Emily Furnival ’18 writes in:
Have you ever wondered whether the College of Letters just studies the alphabet for three years? Never heard of the College of Letters? Like reading, writing, OR talking? Come to the COL Open House to get answers to all (we do mean all) of your questions! Talk to students and faculty to understand what the major is and whether it’s right for you.
The College of Letters is the interdisciplinary study of European Literature, History, Philosophy & Foreign Language. Through this program you will study with a small cohort of peers and two professors each semester. It’s a three year major and applications are due March 27th, so come by with questions!
Date: Monday and Tuesday, February 27-28th
Where: College of Letters Library (41 Wyllys, 3rd Floor)
“In addition to reduced wait times for initial appointments, as well as more regular ongoing appointments, we expect the increase in staffing will improve comprehensive services for sexual violence prevention and treatment and allow the team to continue building stronger relationships with marginalized students and student groups through outreach activities.” – Dean Whaley
Yesterday afternoon, Dean Mike Whaley sent out an all-campus email informing the student body that an additional full-time psychotherapist will be joining CAPS in the fall of 2017. This comes after the announcement of the hiring of a full-time APRN after more than a semester without a prescriber (part-time or full-time) on campus.
According to Whaley’s email, the new hires “will improve comprehensive services for sexual violence prevention and treatment and allow the team to continue building stronger relationships with marginalized students.”
The email, however, leaves out any discussion of the student-organized campaign and WSA resolution from last semester that originally proposed expansions in CAPS. Read past the jump for the full text of Dean Whaley’s email and more context on the student efforts that made this new staff position a reality.
Lex Spirtes ’17 writes in:
Restore mind, body, and spirit in this 9 week support group for female-identified survivors of sexual violence on Wednesdays beginning February 15th from 5:30-7:00 PM!! Topics include: self-compassion, sleep, hygiene, sex and sexuality, body image, creativity and play, mindfulness, and healthy relationships. Sessions will include art, movement, and other activities! Email Alysha B. Warren, LPC, Therapist/Sexual Violence Resource Coordinator at awarren[at]wesleyan[dot]edu by 2/13 to sign up!!
Deadline: Monday, February 13th
Some of you have probably seen on Facebook that there is something going wrong with the Theater Department, and might have further questions. Maia Nelles-Sager ’17 wrote a piece explaining the state of the Wesleyan Theater Department and submitted it to Wesleying. We are deciding to post it because we think it represents an all-too-often occurrence where departments are neglected and visiting professors are overworked.
As with many things at Wesleyan, there are inner workings of the administration to which students don’t have access. In the case of the post below, these things are having a direct impact on the formal education that we have come here to receive. As a prospective theater major, this post is something near and dear to me. I’ve seen a big cry for transparency in our community, and I hope you all will take time to see why many students are looking for it in the case of the Theater Department. Read past the jump for Maia’s post.
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.
This morning at around 9:15, Vice President for Equity & Inclusion and Title IX Officer Antonio Farias sent out a campus-wide email, announcing that the University will be conducting a Title IX policy review this semester in partnership with the Victim Rights Law Center. Three representatives from VRLC – Lindy Aldrich, Amanda Walsh, and Candi N. Smiley – will be on campus February 8-9 to host panel discussions and Q&As with faculty members, class deans, and student representatives (you can view bios of the representatives and a full schedule of the panels here). A full report is expected to be completed and made publicly available by late March or early April.
The news follows several months of high-profile controversy surrounding Scott Backer, the former Associate Dean of Students, whose history as a sexual predator was only made public due to an investigative report by the Boston Globe. Last semester was marked by multiple student protests over how Wesleyan handles sexual assault cases and faculty accountability; at an open forum, students expressed their wish for Farias and President Michael Roth to be removed from office. A number of faculty members expressed their own disappointment at the University’s Title IX policy by sending an open letter to the Argus, demanding that faculty sexual harassment cases required independent review by an outside party.
Read Farias’ full email and more information on the VRLC after the jump:
“Our international programs, our financial aid policies and employment programs comply with all applicable Federal and State laws. However, we will object to and oppose administrative dictates that violate the law and the Constitution and, if necessary, we will work with others to do so in court.”
