Category Archives: Causes

Wes Students Support Yale Grad Student Union in “The Fast Against Slow”

UNITE HERE 217 and Wesleyan Students at Yale for the start of the occupation/strike

Wesleyan students from United Student/Labor Action Coalition and Wesleyan Democratic Socialists joined Yale graduate school employees from UNITE HERE Local 33 on Tuesday evening to kick off a hunger strike meant to pressure Yale administration into entering contract negotiations with the newly-formed union. Eight graduate school employees from Local 33 have committed to an indefinite hunger strike being called “The Fast Against Slow.”

Read more about the strike after the jump:

Skull & Serpent Host a Demonic Lemonade Stand for Charity

“Don’t take pictures of them. They won’t show up in the photo.”

What’s the easiest way to get Wes students to buy lemonade for a charitable cause? Recruit the Skull & Serpent, of course. Members of the semi-secret society teamed up with members of the Wesleyan Refugee Project this afternoon, selling lemonade outside of the ominous Tomb.

Fellow editor wilk received an invite to the lemonade stand in his inbox, and mistakingly thought at first that it was an invitation to join Skull & Serpent. (Better luck next time, buddy.) The message said there’d be a lemonade stand outside of the Tomb starting at 1:03pm (yes, really), and proceeds would be benefiting Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS).

I had class at 1:20, but on my way over I swung by this mysterious operation. Skull & Serpent members are never seen in their full costumes outside of the Tomb (apart from this shenanigans), let alone in broad daylight. If they were dying from heat exhaustion underneath those black robes and masks, they weren’t showing it. They also weren’t especially stoic, either; they chattered away at anyone who approached the stand, all of them masking their voices with what can only be described as a cross between a Blues Clues and a Mickey Mouse impression.

Apart from the lemonade stand that appeared outside Michael Roth’s office a few weeks ago (in protest of low-income students not receiving enough financial aid), this was the coolest one I’ve seen on campus. Honestly, the more lemonade stands at Wes in springtime, the better. Just…maybe don’t make all of them this demonic.

THESISCRAZY 2017 (PART 7): The Real Thesis-Writers of Fauver 211

“I really feel like I’m melting and that my brain is really coming out and like making a mess all over the place.”

Things are getting down to the wire here at THESISCRAZY central (and we’re sure its similarly frenzied in your carrels too)! But you can’t focus on your work 24/7, so take a little break with us and read about your fellow students’ theses in this 7th installment in our series. We’ve got a whole Fauver full of thesis writers to keep you sufficiently distracted from more important work. Will McGhee ’17, Sofi Goode ’17, and Allison Cronan ’17 live Fauver 211 along with Kiley Rossetter ’17 (not interviewed). In case you’re looking for more distraction, you can check out past THESISCRAZY 2017 posts here, here, hereherehere, and here and you can find the entire archive here.

What’s Going On in the Film Department?

“There has long been an inequality of opportunity within the film industry, and we know diversifying the film industry begins within our education at Wesleyan.”

On March 28, students from the University’s College of Film and the Moving Image released a letter, along with a list of signatures and testimonies, expressing dissatisfaction with aspects of Wesleyan’s Film Studies department. The letter called for systematic changes to the ways in which the department operates, including hiring three tenure-track professors (prioritizing women and POC), offering more diverse courses within the department, and reforming disciplinary procedures so that they are less reliant on “blanket threats” to drop students from the major or drop their theses.

The letter, which has been in the works since February, was a collaboration between a group of current film students – both majors and minors – as well as prospective film students. Before it was put into wide circulation on March 28, the letter was shared amongst students and alumni of the Film Studies department, along with a call for signatures and personal testimonies to present to the CFILM faculty. (From email circulation and tabling in Usdan, the letter received 175 signatures and eight accompanying testimonies.)

Read the full letter and testimonies after the jump:

Audition for The Laundry Room!

LaundryroomFrom Rachel Sobelsohn ’17:

Audition to be part of a staged reading of The Laundry Room, playwright Rachel Sobelsohn’s Senior Honors Playwriting Thesis, directed by Sam Morreale ’19!

The Laundry Room subverts the girl-meets-boy character convention to be a queer love story between two women with disabilities. This thesis aims to normalize disability onstage. It is a comedy, and the entire play takes place in a college laundry room.

To audition, we ask that you be a female-identifying actor. We are especially excited about working with actors who identify as having a disability, being that the goal is to normalize disability onstage. Disability can include, but is not limited to, mental illness, physical impairments, and even dietary restrictions like food allergies or celiac disease.

We are also looking for actors of color because disability is conventionally figured as white, and we wish to push against this stereotype through visible representation onstage. Even if you don’t identify as having a disability (or you do, and identify as white), we would still love to see you at auditions! We want to further a conversation about disability, and if you’re excited about that, then we’re excited about you!

The two-character play will only run about an hour. We will rehearse for two to three hours for the first two weeks, and four to five hours the second two weeks. We will present the staged reading on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at 8pm!

