Category Archives: Campus Life

Community Engagement Trips Sign Up

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From Kimberly Heras ’17:

In previous years, the Community Engagement Trips have only been open to new students but this year we are opening the opportunity to the whole Wesleyan community! The projects will be held on September 6th and each project is about 1-3 hours long! Sign up and get to know your community and some of your new frosh through a little community service!

Deadline: Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Trip Date
: Saturday, September 6, 2014
Cost: Free for everyone!
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Summer Booking with Concert Committee

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From Gabe Sunshine ’17:

Summer booking is officially open! If you have prior experience booking at Wesleyan, you may begin to contact artists/agents to schedule a concert to be held anytime from the start of the semester up until fall break. Send emails to gdsunshine[at]wesleyan[dot]edujrosenbloom[at]wesleyan[dot]edu, and jgitlin[at]wesleyan[dot]edu. Please include information about the act(s), potential venues and dates, and anything else you think might be relevant.

Beloved Faculty Leave Wesleyan’s AfAm Department

from left: Professor Mahurin, Elsa Hardy '14, Professor Leah Wright. Photo courtesy of Melody Oliphant '13

from left: Professor Mahurin, Elsa Hardy ’14, Professor Leah Wright. Photo courtesy of Melody Oliphant ’13

As students flock back to Middletown, CT in late August, two professors will be missing. Professor Sarah Mahurin and Professor Leah Wright, cornerstones of the University’s African American Studies Department (and, dare I say it, Wesleyan itself), will not teach courses next fall. In the midst of all of the commotion surrounding the status of the AfAm Department—one knows something made a splash when President Roth writes not one, but two blog posts about the issue—their departure from Wesleyan deserves recognition and further scrutiny into AfAm’s history and current status.

During their time at Wesleyan, Assistant Professors Mahurin and Wright advised the majority of students in the AfAm Department, numerous Mellon Mays fellows, and students in their other departments of English and History, respectively. Beyond providing generous academic support for their students, they were both immersed in other spheres of campus life: they hosted forums on the intersection of pop culture and race; they showed up to student performances, readings, and athletic events; and they always had students coming and going from their offices in the Center for African American Studies (CAAS) building, sometimes asking for help with essays, sometimes asking for life advice. Their absence will be felt acutely across campus.

Volunteer for Waste Not!

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From Molly Steinfeld ’15:

Waste Not!, Wesleyan’s beloved annual yard sale, is looking for volunteers for this fall! Move into school early (August 26th), help sell donated items, and hang with great people! Fill out the application below and send it to either of the Waste Not! coordinators: Molly Steinfeld (msteinfeld[at]wesleyan[dot]edu) and Michael Ortiz (mortiz01[at]wesleyan[dot]edu).

Application here or after the jump:

Mercury In Regular-grade, Van Vleck Equipped To View It

Does this mean that our telescope is still 1 inch longer than Amherst’s?

Although I’m not currently on campus to confirm this breaking news, the Van Vleck Observatory might look a little different these days. The almost 100 year-old 20-inch refractor telescope is getting computerized, so that it will be much easier to use. The telescope itself was built in 1916, but it was installed in 1920 (there was a bit of a delay because the glass lens was ordered from Germany and so World War I made speedy delivery impossible). I suppose it was worth the wait because, according to the Astronomy Department, “the glass quality was found to be very high across the whole disk, allowing a 20 inch aperture rather than the 18.5 inches that had been ordered.” The telescope was used to help Walter Scott Houston research his lovely column that ran in the 1950s, “Deep-Sky Wonders.” 

The good news for younger students is that once the project is completed in 2016, the observatory will be open for viewing on every clear night, not just twice a month. You can stay up-to-date with the restoration process by following the Astronomy Department’s twitter feed.

Recent Wes Grads on Where They’ll Be in 20 Years

Greg Faxon ’14 asked members of the class of ’14 “where do you see yourself in 20 years?” the day before graduation. Answers ranged from “studying medicine” to “pondering my first career.” See for yourself where other recent grads see themselves in two decades.

Leave a comment below if you want to answer Greg’s question! Between graduating and turning 41, Wes alums have gotten married, traveled the world, and had successful careers in basically any field you can think of.

Connecticut at Work Film Series presents Summer Stock

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 1.26.43 PMFrom Emily Brown ’12:

This week marks the last screening in our Connecticut at Work Film Series with 1950′s Summer Stock, a lighthearted musical starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. The film will be introduced by Marc Longenecker, programming and technical director of the Film Department.

Date: Thursday, June 19
Time: 7-9:30 p.m.
Place: Center for Film Studies

Connecticut at Work Film Series presents “Since You Went Away”

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 1.26.43 PMFrom Emily Brown ’12:

On campus for the summer? Missing the Film Series? The Connecticut at Work Film Series will be screening this classic film about women on the homefront during World War II, starring Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, and a teenage Shirley Temple. The film will be introduced by Jeanine Basinger, chair of the Film Studies department and founder of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives. Come on out, escape the heat, and enjoy this beautiful 35mm print!

Date: Thursday, June 12
Time: 7-10 p.m.
Place: Center for Film Studies

More All-Gender Bathrooms to be in Effect by the Fall

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By the fall, Wesleyan will have a mix of new all-gender single-use and gendered multi-use bathrooms. After the trans* activism in the fall, when gendered bathroom signs were taken off most campus bathrooms, new all-gender bathroom signs popped up in many campus buildings (Exley, Usdan, North College, 41 Wyllys are the ones I noticed firsthand). By the end of this summer, “a new all-gender bathroom will be created on the ground floor of Olin, next to the existing men’s and women’s rooms,” according to University Librarian Pat Tully. “It is being created out of an existing custodial closet, which will be moved just down the hall.”

Physical Plant has gradually installed new bathroom signs across campus, and they committed to complete the installation before the end of the summer. Vice President for Student Affairs Dean Mike Whaley pledged to publish a list of the all-gender bathrooms online once the installations are done. According to him, “We actually have quite a lot of single-use all gender restrooms across campus, but awareness about where they are located needs to be better.”

On a related note, the fines paid by the trans* activists for taking down the original signs only represented a “tiny fraction of the total cost” of the new all-gender signs, according to Dean Whaley. And instead of paying fees, some of the activists worked to install the new signs. The gendered multi-use bathrooms will also have new signs that indicate where the location of the nearest all-gender bathroom is.

Below is the full memo by Dean Whaley and the WSA (originally drafted 11/20/13) outlining plans for de-gendering bathrooms and posting new all-gender signs. These plans should be completed by the end of the summer: