In my dad’s email to me about Parent’s Weekend activities, he mentioned that he definitely wanted to catch part of the football game at 1 PM on Saturday. I imagine that many students are in this position this weekend so, for those of you who are less up-to-date with the Wesleyan Cardinals, here’s a brief cheat sheet of what to talk about on the bleachers.
Thatcher at Eclectic on Friday, September 12. From left: Alex Lee ’17 on drums, Chris Gortmaker ’17 on bass, Jesse Cohen ’17 on guitar, and Ryan Breen ’17 on vocals and guitar. Photo by Noah Mertz ’17.
Although sophomore band Thatcher (Ryan Breen ’17, Jesse Cohen ’17, Chris Gortmaker ’17, Alex Lee ’17) has been floating around for nearly a year, cycling through different lineups and names, an energetic show at Eclectic on Friday, September 12th—one of the best I’ve been to here, by far—and the simultaneous release of their first EP has solidified their presence in the Wesleyan music scene.
Thatcher’s been described as “the post-iest punk band on campus” and informally, to me, as “rad as fuck.” Their fuzzy first single, “For Today,” offered the first tastes of the band’s sharp blend of post-rock and unhinged emotions that makes you wanna headbang for catharsis. Intertwined guitar lines and fearful words of alienation dance around each other in “Plastic Mouth.” One of the most melodic songs on the EP, “Squalor,” revels in the complicated dirt of human existence while the heavy and enjoyably off-putting “Wreck” shows off ripping bass and drum lines. (Those two tracks are my favorites.) The EP ends with “Future Tense,” a scream-y jam with the thrashiest build-up of them all.
I sat down with Thatcher last week to interview them, but since they answered all my questions before I actually had to ask them, I just got to sit around and listen to four friends tell me their stories. Read on about Thatcher’s new EP, influences, and evolution, but also about their collective spirit animal and whether or not they secretly hate each other.
This past Sunday about 400,000 people walked in the People’s Climate March. Some odd hundred of those thousands were Wes students (and my housemate estimates that if you include Wes Grads there were about one gazillion of us, but that’s a rough number).
The People’s March was in anticipation of the UN Climate Summit that happened this past weekend (Sorry! I’ve been busy). There were no demands and no target for the march, but it still billed itself as the “biggest climate change demonstration ever.” Personally, I think it was pretty invigorating to see so many disparate affinity groups unite under the umbrella cause of taking action on climate change.
Following Monday’s announcement that Wesleyan’s single-sex residential fraternities (Psi Upsilon, Delta Kappa Epsilon, and theoretically Beta Theta Pi) must fully coeducate within three years, the University has already taken steps to enforcing this policy—but with new requirements affecting all of Greek life on campus. Beginning this semester, all Greek organizations are prohibited from taking freshman pledges.
In an email to residential Greek organization presidents on Tuesday, but which was only today brought to the attention of non-residential organizations (reproduced below), Dean Mike Whaley discussed the hiring of a new Greek Advisor and listed additional “safety measures” that now must be put into place by all Greek organizations on campus. The residential Alpha Delta Phi and Eclectic Societies are impacted, as well as the non-residential fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi (presumably Chi Psi, too) and non-residential sorority Rho Epsilon Pi.
Most notably, the University announced the elimination of “rush/pledging of first-year students,” starting immediately. Under this change, no students will be allowed to join Greek organizations until at least their sophomore year. Outside of frosh, rushing/pledging will continue as planned. In an email to Wesleying, Whaley clarified that “We are not eliminating rush/pledging this year. We are implementing a restriction on first-year students rushing/pledging during their first year on campus. Many institutions have a similar restriction.”
Princeton University passed a policy prohibiting freshman pledging in 2011, which began implementation in the fall of 2012. California Polytechnic State University did so in 2010, following the death of a freshman in an initiation ritual.
“The rationale, in part, is to allow frosh to get established with their academics and the campus prior to rush/pledge activities,” Whaley said. “Frosh can also be quite susceptible to peer pressure so we hope to reduce the possibility of hazing activities by implementing this restriction.”
Last night in the CFA Hall, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 spoke about the origin of his Tony-award-winning 2008 musical In the Heights and other creative endeavors. The talk, entitled “When You’re Home: A Look Back on the Origins of In the Heights” and sponsored by the Theater Department and CFA, spanned everything from a musical performed in the Westco Café, Seven Minutes in Heaven–a 20 minute show about thirteen year olds attending their first unchaperoned party–to writing for the Tony’s to Like Water for Chocolate-inspired creative advice.
Disclaimer: The writer of this post is not affiliated with the organizations mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this post are hir own.
As the Board of Trustees flocked to campus this weekend, two campus organizations staged awareness-raising events. The first event, last Friday, was run by Students for Consent and Communication (SFCC). The second, on Saturday, was organized by the Feminist Art and Thought Collective (FATC) and Feminist Underground (FU). While each collective chose its own symbolic gesture, their question is essentially the same.
How much longer will the Wesleyan student body have to bear the oppressive weight of campus sexual violence?
This series is not affiliated with WesConnect
Now that we’re a couple of weeks into school, you’ve probably already gotten your first big paper assignment, and are anxiously awaiting the all too soon arrival of your parents this weekend– now it’s time to start thinking about your plans for the summer. Or more importantly, if you’re a senior, your plans for the rest of your life. You can compare this to the yearly phenomenon of department stores selling Halloween decorations after Labor Day, or how Christmas season takes over right after Thanksgiving. During a mandatory senior meeting a couple of weeks ago, we were encouraged us to donate to the annual senior gift, since graduation is “right around the corner”.
