Category Archives: Featured

More Speech, Please: Activism, Censorship, and Whose Voices Get Heard

photo by Jonas Powell '18

photo by Jonas Powell ’18

Every few months, it seems, another one of those articles surfaces about how political correctness or trigger warnings or “social justice” is ruining the country or the educational system or everything. Our own President Roth reminded us a few weeks ago that “there is no right not to be offended.” These arguments typically suggest that because a few of us are so fragile and oversensitive, everyone is losing: words are banned, jokes are less funny, debates about important issues are diluted or even curtailed.

While I’m really not concerned if racist jokes lose their appeal, I agree that we need more, not less, conversation. Ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away, and indeed, often worsens them. If we can’t talk about the systems of oppression that plague our society–racism, heterosexism, misogyny, classism–we’re going to have a hard time dismantling them. Sometimes frustratingly, we have to be able to talk about these issues not only among our own identity and affinity groups, but with people whose ideas are vastly different from ours. So yes, I agree that trying to shut down conversations about sensitive topics is problematic. (Which is not the same, please note, as removing oneself from a conversation because of personal history or trauma.) More speech, please.

The thing is, though, the targets of these arguments–the oversensitive college student, the person who can’t take a joke, the “social justice warriors”–hardly ever seem to be asking for less speech. Perhaps there are exceptions, but I cannot think of a single anti-racist activist who wants people to stop talking about racism. When we ask that certain words not be used or that our histories be treated with understanding and respect, we are not questioning whether these conversations should happen, but how. To worry that such efforts are ruining free-spirited debate seems, to me, to be missing the point.

An Open Letter to the Wesleyan Community from Students of Color

The following is an open letter to the Wesleyan community from a group of students of color. It appeared earlier today on The Ankh‘s Facebook page and has been published here with these students’ permission. The views reflected here are the writers’ own.

photo by Jacob Seltzer ’17

To the Wesleyan Campus Community:

To be black in an anti-black society is to be a commodity fit for liquidation, it is to be already evidenced as not befitting of life, it is to live under surveillance and always positioned as a potential threat, it is living under the conditions of imprisonment (of our senses of self, expressions, bodies, gender articulations, and sexualities).

So when we say that Black Lives Matter, we are not implying that other lives do not matter. We are reaffirming our existence in a country that continues to do everything it can to demolish and obliterate black and brown lives. By speaking out against institutional, structural, and systemic racism, by affirming Black Lives Matter, we are liberating ourselves from these systems of oppression.

We do not have the time, nor luxury, to be caught up in this smokescreen of free speech. Let us be clear: this is not an issue of your free speech. This is an issue of our voices being silenced, our communities under attack. Free speech is not a one-dimensional highway—white, cisgender, heterosexual men are not the only ones with the right to free speech.

When students of color speak our lives into existence, our speech comes under attack. When we defend our lives, we are harassing you. When we demand safety, we are attacking you. Our unapologetic voices are deranged screams; our open hands are clenched fists; our cellphones, weapons, our pigment, targets.


Wesleying is recruiting new bloggers. We really need you. Like, a lot.

recruitment fall 2015

this phone pic quality is bad but if you get one thing out of this post i hope it is this

Hey there. Usually our recruitment posts take the form of funny, relatively wordy essays about why you should join Wes’s “sassiest and most WordPress-savvy online singing group,” and you should read those too if you want, but I think this is going to be short. Hopefully sweet. But mostly, to the point.

The blog has taken on a lot of different forms and styles since it was created in 2006, and that’s kind of what keeps it interesting. For me, anyway. Wesleying is a platform for literally anything that you want to write about. We do opinion pieces, often about pressing campus issues, sometimes ones submitted to us. We cover many of the important things that happen here, as well as the great deal of weird shit that happens here. We liveblog campus tours (and other things, occasionally inebriated). We do write-ins and interviews. We like bad Photoshop and memes, but we also like photo galleries and longer posts. The options are endless.

Wesleying could and should be a lot better than it is, in a lot of different ways. But it’s also hard to maintain with a staff of about seven people. If we’re truly about “real students, real student-life at Wesleyan University,” there needs to be more of us, with more diverse voices. That’s where you come in.

If you’re a Wes student and can write sentences, we want you. If you feel like your voice isn’t heard on campus, we want to change that. This goes double if you’re queer, trans*, a student of color, first gen, low income, or an international student. We want to put up with asshole commenters who will try to shut you down. If you have even a fraction of enough time to have opinions about what happens on our campus, or on the Internet, or in the even-vaguely-Wes-related rest of the world, share them with us and our readers.

