Author Archives: pyrotechnics

About pyrotechnics

Fire is clean and fire is bright - Ray Bradbury

Reply-All Monster Strikes Athletics: One Glitch, One Urologist, and a Whole Lot of Pissed Off Alumni

Ouch.

listservs

So, a while back (some of you may remember), disaster struck over at NYU. An innocent, unimportant email from the Bursar’s Office glitched into an auto-reply-all email that suddenly became a galloping firestorm of boredom, anxiety, horse-duck hypotheticals, and utter hilarity. (Incidentally, the news of the reply-all horror terrorizing New York quickly launched a similar tragedy on the Wesleying listserve.)

We at Wesleyan never suspected that this could happen to us. We were safe. How little we knew.

Several days ago, the Athletics Department at Wesleyan sent a holiday greetings email slash donation request email to a massive listserve of Wesleyan Athletics alumni, which was horrifying enough on its own (you can read it here).

Like at NYU, the first few replies were innocent:

Ditto, Mike. And thanks for given me the opportunity to rag my urologist, a Williams grad, about the Little Three Football title. Never been so eager for a visit my urologist!

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

The 68 Percent Figure: Where Did It Come From?

I have been pleasantly surprised to see a few comments on recent articles asking for a source on the 68% figure that has been flying thick and heavy around need-blind conversations lately. For context, here is an excerpt from a recent controversial speech about donating to Wesleyan:

“Did you know that 68% of any donation earmarked for financial aid gets swept into the general operating budget, and that only 32% of such donations goes to improving the financial aid budget?”

That 68% figure was first circulated in a document produced by Need Blind Wes and distributed during Homecoming Weekend. It is profoundly shocking that the majority of a specified donation would somehow be weaseled into unrestricted funds, isn’t it? Isn’t that illegal?

Well, yes, that would be illegal — except the 68% figure is just flat-out false as described. Incorrect. Inaccurate. Wrong. Or, at the very least, incredibly misleading.

Faculty Approve New College of East Asian Studies

Wesleyan has a new college, the College of East Asian Studies (CEAS). This academic re-configuration combines the existing East Asian Studies Program, Asian Languages and Literatures Department, and Freeman Center for East Asian Studies into one College housed primarily in the beautiful, tranquil Freeman Center for East Asian Studies on the north end of campus. The new structure also pulls Korean into the College from Less Commonly Taught Languages. CEAS provides for an expanded major as well as an entirely new minor.

The College joins the growing ranks of interdisciplinary colleges at Wes: the College of Social Studies, the College of Letters, the College of the Environment, and the College of Film and the Moving Image. Like some of the other colleges, CEAS will support significant co-curricular programming and cohort-building among majors.

Professor Laurie Nussdorfer, the Chair of the Educational Policy Committee which brought the proposal to the faculty for approval this past Tuesday, wrote that CEAS “is  innovative as a new 3 year major requiring a more advanced level of language study than before, and it builds a student cohort both by new opportunities for social interaction among majors and by bringing in new student constituencies, like native speakers and others interested in East Asia who are committed to other majors, through a new minor. These are clear benefits of the new arrangement.”

Students, too, are quite interested in the new College. “This news was a bit of a gamechanger for me,” an anonymous member of the Class of 2015 chimed in. “A lot of people are excited about the announcement of the new college because it is being seen as a signal that the University intends to take this program that is already very strong and renowned, and investing in it further. It feels good that the program is getting this recognition.”

The Plan: A G-Chat Interview with Matt Lichtash ’13 and Evan Weber ’13

It may not be easy being green, but it sure is worthwhile.

Soon after graduating in May, Matt Lichtash ’13 and Evan Weber ’13 took a sweet roadtrip got to work on solving one of our age’s great crises: climate change. The dynamic duo recently released The Plan, a comprehensive energy plan (and a critique of President Obama’s own inadequate version) that would bring the United States to effective carbon neutrality by 2050. They have now entered “Phase 2,” and it involves an Indiegogo campaign somehow. I sat down with Matt and Evan (literally) to probe the mysterious/complex/profound details of their work, and also to talk about being alums and advice for Wesleyan and whatnot. The following is our G-Chat interview, replete with spelling errors and all (though not as bad as our last G-Chat interview). Without further ado:

Q: So, tell me about The Plan. What is it?

Evan: Alright.
Evan: Getting right into it.
Evan: So basically, our nation has no long term energy strategy.
Evan: And given things like environmental degradation, dependence on potentially unstable regions for the backbone of our economy, and (what we think is the whopper) the threat of already occurring climate change which will—if unchecked—completely change the world as we know it, we found that lack of planning to be problematic
Matt: So, we set out to find the best policies that could really get us out of this mess and fix several problems at once.
Evan: The U.S. likes to position itself as a global superpower, and in a lot of ways it is.
Evan: But climate change is one of the biggest challenges the world has faced, and for us not to have a plan with how to really lead the way to deal with it is irresponsible
Evan: And immoral really

Who the Fuck Decides That This Is Okay?

Hidden in the back is a bowl full of half-eaten buffalo wings.

proxy-1

You may have seen this on Twitter already, but it took me a while to find time to write this and I am still fucking pissed off. I see this almost every time I walk through Usdan. It’s not just this table, either. By the time Late Night rolls around, the carpet is littered with abandoned bits of food, napkins, silverware. It’s gross, but that’s not really the point: who the fuck is supposed to clean that shit up? Bon Appetit? Nope. Sun Services? Nope. You? Abso-fuckin-lutely.  I am going to start photographing this crap every time and at some point I will make a gallery of it on Wesleying under the same title. I apologize in advance for the liberal use of the second person.