To help us on this journey to employment, the career center has upgraded from MyCC to CareerDrive. In addition to MyCC’s history of taking advantage of student data, they actually went bankrupt right after Wesleyan decided to part ways (go figure). Not only does the new platform provide us with features in several key areas where MyCC was severely lacking, but it’s release has also been paired with a series of workshops called Driver’s Ed. and a job search boot camp called Accelerate, both created to aid us on our #drive to success. [insert witty comment]. To understand CareerDrive better, I sat down with Rachel Munafo, the Assistant Director of Public Relations and Communications, who was able to help me discover some key features worth pointing out.
In an email sent to the Wesleyan community this morning, the Chair of the Board of Trustees Joshua Boger ’73 and President Michael Roth ’78 informed the campus of the Board’s decision that all residential greek organizations must become fully co-educational in not just housing but within the greek organizations themselves.
The Board of Trustees convened in their retreat this past weekend, with more than half of the schedule dedicated to the issue of greek life on campus as well as the future of residential fraternities. This comes on the heel of the administration’s decision to declare Beta’s house off-limits to all students just a few weeks ago, in light of the discussions last semester within and outside of meetings in the Wesleyan Student Assembly over the issue of coeducation and residential fraternities.
Update (9/22/14 5:00PM): We asked DKE president Terence Durkin ’16 if the coeducation decision would affect their national membership and how they might implement coeducation. His response:
It is my understanding that our National Charter does not allow co-education, so this unilateral decision by the administration is problematic for us. It seems to do away with freedom of association for a specific, carefully chosen segment of the so-called Wesleyan “community”. The University is telling us who our friends are going to be, and who we must choose as our leaders. This is just not right. This is just not Wesleyan. We are exploring all options with our Alumni and undergraduates, and we will have more to say in the near future.
Dean Mike Whaley similarly reiterated that the national charter of DKE (and Beta) does not recognize coeducation, while Psi U’s does. He also pointed out that Alpha Delta Phi had a similar conflict with their national charter when they decided to co-educate in 1972. His response below:
I’ve not yet had a chance to work with any of the organizations yet given that the announcement was just made today. As President Roth’s announcement indicates, “If the organizations are to continue to be recognized as offering housing and social spaces for Wesleyan students, women as well as men must be full members and well-represented in the body and leadership of the organization.” We’ve invited each of the all-male fraternities to develop their own plans for realizing this goal, and I will be working with them as they develop and implement their plans to make sure they are likely to reach our objectives.
Psi U, whose national permits coeducation, has asked to meet with me later this week to begin discussions and planning.
You probably already know that Psi Upsilon’s national permits coeducation, while Beta’s and DKE’s do not. My understanding is that Alpha Delta Phi had a similar challenge with their national when they co-educated many years ago – how they overcame that obstacle could be instructive for the organizations.
Interested in auditioning for Wesleying, Wesleyan’s “sassiest and most WordPress-savvy online singing group”? Scroll on, dear one. Our blog could be your life.
Wesleying is looking for new staff members! We are an entirely student-run, student-funded, student-supported campus life blog. We’ve been kickin’, in some form, since our founding in 2006 by fairy godmothers Holly ’08 and Xue ’08 and have been growing every year since then. We’re looking for bloggers, journalists, writers, photographers, interviewers, social media types, homespun Wes historians, videographers, internet addicts, photoshop fiends, and web design wizards—whatever. Frosh especially welcome.
If you love Wesleying and want to help make it the weird, irreverent, and colorful media space it has become—or if you just like blogging in your underwear—please stop by. In the immortal words of The Great Sheek, “All you need is Internet access, the ability to string sentences together coherently, and an interest in life at Wesleyan as it is, was, and might be.”
Why you should join Wesleying:
- You write stuff and thousands (literally) of people read it.
- The opportunity to interview powerful people.
- Occasional offers of fancy press passes for cool conferences.
- You can shed light on campus issues that are close to home (or not).
- Know everything that’s happening on campus before anybody else.
- Access to the drama-filled amusement ride that is the Wesleying listserv.
- Wesleying alums have gone on to awesome publications (like Wired and Newsweek) and continue to shred it. If you’re interested in journalism at all, this is where it’s at.
We’ll be having a formal recruitment meeting on Sunday, September 21, at 1:00 pm in 41 Wyllys, Room 112. Can’t make the meeting? Send an email to staff[at]wesleying[dot]org with “Recruitment” in the subject line. Tell us a little about yourself, any blogging experience you have (it’s fine if you don’t), and why you want to join Wesleying. We’ll be in touch.
On Tuesday, August 26th—the day before freshman orientation—University Librarian Pat Tully was suddenly and unceremoniously fired. Tully has been at the school since 2004; she began as interm university librarian in 2009, before being promoted to Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian on March 1, 2010.
In an email to the faculty listserv last Tuesday, September 2nd, Tully explains the administrative disagreement behind her firing. As she did not sign any severance contract requiring her silence, we are luckily able to understand her side of the story. This is not a privilege afforded to us or many other teachers and administrators who are let go or fired—especially those who are, by all means, a respected and much-loved part of the school community.
Wesleying has acquired a copy of the letter, which was posted in full online, and has placed it below. We have also confirmed the authenticity of this letter as it was sent to the faculty. The University declined to comment on matters of personnel. Wesleying also reached out to Tully for further comment on the situation, as well as looked into University policy behind employment termination.
We will continue looking into this matter, as well as other recent firings, in the coming days.