No need to prepare anything as we will provide sides to read. We welcome both new and experienced actors.

Please sign up to audition here. Walk ins are more than welcome! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Sam (smorreale[at]wesleyan[dot]edu) or Rachel (rsobelsohn[at]wesleyan[dot]edu).

Date: Wednesday and Thursday, March 29-30th
Time: 4:30-6:30 and 5:30-7:30pm respectively
Place: Theater Studios, East Room
Signup: Here

Theory Certificate Presents: Contours of the Present Crisis

theory certificate talksFrom Professor Matthew Garrett:

A lecture series on the long-term currents of our political situation, with focus on Islam, incarceration, and refugees.

Suleiman Mourad
on truths and fictions of Islam

TUESDAY, MARCH 7 • DOWNEY 113

Jordan Camp
on incarcerating the crisis

THURSDAY, MARCH 30 • BOGER 112

Marguerite Nguyen
on refuge and refugees

THURSDAY, MAY 4 • BOGER 112

All lectures begin at 4:30 PM.

For the full poster, click here. And for more about Theory Certificate events, click here.

Jewish Resistance at Aipac: Wesleyan Community Action Meeting

Matilda Ostow ’17 and Josh Bloom ’17 write in:

hello Wesleyan community!! we (matilda & josh) just completed a two day training with IfNotNow–a movement led by young Jews leading a Jewish resistance and seeking to end American Jewish support for the occupation.

we think the goals of this movement match up with a lot of feelings that young people across our country and on this campus specifically are feeling right now: the desire to fight for freedom and dignity for all! If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing organization that is fighting for the rights of palestinians, jews, and oppressed people’s all over the world and the HUGE action that they will be doing protesting outside of the annual AIPAC conference on March 26th, come to this event! It will be an inclusive space for learning, discussing, and understanding how we can develop our desires for resistance into organizing and action.

email jpbloom[at]wesleyan[dot]edu or mostow[at]wesleyan[dot]edu for any thoughts/inquiries/questions/comments/feelings ?

Date: Thursday, March 2
Time: 4:30-6 PM
Place: Albritton 311

Queer Past, Queer Future

Alumni Jennifer Boylan ’80 and Alexander Chee ’89 read recent work, discuss queer lives and storytelling, and share their own experiences as LGBT writers at Wesleyan.

Jennifer Boylan, a professor at Barnard College, is the author of 15 books, including She’s Not There, the first bestselling work by a transgender American, and I’m Looking Through You, which contains a chapter on Wesleyan. She is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times and currently serves as the national co-chair of GLAAD, the media advocacy nonprofit for LGBTQ people. Her new novel, Long Black Veil, is forthcoming in April 2017.

Alexander Chee teaches fiction writing and the essay at Dartmouth College. He is the author of the novels Edinburgh (Welcome Rain, 2001; Picador, 2002) and The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016). Edinburgh, which partly takes place at Wesleyan, won the Iowa Writers’ Workshop’s Michener Copernicus Prize in Fiction, the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Editor’s Choice Prize, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Literary Award.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Wesleyan Library with support from Academic Affairs.

Date: Friday, March 3rd
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Place: Smith Reading Room, 1st floor Olin Library

Posters Call to Reject Sexual Predators

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Early this morning, posters like the one above appeared around campus, calling out institutional protection of sexual predators. Many were removed shortly thereafter, but as of mid-morning, some remain.

The posters follow increased anger with the administration last semester for a variety of institutional failures. In particular, students and faculty alike have criticized the lack of transparency surrounding the firing of former Associate Dean of Students Scott Backer and, before that, the Title IX complaint filed by Associate Professor of Classical Studies Lauren Caldwell, which states that she was repeatedly sexually harassed by a fellow professor. Last October, more than 200 students at a town hall meeting reached consensus to push for the removal of Vice President of Equity and Inclusion Antonio Farias and University President Michael Roth from their positions at the University. That same month, over 30 professors issued a statement to the Argus, calling for independent review of sexual assault cases at the University.

In Depth: Wesleyan Refugee Project (Part 2)

Members of the Wesleyan Refugee Project

Libby Salzman-Fiske ’19, Caroline Kravitz ’19, and Sahar Shaikh ’17

Note: The information found in this feature was recorded in early to mid-February. Immigration and refugee policies in the United States are still in flux under the Trump administration, and the exact details regarding immigration laws and their enforcement may have changed since these interviews were conducted.

Since the Wesleyan Refugee Project (WRP) was founded in the Fall 2015, the volunteer organization has been hard at work in their contributions to resettlement programs, legal aid, tutoring services, and fundraising events. We spoke to one of the group’s founders, Casey Smith ’17, last September. Since then, it’s become even more difficult for refugees to enter the United States under Trump’s new immigration policies, and the future for refugee resettlement in the US is uncertain.

This semester, I spoke to several different members of the WRP, all in different leadership positions. I asked each of them how they got involved with WRP, what the group is focusing on this semester, and how other students can volunteer and participate. Read their stories after the jump: