Category Archives: Campus Life

Black Squirrels: A Scientific Perspective

We’ve all seen them. We’ve all talked about them. We’ve even written about them. Wesleyan’s black squirrel population is a source of pride, fear, and gossip for the student body.  Despite their fame, we have never known the true origin story of the black squirrel. Until now. Just last year, a team of scientists from the UK and America published their study on the biological source behind this unique coloration. I’ve compiled all the important information below the cut, but I’ll give you a sneak peek here: it’s because these squirrels fuck.

AU: We Never Update the Points Calculator

Imagine: it’s the middle of the Fall 2020 semester. Corona continues to terrorize the nation. The most important election of our lives is on the horizon. The line for Wesshop wraps around the building. Due to all this strife, one important thing slips under the radar: the points calculator.

It’s October, all of a sudden you’ve become worried that you’ve gone to Swings one too many times. You go to Wesleying to check and yet… the calculator is out of date. How can you possibly figure out if you’ll manage to be fed up until Thanksgiving??? Do the math yourself? Never!!!

It’s Spring 2021. America never took COVID seriously, so quarantine is now the normal way of life. You desperately need to go to Wesshop; your food stores are running low and your roommate is looking at you a little too hungrily. But when you go to the points calculator, the words SPRING 2020 mock you. 

It’s 2022. In his second term, Trump was overthrown by Amazon, emboldened by increased tax breaks and a lust for power. You want to know how many points you have left before you go to the all-new-Amazon-Fresh-run Usdan Cafe. You don’t want to leave your room too often; Bezo’s drones are always watching. But the calculator continues to give you an error. 

It’s 20??. As you wander through the wasteland, the thought of a Chai Charger floats through your radiation-addled mind. If only you knew if you could afford it this week… if only… if only the Wesleying editors had remembered… 

But none of that’s going to happen because we did remember. You can calculate exactly how many points and meals you can spend each day for the rest of the semester by going to the link at the top of the website. You’re welcome. 

Unofficial Orientation 2020: Life in the Time of Coronavirus

This is a part of our 2020 Unofficial Orientation series. Find the rest of the posts here.

So, you’re coming back to campus. “Things are going to look a little different this year,” or so you may have heard. Five months ago, in March, physically returning to Wesleyan felt like both an impossibility and the Only Thing to look forward to for the rest of the year. Now, two-thirds of the way through August, it’s become a little more possible. But also, like, a lot more different. As upperclassmen, it is our ethical duty to tell you about every single college experience you’ll ever have before you get to actually have it. But tbh, even we are not fully sure what this fall is gonna look like. Lucky for you, I completed the Moodle course, read the WSA handouts, and skimmed Roth’s letters.

Here’s what we DO know:

All Campus Email: Tentative Plans for Campus to Reopen, Start Classes August 31

  • The University is proposing to reopen campus this fall, Michael Roth announced today in an all-campus email.
  • Classes would start and end a week early, with the possibility of finishing online after Thanksgiving. With the early start, we would miss at most one week of in-person instruction.
  • Additional precautions, such as travel restrictions and contact tracing, would be taken to ensure the health of the student body, faculty, and staff.
  • Students unable to return to campus this fall would be able to continue their coursework online. If students wish to defer, they must petition to do so by June 30.
  • More details will be released in early July.

Read on for the full email:

The Impeachment that Exposed the WSA: An Investigation

this article has been the collaborative effort of  sdz,  hen,  fern, and  fos

Late in the evening on Thursday, April 30th, an anonymous student published a blog post on Medium.com titled “On Impeachments & Coverups.” The article alleged misconduct on the part of several WSA members and cited the impeachment of Huzaifa Khan ‘22, who was then running unopposed for the WSA presidency. Until this point, few outside of the WSA had heard about Huzaifa’s impeachment and proximal resignation. The post was disseminated to the student body via the WesAdmits Facebook groups by Fitzroy Pablo Wickham ‘21. Several hours later, Khan issued his own lengthy response via Wes Admits 2023, announcing the end of his candidacy.

These developments came as a shock. Wesleyan’s student government wields far more power than its counterparts at peer institutions (including being directly in charge of over $800,000 in funds), and the members of the WSA are now tasked with leading the student response to an unprecedented global crisis. The last we knew, the WSA was working hard to advocate for students, and its efforts appeared to be running smoothly.

The WSA is pursuing measures to bring aid to Wesleyan students, and many of its efforts have a particular focus on students of first-generation, low-income (FGLI) backgrounds. Alongside the rest of the Leadership Board, Huzaifa took the lead on these initiatives, and was a public-facing advocate for students, both at meetings and on social media. In the eyes of most students, and of this here blog, it seemed that the WSA was fulfilling its duty to represent student interests to the Administration. 

So what went wrong? And why should you care about the wheelings and dealings of our student government? After all, any student group is prone to miscommunications, drama, and other issues, right?

Unfortunately, the Medium post is just the latest in a series of bizarre events we uncovered as we started investigating the impeachment. We learned that Huzaifa was impeached, that he resigned hastily before the WSA could notify the school, that the WSA covered it all up, and that he then ran for president unopposed is nothing less than bizarre. And the fact that this was all happening amidst a moment of not only campus-wide, but worldwide chaos? Well, we were just floored.

It’s true that during this global pandemic, senators have worked tirelessly to distribute funding and critical information. But, these developments raise questions. How did the WSA, an institution meant to represent the interests of the student body, become so entrenched in its own mess? And, how can we trust the WSA to serve students and hold the administration accountable when it seems like it’s struggling to hold itself accountable?

