Category Archives: COVID-19

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:

An Ode to Animal Crossing

A photo I took with my phone of my Switch screen because Nintendo does not give you an easy way to get screenshots off the device goddammit

The last couple months have not been good. Terrible, if we’re being honest. It has been hard to find hope, or joy, or a reason to get up in the morning (I don’t know about you, but having to wake up and watch someone with a PhD not know how to share their screen every day for 6 weeks just wasn’t really doing it for me). We have to find our happiness wherever we can, no matter how trivial it is. And for me, one of these small sources of happiness has been Animal Crossing. 

Animal Crossing, if you don’t know, is a Nintendo game where you play as a villager in a town (or island in this case) full of animals. You start with nothing, but through the generous interest-free loans of raccoon Tom Nook, you can build a house and start a life. There isn’t much that “happens,” per se, in Animal Crossing; you furnish your house and buy clothes at stores in town, you plant flowers and trees, you talk to your neighbors, you collect fish, bugs, and fossils to put on exhibit in your town’s museum. It is the poster child for a low intensity experience. And that is exactly what I need right now.

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.

 

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

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Submission Request

Coronavirus is rapidly changing society as we know it, and we at Wesleying want to know how it’s specifically impacting your relationships with those you love. Fill out this form and tell us about any and all of the changes that are happening between you and your significant other, parents, friends, siblings, hookups, teachers, pets, beloved inanimate objects, and everything in between. Your story will be part of an upcoming article!

COVID-19: Resources for Students (Updates to come)

On Wednesday afternoon, the University sent out an all-campus email declaring that students would be required to leave campus by March 23rd, and that all classes would be shifted to a remote learning model. This decision was made with little student and faculty input despite a strong student response that simply asked the Administration to be more cognizant of the needs of its most vulnerable populations before making such a life-changing decision for so many. As expected, the decision induced great panic and uncertainty amongst the student population.

While the immediate aftermath of the University’s decision was just sheer panic, students have done an incredible job of advocating for each other. The WSA went off and has been negotiating with the University on everything from our room and board refunds to storage space to the mandate that students come back to campus. Their hard work is seeing immediate returns, and many of the things they’ve accomplished are having an immediate impact on students’ lives.

This post is just to somewhat consolidate updates from the WSA about what resources are available to students and any other updates on the current situation.