Author Archives: Meli

About Meli

I accept donations of coffee in exchange for a randomized article

#DONATEYOURRCF Campaign Begins for FGLI GoFundMe!

Dear Wesleyan Alumni, Community Members, and Everybody Else!

Today, I am reaching out on behalf of the GoFundMe that launched on March 15th to support first-generation, low-income, and/or housing insecure students in light of Wesleyan University’s closure. The purpose of this article is threefold: 

  • To clarify the goals of our student-led grassroots campaign
  • To distinguish our effort from the official Wesleyan emergency fund
  • To encourage students to donate their RCF refund to the GoFundMe campaign.

 

  1. Our Campaign in a Paragraph  

The goal of the GoFundMe is to place resources directly into the hands of high-need, at-risk students. Since Wesleyan’s closure, low-income students have either returned home, straining the budget of their already hardpressed households, or petitioned to remain on campus. As a first-generation, low-income student whose mother works as a janitor, each day is filled with the constant worry that we will lose our income. I have had an unprecedented amount of stress worrying about my financial stability. Social distancing and large-scale efforts to quarantine, though necessary for the safety of the public, have only exacerbated the everyday conditions of poverty. Rapidly, parents are losing their jobs, and our fellow FGLI students do not know how they will afford rent, utilities, groceries, routine medical expenses, and other recurring costs that do not stop for national emergencies. Moreover, the recent U.S. stimulus bill does not contain any financial relief for adult dependents, meaning that students do not qualify for monthly relief checks. The needs of Wesleyan’s at-risk student body cannot be reduced to a single narrative, but each and every story shares a sense of urgency. Therefore, our campaign, which is titled FGLI Wesleyan Student Donations, operates under the belief that direct financial donations best meet the fluctuating, varied needs of low-income students as they face the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 1. To help students self-assess their level of need, we provided example statements. The graphic above includes descriptions for level 1 (approximately 10%), level 3 (approximately 55%), and level 5 (approximately 2%) students.

URGENT Fundraiser: Wesleyan University FGLI Student Donations

the donations as of 20:37 EST on March 15th, one day into the fundraiser

A few days ago, we published an article outlining some FGLI student concerns regarding a campus closure due to COVID-19. As of now, the University has offered assistance through the emergency fund for immediate travel needs, but have not addressed issues of income loss as of yet. In response, this morning, Jessi Russel ’20 and Mya Valentin ’19 created a fundraising campaign for FGLI students who are affected by Wesleyan’s closure for the semester. Below is the email. You can donate to students who have self-identified as high need here. 

Addendum to Yesterday’s Article Regarding COVID-19

While our previous post listed plenty of concerns that many shares, we felt it was incomplete and wanted to add our thoughts specifically regarding (1) FGLI and (2) immunocompromised members of our community. This article addresses those concerns. 

Two nights ago, I saw a tweet that Amherst was shutting down campus to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other students, faculty, and staff. They made the calculation that since students would be traveling off-campus during spring break –– despite being encouraged not to –– it would be incredibly difficult to contain the virus on campus. The following morning, Harvard followed suit due to the same concerns. 

When I saw these announcements over Twitter, the first thing I thought was, Fuck, how am I going to finish my work-study? I calculated how much I would have earned for the rest of the semester and felt my heart drop. As a second-semester senior, I took on extra hours this semester, working 4 jobs to earn extra money to pay off my loans post-grad. But, the next thought I had was, Fuck, senior year might end early. I texted my friends, upset about the possibility of missing out on my last quarter at Wesleyan. I thought of the things I still have to do on campus: popping champagne on the steps of Olin, enjoying the sunset on Foss, giving my last tour, stressing about finals in SciLi, commencement. The list goes on.  

While I do acknowledge that some of the responses to COVID-19 are unnecessary, there are some real, valid concerns that need to be addressed regarding keeping campus open. Yesterday, Wesleying published an article in haste that only spoke to one side of campus––the ones who are afraid of what the rest of the semester might hold. The thing is, this is an extremely complex issue. You, I, the Wes community, can be sad about the possibility of campus closing while also acknowledging the gravity of the situation. We do not have to operate in a binary that either: (1) Wesleyan will shut its doors to all students and not provide resources to those who rely on campus for income, housing, and food or (2) Open campus and pretend that everything is normal. 