[Editor’s note: a fellow Wesleying editor was personally involved with the people and events detailed in this article. The editor recused herself from this piece.]

 

Click here to see a timeline of the events

Mar. 8 – Mar. 29 – Wesleyan announces suspension of in-person classes and transitions online WSA creates WSA Supplementary Emergency Fund to provide relief to students dealing with COVID 19-related costs.

Mar. 30 – Apr. 12 – Huzaifa messages an applicant for the Emergency Fund via Facebook Messenger. Applicant emails WSA president Justin Ratkovic ‘20 and SBC chair Aditi Shenoy ‘20 informing them of the incident, saying that Huzaifa’s behavior was “outside the limits of professionalism.” Later, Huzaifa sends a message to the applicant apologizing for his behavior.

Apr. 13 – Apr. 19 – Huzaifa decides to run for WSA president. Then-Chief of Staff Adam Hickey ’22 serves impeachment to Huzaifa. Adam and Huzaifa resign. WSA does not continue with impeachment hearings. Two WSA senators withdraw from the presidential and vice presidential elections.

Apr. 20 – Apr. 27 – A haze. Nothing too exciting. WSA elections begin. 

Apr. 28 – May 1 – sdz and hen don’t leave their laptops for 96 hours. Wesleying receives an open letter, and begins working on an article. Three days later, an edited version of the open letter is anonymously leaked on Medium. Following the posting of the letter, Huzaifa suspends his presidential campaign.

May 2 – This article is posted.

 

In Loving Memory of Mathilde Roth

It is with deep sorrow that we at Wesleying must share that Mathilde Roth, Michael Roth’s dog, passed away recently. Roth posted a tribute to her on his Twitter on April 10th, saying that it’s “So sad to say goodbye to our beloved Mathilde.” As college students, our interactions with pets are far and few between, and I know that for many of us, seeing Mathilde out for a walk around campus was an uplifting sight. Even if we didn’t really get to interact with her, her presence was still felt, and it was obvious that she was a very good girl. She will be missed by all of us. Continue below the cut to see a selection of heartwarming Mathilde photos, and to remember her fondly.

How ya doin?

a brief check in + WSA FAQ!

Hey fam,

As we come to the end of our first week of #distance #learning post spring break, I wanted to check in. How are you? How’s your love life? How’re your friends? Classes? Parties? Anything exciting going on? No? Ok that’s fine, I’m mostly just making sure your life is as boring as mine is right now.

There were a couple things I wanted to fill you in on. First, if you’ve turned your keys in, you should be automatically getting your RCF refund anytime now. But, if you want to transfer it to your checking account, here’s the form for the transfer. I’m sure you have lots and lots of other questions, which can be answered in this amazing, comprehensive FAQ made by the wonderful members of the WSA. Literally everything you could possibly be wondering can be found here.

If you have not yet donated to the FGLI GoFundMe, that can be found here. They’re past $200K now, but every dollar counts. Most importantly, the money from the GoFundMe will not be means tested when distributed. For more information, please check out the updates on the page. Jessi Russell ’20 and Mya Valentin ’19 have been incredibly transparent about where the money is going and how distribution will work, with a timeline and everything.

If you’re looking for a way to get shit off your mind, submit to our series on relationships in the time of corona! This has been a wild time, and whether you were in a romantic/platonic/life changing/very casual relationship or you wanna talk about your friends. Almost every relationship in our lives has been affected by corona, and we want to hear about it. Also don’t even TRY to tell us you’re not all over wescam, we know you are. You can submit through the form, or you can email us a voice memo! We’ll take whatever form you give us :) (staff@wesleying.org).

Wherever you are, I hope you’re with people you love and I hope you’re not letting corona bring you down. We don’t know how long this will last, and it’s painful to wonder when you’ll next see your friends [and friends plus ;) ] again, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The best thing to do is to take this day by day and to reach out to those around you. Don’t isolate yourself. Facetime your friends, go for a walk, or do both at the same time. Rely on others, let others rely on you. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t want to be randomly texted by someone they talk to every day or someone they haven’t spoken to in a year. Zoom happy hour with your friends, and reach out to that senior you hooked up with once freshman year. I know life feels stagnant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting. Fuck shit up and keep moving forward. It’s the only way.

With love and care and affection,

Saadia

Part 2: 24 Testimonials from Women’s Cross Country Alumnae

Yuki’s letter and the petition can be read here. The timeline of contact between the team and the Athletic Department can be found here.

 

In Part 2 of this series, we are presenting 24 testimonials from 24 women who participated on the women’s cross country and track and field teams during their time at Wesleyan. Each story was written and prepared by each alumna herself, and reveals a pattern of mistreatment that led to a cycle of disordered eating, malnutrition, fatigue, and injuries as a result.

While many of the alumnae touch on their personal experiences with Coach Crooke, his actions are only part of the focus here. The first goal of these testimonials is to shed light on the specific actions of Coach Crooke and the devastating effect that they had on the team culture. The second is to call upon the Athletic Department as an institution to step up and protect its athletes, the very people on whose efforts the Department thrives. The testimonials and timeline beg the following questions: Where was the Athletic Department each time a runner spoke up about the conditions of the team? How could runners expect the Athletic Department to act when it did not even really listen in the first place?

A few have asked to keep their name and/or class year anonymous, but that does not lessen the degree of legitimacy of their stories. There are many reasons why they may have chosen to remain anonymous, including, but not limited to, concerns about how the Department or Coach will respond to these stories coming to light. If anything, their decision not to identify themselves speaks even further to a culture of fear and intimidation within the team.

Read the testimonials after the jump: