Following an increase in COVID cases, several Residential Life student employees are petitioning for hazard pay. Here’s what you need to know:
the donations as of 20:37 EST on March 15th, one day into the fundraiser
A few days ago, we published an article outlining some FGLI student concerns regarding a campus closure due to COVID-19. As of now, the University has offered assistance through the emergency fund for immediate travel needs, but have not addressed issues of income loss as of yet. In response, this morning, Jessi Russel ’20 and Mya Valentin ’19 created a fundraising campaign for FGLI students who are affected by Wesleyan’s closure for the semester. Below is the email. You can donate to students who have self-identified as high need here.
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.
Protesters march by Usdan (photo by Nita Rome)
If you were among the hundreds (thousands?) of people who were at the Wesleyan v. Williams game on Saturday, then you probably saw protesters marching around the outside of the field starting at halftime.
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.
Wesleying has obtained access to documents concerning the University’s announcement that it is considering establishing a campus in Hengdian, China. These documents were sent to Wesleying by a student source, and the validity of the documents have been confirmed by the University.
These documents include a presentation made by the University outlining the motivations behind the joint venture with Hengdian Group, the Chinese corporation that would partner with the University, the costs and benefits of opening the campus, and the financial opportunities associated with the venture. The University seems to still be in the preliminary planning process, and as far as we know, the Hengdian joint venture proposal has not resulted in any concrete commitments as of yet.
The second document included here is a draft presentation by Ernst & Young-Parthenon, a strategy consulting company, detailing the University’s performance in the higher education market. Parthenon, which joined EY in 2014, has been advising in the education industry since 1991.
The last document included here is an email from Heather Brooke, Administrative Assistant to the President, to the members of the Board (presumably the Board of Trustees) sent on September 10, 2019. She mentions that Jeffrey A. Sonnenfeld, a dean at the Yale School of Management, would be presenting during the first session of the retreat. She directs the email recipients to a series of news articles that Mr. Sonnenfeld had sent along for review prior to the retreat. The materials include an article in the New York Times titled “Don’t Dismiss ‘Safe Spaces’”, “The Coddling of the American Mind” from The Atlantic, and “How Megadonors Could Rescue America’s Universities” from Fortune.
The release of these documents exemplifies a unique instance where we can observe the inner workings of the Administration’s mindset as it looks towards the future. The Hengdian presentation tells us about the University’s interests and goals in regards to this particular venture. Perhaps of greater importance, the EY-Parthenon presentation opens the door to an entirely different conversation, and provides some context as to why the University is considering pursuing the Hengdian campus in the first place.
The EY-Parthenon presentation describes the challenges facing higher education across the board. The information included in the presentation is in some respects unprecedented; it tells us a lot more than what American universities might currently be willing to reveal when it comes to the challenges that they are perceiving in a rapidly evolving world.
In publishing these documents, Wesleying’s main priority is to ensure that the entire Wesleyan community has equal access to information concerning the challenges the University is facing as it sets its sights on future growth. The Hengdian campus proposal seems to be just one example of potentially many new ventures the University will be pursuing in the coming years.
Four documents are included at the bottom of this post. The first is the original Hengdian proposal presentation. The second is an updated version that was presented to faculty on October 15th, 2019. The third is a draft copy of the EY-Parthenon presentation. The last document is Ms. Brooke’s email to the board.
Hit the jump for a summary of the documents.
Two weeks before school started, the Wesleyan Athletics Department came out with a redesign of the athletics mark that attracted quite some attention online, from the funny;
to the weird;
and to the envelope-pushers…
This development continues a controversy ignited last year by the spontaneous rebranding adopted by the administration, which brought a redesign of the website and a completely new visual style guide that included, most infamously, a new logo that later got scrapped (highly recommend checking those links out before continuing if you weren’t here last year).
The press release about the new athletics mark states:
Bad-ass sophomore Rebecca Rubenstein ’21 writes in:
There is massive gender inequity in Wikipedia – both in terms of topics/people represented, and contributors. We can change that! Come learn the basics of Wikipedia editing to increase representation of/boost access to the work of marginalized artists, activists, and game-changers.
THERE WILL BE PIZZA Y’ALL.
Date: Thursday, May 9
Time: 12:30-1:30 PM
Place: Boger 115
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.
Caroline Kravitz ’19 writes in:
Join us for Wesleyan Refugee Project‘s second annual ‘Advocacy Week’! Throughout the week, various artists and activists will be visiting campus to perform and speak about storytelling through art. Events include film screenings, panels, fundraisers, and performances by local artists. This week is intended to spark conversations both on and beyond Wesleyan’s campus about art as a form of activism, empowerment, or other times as exploitation. By raising these questions, we hope to re-examine our definitions of crisis, activism, art, and agency. We also hope to think critically about how we frame and engage with one another’s voices.
A brief outline of the lineup of events is as follows:
Mon. April 22nd:
‘Greening the Camps’ Conference call and lunch: 12-1pm
‘Another News Story’ Film screening: 7-8:30 pm
Tues. April 23rd:
‘Know Your Rights’ Training: 12:15-1pm
‘Art & Ethics’ Panel and dinner: 5:30-7pm
Weds. April 24th:
Film-Aid Short Film Screenings & Fundraiser Dinner: 6-8pm
Thurs. April 25th:
‘Matangi/Maya/M.I.A’ Documentary Screening: 7-8:30 pm
Fri. April 26th:
‘Post Advocacy Week Round Table Discussion’: 12-1pm
**Be sure to check out our flyer, in addition to individual facebook event pages/posts as next week approaches!**
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!
Date: Monday, April 22 – Friday, April 26
Time and Place vary per event. Check out the Facebook Event for more information!