Category Archives: Alumni

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.

Lunch with Rabbi Jonah Pesner ’90

Talia Kaplan ’18 writes in:

Join Rabbi Jonah Pesner ‘90 director of the Religious Action Center (RAC), for a conversation about why pursuing social and economic justice is core to Judaism and how Jews can join with people of all faiths and no faiths to combat white supremacy, systemic racism, and transform communities to effect positive change. Recently, Rabbi Pesner has been involved in calls for a clean Dream Act: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rabbis-arrested-daca-protest_us_5a5f8b13e4b046f0811c6213

This lunch is a collaboration between the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship and the Wesleyan Jewish Community (WJC). All are welcome, regardless of religion and political views. Free, vegetarian food provided.

Date: Tuesday, February 27
Time: 11:50 PM
Place: Allbritton 311
Facebook Event

Write-In: “Commencement 2018: Lemony Snicket, Anita Hill, and Silencing Women of Color in the Age of #MeToo”

On February 15th, President Roth emailed an announcement of this year’s commencement speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients. The 186th Commencement Address will be delivered by Daniel Handler ’92, also known under his pen name Lemony Snicket. Fellow degree recipients are Anita Hill, Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, and Joshua Boger ’73, scientist and chair emeritus of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees. Commencement will be Sunday, May 27, 2018.

The decision has sparked conversation among students, both in light of Handler’s past controversial remarks and the ongoing #MeToo movement, for which Anita Hill laid the foundation when, in 1991, she testified against Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination on the basis of sexual harassment. Sarah Chen Small ’18 has written in with a response to the commencement decisions, which you view below along with President Roth’s original announcement email:

Jesse Galganov ’17 Reported Missing in Peru

A recent Wes grad, Jesse Galganov ’17, has disappeared on a backpacking trip in Peru. Galganov left his home in Montreal on September 24 for an eight-month backpacking trip through South America and Southeast Asia. His family last heard from him on September 28, when he texted his mother to inform her that he would be hiking a 31-mile trail through the Cordillera Blanca Mountains and would be not be reachable until early October. (Sources differ on whether Galganov specified October 2 or October 4.)

Three weeks later, no one has heard from Galganov. According to close friends, all communication with him – including frequent texts and Snapchat updates on his trip – suddenly ceased after September 29. His mother has filed a missing persons report with the U.S. State Department, and his whereabouts are under investigation by the Peruvian National Police. The District Attorney that overseas Huaraz, Peru, is also now conducting a criminal investigation, as there are conflicting narratives surrounding his stay in Huaraz’s Kame House Backpacker Hostel, where he was last sighted.

Galganov’s family has set up a GoFundMe campaign, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and an Instagram account. Any information regarding his whereabouts can be sent to helpusfindjesse[at]gmail[dot com].

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this post incorrectly spelled Huaraz as Huarez.

Like Gummy Bear Vitamins? You’ll Love Cummies!

“A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”  -Steve Jobs (1998)

In the YouTube debut of esteemed Wesleyan alums Russell Goldman ’17 and Johnny LaZebnik ’16, we are introduced to Cummies®: “the world’s first ever jizz-flavored vitamin chew”.

The testimonials in this parody infomercial leave you with some pleasant mental images as to the accurate flavor of Cummies®.  Lines describing the flavor include, “An almost empty glass of white wine with a little bit of ranch dressing plopped in”, “Three day old oyster water”, and “Black truffle that’s washed up under the Santa Monica Pier”.

The infomercial ends with an offer for a bonus bottle of Facielle by Cummies®, a lotion, and then a shot of Brent (played by Johnny) being splattered with the lotion in a rather suggestive way.  Describing how many takes this shot took, Johnny said, “By the end, I looked like I’d just shot a bukake scene with 50 well-hydrated men.”

Watch after the jump:

The Return of Rhys

These days, Rhys Langston ’16  spends most of his time paying fealty as a vassal to the Estate of Langstónia—a purportedly earthly domain which is located, as far as I can tell, somewhere between Los Feliz and Phuket. This weekend, he returns to perform at the alma mater from whose generous womb he recently walked into what some call reality. Last month saw the release of Rhys’s long awaited album, Aggressively Ethnically Ambiguous, which features a few familiar bangers from Eclectic shows of yore amidst plenty of new material. Listen to the tape and read more after the jump.

Professor Tyshawn Sorey Wins MacArthur “Genius” Grant

The list of 2017 MacArthur fellows was released today. I found out in the opening moments of my seminar on creative music this morning—just before we discussed Weather Report, Snarky Puppy, and the misnomer of jazz fusion—that my professor, composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey MA ’11, is on it. Read more and find links to his work after the jump:

Guest Post: In Remembrance of Alex Hartley ’10

“She was a fierce and loving friend to me and many others. She didn’t take shit but knew how to be silly. We all miss her so much already.”

Last week, we received some sad news about the passing of Alex Hartley ’10. We’re publishing some words of remembrance from Lena Solow ’12, who was a close friend of Alex. There will be a formal gathering to remember Alex in Boston on Saturday, October 7th from 1:30-3:30PM at the The Humanist Hub.

From Lena:

Text Wes Back: An Interview with Cade Leebron ’14

Wesleyan solicits donations from alumni year-round to support the many fundraising campaigns that keep Wesleyan afloat (but somehow still not need-blind…). Over the summer, I spoke with Cade Leebron ’14 about her own campaign for alumni to speak up about the many issues that students and alumni alike see at the school. She began Text Wes Back to collect actual responses that she and other alumni sent back when Wesleyan texted them to donate money to the school.

Read below the jump for the full interview.

Content warning: This interview discusses sexual assault.