There have been countless articles that have attempted to explain possible solutions for colleges to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Some of them call for a complete shut-down of schools to avoid a cruise-ship-like spread of the virus. There are some that say the opposite, arguing that college students are a low-risk population. While I would love to be an idealist and argue that the latter is true, we have forgotten that Wesleyan is not just college-aged students. There are elderly, immunocompromised faculty who will be at-risk if students return to campus. There are staff members who are concerned about the health of their families. There are Middletown community members who will be at risk if the entire student body returns to campus. Not to mention, parts of a student body who, despite Dean Whaley’s continued discouragement, traveled abroad to at-risk counties. The point of (partially) closing campus is to “flatten the curve” and ensure that hospitals have enough resources to treat those in need. This is the reality that we need to face, and instead of arguing in binaries, we should, instead, ally around the students who will be most affected by a potential closure.

Here are some potential solutions that live in the intermediary space between those two binaries:

Unofficial Orientation 2019: Eating and Drinking at Wes

This post is an updated version of Sam’s update which was an updated version of wilk’s Eating and Drinking orientation article.

Eating and drinking is a necessity for all living beings, even during your hazy college days. While we all have to adjust our food standards from delicious home-cooked meals to university food, trust me, it could be worse. This year Wesleyan is ranked #22 (we were demoted from #7, sad) in college food on Niche out of all the colleges in the U.S. so you know it’s going to be good. Wes has many options for dining that you can enjoy regardless of your dietary orientation. We’re even ranked #2 by One Green Planet for Most Vegan-Friendly Colleges. There’s a plethora of awesome vegan food and our friends at the Mongolian Grill are always willing to cook up a chicken tortilla topped with cheese if it’s protein that you want.

This is the part of the orientation series where we remind you to eat your veggies.

A quick reminder that you can check out our welcome post here and past years’ series  here.

Unofficial Orientation Series 2019: Middletown Outings

This is an update of wilk‘s update of his previous post!

 

 

Toto, we’re not in Bushwick anymore. You’ve now left the comfort of deep Brooklyn, as they call it, for the not-so-dissimilar milieu of Wesleyan. Just kidding, a vast majority of Weskids are from not-Brooklyn, not-LA, and not-Bay-Area, although it might seem otherwise.

For all of you from those (wonderful) places, and all of you from other places, Middletown is different than those places (shocking!). It was once the largest city in Connecticut, circa pre-war-of-1812. Can your hometown claim that title? Nah. Unless you’re from Middletown, in which case you are probably way more qualified than me to write this post.

While Wesleyan is fine and there is usually never a shortage of things to do on campus, Middletown and the surrounding area truly have some wonderful gems that are worth knowing about as you settle in and look for things to do other than vape on Foss.

And if you’re really bold and somehow have an abundance of time before finals arrive, there’s some cool shit beyond the local area too.  Here’s the 2019 Outing guide, advice from a Connecticut local. 

 

A quick reminder that you can check out our welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Unofficial Orientation Series 2019: 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 2019 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.

Dear frosh of 2022,

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 [three years] 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:

BOOKSLEYING: Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak

Welcome to Booksleying! If you need a refresher on what this is or how the rating system works, check out our introductory post. You can find all the Booksleying posts here. (We’ve been shit at posting, we KNOW).

Title and Author: Three Daughters of Eve (Havaanin Üç Kizi) by Elif Shafak

NOTE: I accidentally read the English version of the book without knowing that it also had a Turkish translation. Shafak has some of her works originally written in English, and some in Turkish, and I wasn’t able to figure out which category this book lives in. But good for you! You get an English review of this book.

Rating: 4 stars with a side of Dessert Parfait. 

BOOKSLEYING: The Sun is Also a Star

a note: apologies for being such SHIT about posting the past few weeks. we’ve been, well, suffering.

Title and Author: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Rating: 4 Michael Roths, with a side of Sweet Potato Fries

A Quote: “There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.”