This morning, President Roth published a piece entitled “We Are All Immigrants!” on his blog, which detailed Wesleyan’s continued support for its “students, faculty and staff, regardless of their country of origin or their religious beliefs.” The post re-affirmed Wesleyan’s status as a Sanctuary Campus and reiterated what that means for current and future students. The post also included a continued commitment to treating undocumented students the same as U.S. citizens and permanent residents in the admissions process. This comes after yesterday’s reactions to Trump’s now-infamous ban on immigration from 7 majority-Muslim countries.
Shortly after publishing the post on his blog, President Roth sent out an all-campus email with the same text, saying that Wesleyan is confident in the legality of all its policies with respect to its international programs, financial aid policies, and employment programs, and is prepared to work with others to challenge unconstitutional dictates by the Trump administration in court. Read past the jump for the full-text of the email:
On Wednesday night, the WSA held a town hall meeting to have a campus wide conversation about Eclectic and the future of 200 High Street, which is currently Music House. According to Director of ResLife Fran Koerting, Eclectic originally lost their program housing status after repeatedly failing to get a 16 out of 21 on the URLC’s housing assessment and being put on probation, with the final straw being the application from last fall.
The meeting was attended by a variety of students, some who are still a part of Eclectic, others who were in Eclectic but have since left, and many students who are not members of Eclectic as well. Ultimately, the URLC voted not to let Eclectic obtain program house status for the 2017-2018 school year. There were 0 votes in favor, 4 opposed, 2 abstentions, and 1 recusal. The future of 200 High will be considered separately by the URLC, and they have said that they will take the wider campus community’s opinion strongly into consideration.
“Becoming a true sanctuary campus must be an ongoing and communal project and we urge every member of the Wesleyan community to contribute toward a collective effort to make our campus a place where international and undocumented students, faculty, and staff receive legal, physical, and emotional support.”
Ever since over 100 students walked out of class on Wednesday, November 16 to express support for a petition that pressed the Wesleyan administration to declare the university a sanctuary campus for undocumented students, the subject has been the focus of conversation for numerous groups on campus.
Several of the students who helped pen the sanctuary campus petition (which received over 1300 signatures) met with Board of Trustees members during the weekend before Thanksgiving break to discuss the proposal for the creation of sanctuary campus policies. Later that weekend, President Roth declared Wesleyan a sanctuary campus in a blog post. This made Wesleyan one of the first schools in the country to adopt the label. The post was picked up by The Atlantic, The Hartford Courant, and numerous other media outlets (yikes at The Daily Caller). Oh yeah, and it lead to this exchange between President Roth and Tucker Carlson on Fox News.
The question of what constitutes a sanctuary campus is still very much an open one. Over the break, there were conversations that called for more to be done than what was promised in President Roth’s post. One student remarked that President Roth’s blog post addressed none of the concerns around CAPS that were raised in the petition. It’s also important to note that the concerns raised in the petition regarding break housing and other medical and financial needs for undocumented students were also missing from Roth’s post. Along with many others, I share the position that Wesleyan’s status as a sanctuary campus needs to be implemented as something that lasts. This kind of lasting impact is only ever achieved through the creation of full-time paid positions, collaborations between faculty, students, staff, and the administration, and other factors that outlast the infamous institutional memory purge.
Many members of the faculty, while in solidarity with the decision made by President Roth, think there is more to be done to establish Wesleyan as a sanctuary campus. Seventy-six members of the faculty signed a letter to President Roth, the Board of Trustees, and the Wesleyan community calling for a series of measures that they think will better establish Wesleyan as a sanctuary campus. Read past the jump for the full text of the letter.
I sometimes really wished I watched cable news. You know, among a life of reading, work, class, essays, and more at a Liberal University™, I feel like I somehow miss out on the rather illuminating shows on channels like Fox News. For anyone who might not know, Fox News is that one cable news channel that employs an anchor that declares that, you know, poverty isn’t all that bad because poor people have fridges. It is also the cable news channel that was founded and run by a sexual predator for 20 years. I am so checked out from the channel that I don’t notice when Evil Presidents of Liberal Universities™ are featured as guests (fodder for conservative viewers sitting on their couch in South Carolina eating spaghetti-o’s?).