesleyan? I think Foss needs more recognition. Foss needs to be known worldwide. The face of Wesleyan needs to be our hill, and there’s one way to do so, and it’s happening soon. 

 

And if you want to help make Foss’ mark on Earth, here’s your chance!

WesMaSS is holding The BIG Roll THIS Saturday from 10 AM to 12 PM. We need to have ~600~ people rolling down Foss within one hour. Yes, 600. And what a coincidence that we’re holding the event during Homecoming weekend.

So, how can I help? Fear not, dear roller, here’s what you can do:

Unofficial Orientation Series 2017: What to Pack

This is a repost of Sam’s post from last year, which is a  repost of Jackson’s post from the year before. Which was a repost of Frizzly’s post from the year before. Which was a repost of Samira’s post in 2013. As it turns out, the shit you need to pack doesn’t change much over the years.

arrivalday-22This is part of our 2017 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

At first glance, this post might seem like the most straightforward of the Unofficial Orientation Series. But scoff not, freshman or unadjusted upperclassman. Packing for college is anything but a piece of cake. You’re placing some of your most prized and cherished possessions into flimsy boxes and suitcases, making difficult choices about what you’ll keep with you for the next nine months of your life — how could it not be stressful?!

By now your mom has probably found Wesleyan’s official packing list and, much to your chagrin, has begun scrounging around your garage for old milk crates and pillow shams. While mumsy dearest probably knows what you’ll need best, you might also benefit from a list compiled by a person who’s actually your age.

Unofficial Orientation Series 2017: Dorm Living FAQ

Holly and Xue wrote the first version of this post in 2006 and it has been reposted every year since then. Dorm Life never changes much. Unless Fauver becomes Bennett (wow this joke is old). [Or unless Clark goes on fire a few times]

Pictured: A bright-eyed young freshman shakes his groove thang, eager to impress his lofty peers. Taken by Rachel Pincus '13.

Pictured: A bright-eyed young freshman shakes his groove thang, eager to impress his lofty peers. Taken by Rachel Pincus ’13.

This is part of our 2017 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Dear frosh of 2021,

As you are probably fretting about your first day of college, a sense of melancholy (or jittery excitement and increased WesAdmits activity, if you hated high school) has creeped up on you. Are you making lists of toiletries and getting boxes from Staples to pack your life into? Wondering how much action your soon-to-be bed has gotten in the past? A lot, probably.

(Melisa’s note: Our cheery freshmen selves a wee year ago ventured onto the wilderness of Waste Not, and my friends ended up purchasing a futon for very cheap. We ended up *probably* spending the same amount on febreeze that we ended up dousing said futon in. This is to say that even your futon isn’t safe from the wonders of college sexuality.)

But don’t be too frazzled. Before you finish your housing form, get your roommate(s) assignment, and make dorm Facebook groups that no one will check after October, Wesleying‘s here to answer your 40ish most pressing questions related to waking-up-and-instantly-having-200-or-so-of-your-peers-to-hang-out-with.

The pertinent FAQ doesn’t change much from year to year, so we tend to update/repost much of the original guide by Norse Goddess Holly-and-Xue ’08 (cuz it’s still damn good and we’re still damn lazy) every year. This re-vamped guide is up to date and full of Wesleyan lingo:

On Ambiguity

Preface: This has taken me nearly two semesters to write. I had the idea to write about my ambiguity after the Trump protest in November. There was a moment where someone said “Use your white privilege and sit down with us,” when several students began blocking the intersection between Church and Broad St. That moment really defined my constant conflict with my ambiguity. So there’s that.

Feta cheese.

This is the nickname my family gave me, and as one of the three pale women on my mother’s side, whenever I go back home, I am constantly reminded of my pale-ness. Weirdly enough, I was always told that I was, technically, more beautiful for looking white, for looking more European, and more so, American. After hacking off my eyebrows at the ripe old age of twelve, I virtually erased all signs of my “Turkish-ness”. If anything, people will hit me with the Are you Italian? Well, what about Greek? And when I finally cut off the string of European (never Middle Eastern) guesses, I always get: Are you sure you’re Turkish? And to be completely honest, I get it. Unless you’ve had your fair share of Turkish genetics, I could pass as European. I have a sort of racial ambiguity.

Let’s be honest here, I would never be targeted in the street or at the airport for “looking Muslim.” No one would try to tell me I am “oppressed” for my religion because I am not a hijabi. Chances are, the average Joe on the street would never guess I’m Muslim. My ambiguity has given me a certain amount of privilege out in the world, but it’s never something I really considered until I came to Wesleyan. And the simple reason for that was because I never had to think of my ambiguity and how that plays a role both in my identity and my activism from this point on.

So, let’s break this up.

The 5 Day Lifespan of My Tinder Profile

I received this, and was overall just incredible confused. Like, where are you trying to go here?! Are you trying to emulate some sort of grandpa meme? If so, why do you think grandpa meme will be remotely successful? I just have so many questions.

Around a week ago, my FYS was cancelled, which meant that I had the entire day to myself. So, instead of being a decent student and getting ahead of the game, I decide that the rainy day should be dedicated to *self care*. Wearing a bell sleeved sweater, I have a ~lil photo shoot~ with a friend. These pictures actually look pretty awesome, and so, they make their way to my instagram feed.

