Category Archives: Faculty

Women’s Cross Country Alumnae Speak Out on Culture of Disordered Eating, Injuries

This series was produced by sdz with the help of  fern,  melimaury,  gabs,  and  hen.
The 25 testimonials can be read here. The timeline of contact between the team and the Athletic Department can be found here.

 

The following is an open letter from Yuki Christina Hebner ‘17 to the Wesleyan community that speaks to a culture of body shaming, disordered eating, and high attrition rates on the Wesleyan women’s cross country team. Yuki tells her own story and introduces the stories of 25 other women’s cross country alumnae.

In the testimonials, Head Coach John Crooke is alleged to have pressured runners to lose significant amounts of weight with little guidance and no nutritional training, leading to multiple cases of disordered eating and injury. The effects of Coach Crooke’s directives, delivered in meetings which the team colloquially called “fat talks”, have been long-lasting; some of these alumnae are almost 7 years out of college and yet still struggle with disordered eating and injuries from their time on the team.

Yuki’s letter is followed by a petition, signed by 36 alumni. Notably, the petition is not asking for the removal of Coach Crooke, but rather for the Department to advocate for its racing athletes by better understanding the risk factors associated with endurance sports and holding coaches to a higher standard of accountability, among other demands.

The issues presented in this series are two-fold. On one hand, it was Coach Crooke’s actions that so adversely affected each of these alumni. He forced runners to lose weight, played favorites, and fostered a dangerous culture of body shaming and disordered eating. But, Coaches come and go. The issues presented here will not be resolved simply by removing Coach Crooke, or by adding a few more assistant coaches. The systemic issues of body shaming and lack of accountability of coaches that face distance runners simply will not change from the efforts of one person, or scapegoating one person to protect an inadequate system. It will take a cocktail of reforms, as laid out in the petition below, to bring about any sort of meaningful change.

This is not the first time that these athletes have tried to voice their stories. They wrote about their experiences in coaching evaluations, spoke about them in meetings with their coaches, and even brought them to the attention of the athletic directors. And yet, their concerns were never taken seriously. The timeline indicates clearly that the Department had been made aware of the cross country team’s concerns since at least 2013, and yet there is reason to suspect that things have not yet changed as much as they should have. If this were not true, these alumnae would not be speaking up today. (A statement from the Athletic Department follows the petition.)

It took a great deal of courage for each of the alumnae to speak out about her experience on the team. As a community, it is our responsibility to listen now, because it doesn’t seem like anyone was listening then.

Read Yuki’s letter after the jump, and then be sure to read the testimonials. The story is incomplete without them.

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:

Part 3: What the Athletic Department Knew and When

This is part 3 of our series on the women’s cross country team. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.

Alongside the alumnae testimonials, we also wanted to provide a timeline that maps out the history of contact between the runners on the cross country team and the Athletic Department. A central theme of this series is to show that the Athletic Department was made aware of the issues of disordered eating and injuries that were perpetuated by Coach Crooke, and yet no changes were made to address the problems. This timeline, which was prepared by Rachel Unger ’15, is intended to shed some light on what exactly the Athletic Department knew and when. The timeline also speaks to the repeated efforts that were made by runners to push for change within the existing system as it stands.

Celebration of Science Theses

Professor Singer from the Biology Department writes in:

Natural Sciences and Mathematics BA and MA students present their thesis work in poster format. Refreshments provided!

Date: Friday, April 26
Time: 12:30-2:00 PM
Place: 
Exley Lobby

Celebrating WESU 88.1 FM’s 80th Year – Lecture Series

WESU and the JCCP write in:

Beginning in the Spring of 2019, through the Fall of 2019, the JCCP and WESU will host a series of public events and activities to commemorate WESU’s history and impact, and further engage our community.

These events will start with a three part lecture series featuring special guest speakers and performers that WESU feels embody free form radio. The lecture series will be kicked off on April 18th from 7:00-8:30pm with  “Independent Media and the Power of Community Radio” a talk by Professor Kehaulani Kauanui. The second event of the three part series will take place from 6:00-7:30pm on Wednesday April 24th with a talk and performance from Akua Naru titled “College Radio, Women in Hip-Hop, and Black Culture in Contemporary America”. And the last event “Bringing African to American Public Radio“, a talk by Banning Eyre, will take place on April 25th from 5:00-6:30pm. All events will take place in the Ring Family Performance Hall (287 Washington Terrace Middletown, CT). You can find additional information on the WESU Facebook Page. Also be sure to follow WESU’s partner for this event Wesleyan Engage

Date: Thursday, April 18; Wednesday, April 24; Thursday, April 25
Time: 7:00-8:30 PM; 6:00-7:30 PM; 5:00-6:30 PM
Place: Ring Family Performance Hall (287 Washington Terrace)

MARTIN F. MANALANSAN IV, “Enmeshment: Queer Togetherness and Caring”

The Global Queer Studies Lecture Series presents:

Join us for a lecture on Martin Manalansan‘s book in progress, “Queer Dwellings.” Deploying his framing of “queer as mess,” Manalansan argues for a capacious yet recalcitrant notion of queer caring and togetherness that goes beyond scripted ideals of solidarity, empathy and concern. Manalansan is associate professor of American Studies at University of Minnesota. His books include Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora; Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader; and Queer Globalizations: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism.

