Category Archives: Activist Times

Michael Roth, Protest, and Free Speech (Part 2 of 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part article. Read the first part here.

Activism is used by Wesleyan as a means of advertisement, made into a commodity

Spring 2019 – Police Reports

Police reports from April 11th

According to Middletown Police reports, Public Safety called the police on April 11th not once, but twice, once at 9:17 AM, and again at 2:16 PM, with no actual presence from the police occurring for the first call.

Michael Roth, Protest, and Free Speech (Part 1 of 2)

 

Many students, myself included, feel that Roth’s advocacy and authority on free speech and campus protest do not line up in reality given his record of activity concerning these topics at Wesleyan, using his perceived advocacy to both profit himself (such as the release of a book that addresses his advocacy for his brand of free speech), as well as Wesleyan itself. Let’s take a look at his and Wesleyan’s record in recent times.

Students and Custodians Allege Labor Violations against Wesleyan

Wesleying stands in solidarity with our custodial workers in their fight to be treated with dignity and respect as they clean and care for our campus. We affirm their demand for Wesleyan to hire five more workers, and offer our platform and support to the workers and students who are organizing to achieve this.

Tomorrow (Friday, April 26), at noon, students, campus workers, and community members will join together at North College to rally for Five More Workers: Support Good Jobs at Wes. Students, other Wesleyan workers, community organizations, labor unions, artists, and even two sitting Congresspeople (Rep. Pramila Jayapal WA-07 and Rep. Andy Levin MI-09) have expressed their support for Wesleyan’s custodial workers, and Friday’s rally is anticipated to be the largest action yet.

This comes just two weeks after United Student/Labor Action Committee (USLAC) organized a series of protests and disruptions during WesFest to call attention to the unreasonable workloads of our school’s custodians and to demand that Wesleyan hire five more workers. (If you want to know more about the WesFest actions, the Argus did a great job covering them.)

Since WesFest, the administration has failed to take action on (or take seriously) the protesters’ demands and workers’ testimonies, citing data shared in an all-campus email from Chief Administrative Officer, and Treasurer Andy Tanaka on Wednesday, April 24 as justification. USLAC responded by sharing a point-by-point rebuttal of the “facts” presented in Tanaka’s email.

A graph compiled by USLAC to explain perceived flaws in the administration’s data analysis

As mentioned in these documents, there have been new developments with regard to the legality of Wesleyan and SMG’s employment practices. On Friday, April 19, Wesleyan students and custodians worked together to file a National Labor Relations Board charge against Service Management Group (SMG), a custodial services subcontractor, and Wesleyan University as joint employers. This occurred after custodians and students reviewed SMG’s corporate handbook and identified several violations of federal labor law.

Read on to learn more about the violations, their significance, and to view the full redacted complaint.

Bernie Sanders Town Hall Watch Party

From Wesleyan Democratic Socialists:

Join Wesleyan Democratic Socialists to watch Bernie Sanders give his first town hall of his 2020 presidential campaign!

All are welcome, whether you knocked doors in 2016 or are just curious to hear more about his policies and democratic socialism!

Snacks will be provided!

Date: Monday, February 25
Time: 8 PM
Place: PAC 001
Facebook Event

An Evening with Terry Tempest Williams

Check out this event from the College of the Environment!

Please join us for a reading, book signing and reception with award-winning conservationist-activist-writer Terry Tempest Williams, author of the environmental literature classic Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place, When Women Were Birds, The Hour of Land, Finding Beauty in a Broken World, and more. Both the event and reception are FREE and open to the public.

Terry Tempest Williams has been called “a citizen writer,” a writer who speaks and speaks out eloquently on behalf of an ethical stance toward life. A naturalist and fierce advocate for freedom of speech, she has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.

Her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Orion Magazine, and numerous anthologies worldwide as a crucial voice for ecological consciousness and social change.

In 2006, Williams received the Robert Marshall Award from The Wilderness Society, their highest honor given to an American citizen. She also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association and the Wallace Stegner Award given by The Center for the American West. She is the recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in creative nonfiction. In 2009, Terry Tempest Williams was featured in Ken Burns’ PBS series on the national parks. In 2014, on the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, Ms. Williams received the Sierra Club’s John Muir Award honoring a distinguished record of leadership in American conservation. Williams also received the 2017 Audubon New York Award for Environmental Writing.

Date: Friday, March 1
Time: 4:30 PM-7:00 PM
Place: Memorial Chapel

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: