Category Archives: Activist Times

2018: A Very Wesleying Year in Review

To say it’s been a wild year would be an insult to things that deserve the title “wild.” But, here we are, a month into reflecting and trying to understand what even happened in 2018, publishing this article to try to find some sense. And what other than to write about a year at an institution that makes no sense during any given year?!

Yes, friends, I am going to try to review this very confusing year––and bonus: I wasn’t even on campus for half of it! Because I am perpetually on the Internet, I have been filled in on the ~happenings~ last semester and will try my best to give 2018 the little justice it deserves.

Disclaimer: this is a subjective process, and things change at Wesleyan sometimes very quickly, but also sometimes veeeeery slowly. If I’ve missed something, let us know at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org. Send us your funny moments, your important moments…just all the moments.

Because this year was just…a lot…I’m going to do my best to organize this information as effectively as possible.

If you want to procrastinate because it’s been a week of classes, here’s some old content: 20122013201420152016, 2017.

HAPPENING NOW: Protect Title IX and Tell DeVos: #HandsOffIX

The Title IX Student Advisory Committee is currently putting on a training and comment-writing event to address proposed changes to Title IX that would harm survivors:

Betsy DeVos’s most recent changes to Title IX propose to protect those who are accused of sexual violence, and the institutions to which they belong, rather than students.

The Trump administrations’s proposed changes include only requiring schools to investigate the most extreme forms of harassment and assault, allow schools to ignore violence that occurs outside of school programs, increase barriers to reporting, and allow schools to delay investigations for months.
Read more here:
https://actionnetwork.org/user_files/user_files/000/028/107/original/Two_pager_on_proposed_rule.pdf

The good news? We have 60 days to comment. Writing a comment is basically the Education Department version of calling your senators, and it’s the best way to make our voices heard for Title IX.

To write a comment, join the Title IX Student Advisory Committee this Thursday, Dec. 6th in the Downey House Lounge. Drop in any time from 4-7 PM. There will be pizza, information on the proposed changes, and guides for how to write a successful comment. It won’t take long, and it’s the best way to tell DeVos #HandsOffIX.

Date: TODAY, Thursday, December 6
Time: 4-7 PM
Place: Downey Lounge
Facebook Event

Unofficial Orientation 2018: Rage Update

Wes is known for its history of activism. Rage update outlines all public activism that occurred on campus in the past academic year. It seems to have become an every other year sort of thing for us with our first article in 2014, our second in 2016, and now our third in 2018.  All articles are definitely worth a read and although 2017 didn’t get an article, it was certainly a year worth remembering so I’ll leave some links to further reading in the end.

Rage update wouldn’t be complete without the words of alt, the author of our first rage update:

You’ve now arrived on campus, and we hope that you find your time here enriching and transformative. In that hope, we feel that it would be ill-advised to allow you to not have at least a foundational understanding of the things that have forced us as a community into dialogue, disagreement, and action.

This is not to scare you or to give you a negative impression of the University. However, we are certain that most if not all of you were told about the “passion” that Wesleyan students have and the issues that we care about on campus are at the forefront of those passions. While there is certainly no requirement to take an activist stance on any of these issues and it is in fact easy to sink beneath the radar on these issues and all the others not covered here, we would plead with you to be engaged in the community that you are now a part of.

Read this, ask questions, and reach out to students and faculty that have been here before you. We hope that as you begin your time here, you fully invest yourself as a community member committed to making Wesleyan as good as it can be for you and for those after you. Caring about Wesleyan does not foreclose critique on Wesleyan and as you read this, and other things like it, we hope you understand that too.

All Campus Email: Daniel Handler Withdraws as Commencement Speaker, Anita Hill to Speak

Around 4 PM today, President Roth sent out an email update notifying campus that Daniel Handler ’92 has stepped down from delivering the Commencement Speech for the Class of 2018. Dr. Anita Hill will instead be delivering the address at the event.

This decision follows Sarah Chen Small ’18‘s write-in as well as the her leading a student response which involved #CancelHandler posters put around campus earlier this week. This is a great example of how student activism can pressure the administration to check their actions. Honestly, this is amazing.

Read past the jump for the full text of the email:

#CancelHandler18 Posters Appear All Over Campus

On Monday, posters like the one above were put up all over campus, including on most (if not all) senior house doors. The posters call for the removal of Daniel Handler ’92 as Commencement Speaker after repeated instances of racism and sexual harassment. They also call attention to the fact that Dr. Anita Hill, who is known for speaking out against workplace harassment, will receive an honorary degree (a lesser honor and a shorter speech) at the same event.

The poster also links to Wesleying’s Write-In: “Commencement 2018: Lemony Snicket, Anita Hill, and Silencing Women of Color in the Age of #MeToo” and a recent article in Pacific Standard by David M. Perry ’95 detailing Handler’s history of sexual harassment.

Film Series Special Screening: Get Out

2017. USA. Dir: Jordan Peele. With Daniel
Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford.


We’re delighted to present a free preview screening of this socially conscious horror flick. A young black man heads upstate to meet his white girlfriend’s parents, where he makes a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries.

Tonight / 8 p.m. / Goldsmith Family Cinema / Free

Students, Alumni React to Trump’s Muslim Ban

jfk-airport-new-york

Earlier today, thousands gathered at JFK International Airport to protest the detaining of 12 people from the list of seven majority-Muslim countries covered in Trump’s executive order from yesterday. This order has suspended all immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia for the next 90 days, regardless of visa and permanent resident status. The order also bans entry of all refugees for the next 120 days and the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Among those at JFK earlier today was Casey Smith ’17, who gives more information about what’s going on there:

At least a dozen refugees and immigrants from the now-banned Muslim-majority countries were detained by Customs and Border Patrol inside JFK and more–unclear how many–were detained at airports around the country. The protests were posted on Facebook by immigrants’ rights and human rights activists, including Linda Sarsour. Lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project and the ACLU were inside the airport, by the arrivals gate, working to get in touch with the detained refugees. At the time of writing one Iraqi refugee had been released but the others were still detained. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY-7) was inside the airport and at the protests all day to advocate for CBP to release the refugees. Protestors shouted “no ban, no wall” and that immigrants/refugees/Muslims are welcome here.

Smith also said that it is important that those who are directly affected by the ban be centered in conversations about the policy. Read past the jump for reactions to the news:

Wesleyan Students Protest Dakota Access Pipeline in New Haven

Photo Credit: Liberation News

Photo Credit: Kirill Lebedev for Liberation News

On Friday afternoon, a cohort of Wesleyan activists drove down to New Haven’s financial district to protest three major banks’ investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Students from Wesleyan Democratic Socialists and Fossil Fuel Divest joined other protestors on the march, which began at Wells Fargo, moved to Bank of America and the Federal Courthouse, and ended at TD Bank. At each stop, organizers and indigenous activists made speeches and led chants demanding a halt to pipeline construction and that the banks divest from the project. Read past the jump for more information about the march and specific calls to action from the protest’s organizers.

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.