Since the weather is so shitty, my friends and I stay in and order Hachi for dinner. I order far too much food for myself, but it’s okay because who doesn’t want seafood udon and some sushi? After I finish all of this, I have a seemingly fantastic idea: trek from Bennet to Weshop, and purchase a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

I return to my friend’s room, and we begin indulging. Naturally, in this rainy-day food stupor, my friends decide to go through their Tinder profiles. Now, I am the last person to do anything Tinder-related.. I just can’t take social interaction via the internet seriously. Trying to make their bios slightly interesting, my friends are throwing ideas back and forth. I chime in, immediately making every bio snarkier and suggesting a more “This is all bullshit” vibe.

“Wait, Mel, you’d have such a cool Tinder profile. You have such artistic photos of yourself,” one of my friends says, which is where this story truly begins.

After approximately ten minutes of my craftily articulated resistance, she says “It could totally be for research purposes. Like a social experiment.” And I really can’t object to social experiments, because I am inherently curious and am also weak-willed when it comes to being sassy on the Internet. So, after receiving a crash course on how the app works, learning to never swipe up, I am on Tinder. I am on Tinder, I say to myself, slightly disappointed that I’ve given in to yet another aspect of Internet culture.

I kept up with the Tinder game for approximately five days, until things got boring and frankly, just strange. Take a look:

“Keep Bleeding, Love”: WSA’s Initiative for Low-Cost Menstrual Products

WSA+Banner-Recovered

In an effort to make menstruation products more accessible on campus, the WSA announced on February 10th, that in partnership with Davison Health Centerlow-cost pads and tampons will be available at the Health Center.

Here are some details from the email:

The Health Center has purchased bulk supplies of Naturelle regular absorbency tampons and Maxithins individually wrapped sanitary pads. Supplies will be available 6 days a week when the Health Center is open. The cost is $2.00 for 15 tampons and $2.00 for 10 maxi-pads, and students can pay by cash or charge to their student account.”

UPDATED: Nor’easter Niko: Not Notorious Enough to Nix Classes?

winter

[UPDATED: 2/9/17, 11:04AM by wilk and 1:46PM by Maya]

More things you need to know about the storm today:

  • The RIDE’s shuttle service is cancelled tonight. If you really have to go somewhere, call PSafe at 860-685-2345.
  • President Roth is in Miami, but he will be back to sled on Foss soon
  • We are now expected to get anywhere from 14-18 inches, despite initial reports of 8-12.
  • No igloos yet, but we expect WestCo/Bennet to pull through like last year
  • SALD, the Career Center, the WSA Office, Broad Street Books, Red & Black, Star & Crescent, Late Night, the Zilkha Gallery, the package window, and the mail room are all closed
  • The libraries are open
  • Weswings is open from 11AM to 8PM (through the afternoon)
  • Summies open only during lunch; closed for dinner
  • Usdan Cafe, Pi Cafe, and Weshop all closing at 4PM
  • Usdan dinner is 4:30-6:30PM
  • There was ‘thundersnow’ in Orange, CT and Hartford, CT
  • UConn, Quinnipiac, Southern Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State UniversityConn College, and Middletown Public Schools are all closed today but Wesleyan remains open!!! #THISISWHY
  • We$ Hookupz 2020 has changed its name to SNOW Hookupz SNOWYSNOWY and updated its cover photo
  • The “shelter in place” drill is cancelled and will be rescheduled to a later date
  • This important Argus article from 2015 has been circulating on Facebook reminding students that it is especially difficult for students with disabilities when Wesleyan decides to go about business as usual during snowstorms
  • Email staff[at]wesleying[dot]org with tips on the snowstorm, pictures of your snowventures, videos of you skiing/snowboarding on Foss, and the locations of your igloos

__________

Hello, dear reader. Are you currently procrastinating your readings, just like I am,  in the hopes that tomorrow’s lovely fall of Special Snowflakes will cause classes to be cancelled? Because this post is as far from credible meteorology as it gets. You have found the right place.

So, after checking the super accurate weather app on my phone, my ~intellectual conclusion~ is that the snow will start at approximately 4 AM.

FullSizeRender

According to some other credible sources, there are some fancy words like “low pressure systems” and “evening commutes” in the reports of Winter Storm Niko. Here’s what you need to know about the storm:

“The Hell, NSM?” — New Data on Representation in STEM at Wesleyan

exley

NSM: (Natural Science and Mathematics)

With light to the recent NYT article about the 1% 17% that exists on Wesleyan’s campus, we’ve been focused on statistics. While analyzing Wesleyan’s financial assets is incredibly important and necessary to discuss class and privilege, we must also remember that there are many factors that affect student performance; the NSM Coalition—a combination of Student Underrepresented in STEM (SUSS), Wesleyan Women in Science (WesWIS), Wesleyan Mathematics and Science Scholars Program (WesMaSS), and McNair undergraduate students partnering with graduate students, staff, faculty, and administrators—collected data specifically for students in STEM, and let me tell you, they are freaking terrifying.

The percentages, collected by the Office of Institutional Research, show how class not only affects our ability to even go to Wesleyan, but also how it affects our performance: it cannot be stressed enough how important this conversation is for the Wes community.