Date: Thursday, April 4
Time: 4:30-6 PM
Place: Russell House

Hot for Teacher: The Best On-Campus Date Spots for You and Your Secret Professor Lover

Editor’s Note: While it can be fun to joke about professor crushes, we want to emphasize that this post represents fictional situations, and that we do not promote such relationships in real life. We don’t want to make light of the actual harmful power dynamics that can arise from these prohibited relationships. Furthermore, research and experiences of Wesleyan professors have shown that the objectification of female and non-white professors is a barrier to them advancing in their fields, particularly when it comes to course evaluations.

Wesleying extends our support and our platform to any survivor of sexual misconduct who wishes to share their story. We condemn all forms of sexual misconduct including professor-student relationships and discriminatory employment practices based on gender. If you believe that you or someone else has been the recipient of such advances, you can always reach out to SACE Director Johanna DeBari or SACE Intern Rachele Merliss ‘19 to talk, and you can find a complete list of on- and off-campus resources here.

this is just some german mathematician we found on the internet

We all know how it starts: First they asked the class to call them by their first name, but soon enough you’re giving each other the eyes in Tishler and making out in Music Studios practice rooms. What started out as a spark has turned into an illicit romance between you and a man or woman a decade or four older than you. What now?

Fear not! If you’re an aspiring Emmanuel Macron struggling on how and where to spend extra-curricular time with your Brigette, we’ve got you covered. The criteria:

Intimacy: How romantic is it?
Privacy: How secluded is it?
Convenience: How accessible is it?
Covertness: How easy would it be to explain to a nosy Michael Roth?

Let’s get that extra credit!

2019 Honorary Degree Recipients Announced: Hartman ’84, Carby, & Sanders ’69

In an email this morning, President Roth ’76 announced this year’s Commencement Speaker will be Saidiya Hartman ’84 (above). Reverend Edwin C. Sanders II ’69 (left) and Former Wesleyan Professor Hazel V. Carby (right) will also receive honorary degrees at the University’s 187th Commencement.

This seems to be the first time in a while that Roth has actually read the room when selecting honorees for Commencement. It’s certainly gratifying to see a Black woman being honored for her achievements on the 50th anniversary of the Vanguard Class of ’96 and the founding of the African American studies program (which has finally been received department status this year).

Certainly, this year’s honorees are a welcome variation from last year’s Commencement Speaker controversy. As many of you recall, Daniel Handler ’92, who has a history of racist and sexist harassment, was chosen as the 2018 Commencement Speaker, while Dr. Anita Hillknown for advocating against those very abuses, was relegated to a lesser position of honorary degree recipient. Handler later withdrew as Commencement Speaker following a flurry of student and alumni demands to #CancelHandler18. Notably, President Roth and the administration did nothing in response to concerns and complaints from survivors, students and alumni of color, and other members of the Wesleyan community. Dr. Hill graciously agreed to give the Commencement address in Handler’s stead.

Hopefully this year’s Honorary Degree recipients can become emblematic of the excellence that Wesleyan chooses to honor at future Commencement Ceremonies, rather than continuing a pattern of choosing powerful (and often problematic) white men who don’t represent the community or values that Wesleyan claims to strive toward.

If you have thoughts or feelings about this year’s selection of honorees, we welcome write-ins and guest posts! Just shoot us an email at staff[at]wesleying[dot]edu.

The full text of Roth’s email can be read below:

Theory Certificate Presents: Anti-Fascist Philosophy

The Theory Certificate writes in:

Robert Stolz (NYU) will speak on the Japanese Marxist philosopher Tosaka Jun. Tosaka was a major yet underappreciated figure in twentieth-century theory whose work encompassed philosophy of science, philosophy of history, and cultural critique. His writings are comparable to, and resonate powerfully with, those of Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Herbert Marcuse, and other luminaries in the historical-materialist tradition. Professor Stolz will discuss his translation of Tosaka’s major text, The Japanese Ideology (1935), an original philosophical critique of fascism that, as Stolz puts it, “continues to shed light on the most urgent and persistent problems in philosophy and politics, especially the deep relationships between capitalism, nationalism, liberalism, fascism, and everyday life.”

Date: Tuesday, February 6
Time: 4:30-6:00 PM
Place: Downey 113

wtf is @mroth78 doing?????????

While at our penultimate* meeting of the semester, we were scrolling through our twitter tl looking for some ~cool content~ to retweet from our fellow students we came across THIS RIDONCULOUS TWEET:


As we tweeted: “what the fukc?????”

Other followers of his also responded to the tweet:

We don’t know how to end this post, so we’ll just leave you with the words of our fearless leader: “What do I do?”