There are so many things wrong with this picture. (It’s a little blurry, for one.) Dare I enumerate them?

1. The Disrespect: Do you really think that these members of our community, the service-people, are so fucking beneath you that you can’t be bothered to pick up the shit you drop on the floor, or take your plate twenty feet to the dishroom conveyor belt? Grow the fuck up.

Rankings Once Again Arbitrary, Wes Once Again #17

If you don't get it, google "recursion." If you still don't get it, email The Argus at argus@wes.

For further redundancy, incredible sarcasm and unrelenting disgust has been clogging up the tubes around campus.

That’s right folks, it’s that time of year again: US News and World Report has released its infamous college rankings list and put Wesleyan at #17 on the National Liberal Arts College list, tied with Grinnell College of Iowa and the United States Military Academy (West Point) of West Point, New York. In a demonstration of recursive redundancy, this ranking is exactly where we ranked last year. In a demonstration of arbitrary analysis–this is US News we’re talking about here–the publication stated the following blurb to describe Wesleyan (reproduced in full from the rankings listing):

Wesleyan University is located in Middletown, Conn., overlooking the Connecticut River. The private institution’s sports teams compete in the Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference, as well as in the unofficial Little Three athletic conference with Amherst College and Williams College.

Settlement in Federal Lawsuit Against Beta and Wesleyan

beta45

Last October, a former student (under the pseudonym of “Jane Doe”) filed a federal lawsuit against Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the Baird Association (which owns Beta’s house), and Wesleyan University. The lawsuit alleged that  Wesleyan had failed to abide by Title IX law through failure to “warn or otherwise take corrective action” against the fraternity that could have prevented the assault on the student that occurred in Beta two years prior.

The case accumulated significant attention in national media (as well as, uh, me), especially when it came to light that lawyers for Beta were attempting to force the survivor to reveal her identity

President Roth, I Expect Your Efforts Redoubled

On the 24th of September 2012, you, President Roth, asked of us a favor. And we agreed.
I am here to keep that promise.

Is This Why?

“You should say, we have a commitment to diversity: we want to see that. In the demographics, not just the rhetoric,” urged President Roth one balmy September evening. “Because the rhetoric, whether it’s you’re in favor of need blind or I say I’m in favor of more scholarships, rhetoric is easy. Let’s see who’s here.”

Well, the results are in.

To sum up, the diversity of the Class of 2017 is markedly different from preceding Classes. As a percentage of the Class, students of color dropped slightly to 37 percent, while on the socioeconomic front the number of students receiving financial aid falls well short of any recent generation of Wesleyan students, dropping to 42 percent from 48 percent last year. Similarly, the number of students receiving grant-aid fell to 37 percent from 44 percent in the previous class. Meanwhile, the number of first-generation college students declined to 13 percent from 16 percent.

Unofficial Orientation Series: The Wrath Update, or Everything You Need to Know About All the Things People Have Been Getting Angry About Lately and Hot Damn This Is a Long Post Title

Always be closing deconstructing…

 There is always hope.

Welcome to utopia! Er, sorta. Well, not really. Actually not at all. Like all the world, good old Wesleyan is plagued with many social ills. Some are more intractable than others, some more terrible than others. I am not here to pass judgment. I am here only to give you the quick run-down on all most of the things people at Wes have been getting upset about of late. To avoid showing favoritism I put these in random order (literally). Please feel free to add/question/editorialize in the comments below.

This is the Wrath Update. First up:

Chalking

At Wes, University Policy prohibits the use of chalk “on sidewalks or buildings.” For many students — though definitely not all — this constitutes a violation of the right to free speech and the battle over the chalking policy has raged fiercely for over a decade. On the 3rd of October 2002, then-President Doug Bennet ’59 put forth a moratorium on Wesleyan’s storied tradition of chalking, a moratorium which was theoretically temporary but was never lifted. In those days, you could spend an hour reading chalkings on the hundred-yard walk from PAC to what’s now Usdan. Chalking was primarily used as an empowerment medium for the queer community, but, of course, a few individuals took things a little too far. I do not need to get into the details; you go to Wesleyan so you can imagine it. We still occasionally witness hateful and hurtful public messages around campus.

Unofficial Orientation Series: WesTech

This is an update of lesanjuan‘s update of Syed’s 2010 post.

If you’re an entering freshman, being familiar with technology and internet is important (duh).  The internet is your gateway to the world even when you’re within the Wesleyan bubble, even during blackouts,* but it can have both its limitations and its advantages.  It can only help to learn these as quickly as possible.

The first thing you should know: WesTech.  It refers to the kindly people who provide “technical services and support to all faculty, staff and students,” you might think.  No, that’s ITS and how they describe themselves.  Here’s what a previous WesLingo post says about WesTech:

WesTech is a word that will pop up every once in a while (via the ACB): “WesTech refers to everyone not DKE/Beta or mostly the ‘very Wesleyan’ population. It comes from the idea that Wesleyan has unattractive girls and bad sports and thus might as well be a technical school: WesTech.” Apparently, however, this is a term used mainly by other schools to make fun of Wesleyan, and has been appropriated by the sports teams as a label of pride (sports teams doing the ironic appropriation? Only at Wesleyan). A Techie was a term generally used by athletes to describe a “typical” Wesleyan student (artsy), or a “Techie.”

Now that you know what it means, this is required viewing: WesTech State of Mind.

Of course, we’re not really going to talk about that much. This is a how-to about Tech(nology).

GETTING ONLINE