Our first recruitment meeting is THIS SUNDAY, September 27, from 1-3 PM in 41 Wyllys, room 112. Please come if you are interested in blogging about things and putting them on this website. I’ll be giving what will probably be a very awkward presentation about what Wesleying has been, is, and could/should be. If you can’t make it to this meeting but would like to be involved in some way, please (please!) email staff[at]wesleying[dot]org with the subject line “Recruitment” and tell us about yourself.

However, this isn’t the only time we’re going to be recruiting! We’ll always be looking for new people who want to talk about the things they’re passionate about, whether that’s by reaching out to other student groups, putting up bad flyers, or approaching random people in Usdan, like weirdos.

But we’re also going to be working on being a better blog. And I hope you can help us be that ~better blog.~

Hamilton Cast Recording Streaming Online

Our favorite Broadway composer/performer, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02–who wrote his debut In the Heights during his sophomore year at Wesleyan–has created another hit. Hamilton, a musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, played almost entirely by actors of color and with a score composed not of “typical” show tunes but of rap, hip hop, and pop ballads, opened on Broadway in August. Next Friday, October 2nd, a special Wesleyan-only benefit performance will take place.Those of us who can’t make it to the show are in luck, though; the sung-through musical is fully represented on the cast recording, which comes out Friday, September 25th. If you’re not interested in paying $20 for an album, or if you’re not sold on musicals, or rap musicals, or American history, the entire album is available to stream for free on NPR until Friday. Check it out!

[LIVEBLOG] Student Groups Fair

wesleying: we’re good at lots of things but not really tape

HELLO WESLEYAN. I’m here at table 39 (jointly with Aural Wes) for this year’s Student Groups Fair, sponsored by the Wesleyan Student Assembly! It’s maybe 90 degrees out here in the courtyard outside Beckham. Unfortunately I have no baked goods, but I do have an email list! I promised the staff a bad sign, and I really did make a bad sign — this is an old joke from a couple years ago, and it might be moderately misleading but it is a joke. We don’t sing.

My computer might overheat so I won’t be online the whole time BUT swing by and I’ll tell u about this here blog

Responsibility and Inclusion in the Argus and on Wesleying

photo by Dat Vu '15

photo by Dat Vu ’15

It’s likely you’ve already read Bryan Stascavage ‘18‘s infuriating “Why Black Lives Matter Isn’t What You Think,” published Monday in the Argus’ opinion section. I’m not as Wes this semester, but it was apparent even from Facebook that I was not alone in my anger: in the past few days, many students have voiced their outrage at the article and its publication. As another widely-read campus publication, Wesleying has a responsibility to address these issues. Though my fellow editors are aware I am posting this, the following views are mine as an individual.

[LIVEBLOG] Pres. Michael Roth’s State of the School Address


we weren’t sure what picture of roth to use so here is an older one from 2009 that we dug out of our media archive. this is just a placeholder until i take a picture of the actual setup in the chapel, okay

Dasha, astag_rocky, and I are here in the Memorial Chapel for the first annual State of the School address! This is mostly a production of the Wesleyan Student Assembly, but we are co-sponsoring it with The Ankh and The Argus.

The format is as follows: the WSA will have a five-minute introduction, then Pres. Michael Roth will speak freely for 20 minutes. The following hour is all Q&A, with the questions having been submitted throughout the past week. After Q&A, the moderators will offer final thoughts and encourage you to eat ice cream and attend the following student-only debrief, which will happen from 9:30-10:30. Out of respect for its student-only nature as well as its role as a safe space, we won’t be liveblogging the debrief.

Tonight’s address will be moderated by Henry Vansant ’18 from the WSA, Hailey Broughton-Jones ’18 from The Ankh, and Jess Zalph ’16 from The Argus. There will be paper in the chapel for people who have questions in real time and members of the WSA will also be monitoring their twitter (@wsanews) for any relevant and pressing questions.

If you still have questions when this event and this liveblog are over, the WSA will also be sending out a form for you to submit questions to the Board of Trustees, who meet on campus this weekend. We’ll keep this post updated with info about that as we get it.

Got a Question for President Roth?

michael roth

Hey. Are you going to the first State of the School this Wednesday from 8-9:30 PM? Do you have a question, or multiple questions, for Pres. Michael Roth about this here university?

The Wesleyan Student Assembly asked us to help out with President Roth’s first address to the student body, which means that we’re taking your questions! During the Q&A section of the address, moderators from The Ankh, The Argus, and the WSA be asking some previously submitted questions from all of you and I’ll be liveblogging the event.

If you have any questions in real time, the WSA will be monitoring their twitter (@wsanews) for questions to pass up to the mods. (I’ll also be monitoring our twitter (@wesleying), but not that much.) Likewise, during the address, there will be paper for you to write any questions you may have. Bring your laptop or your phone or a writing utensil!

To submit your question(s), please use this Google form! If for some reason that’s not working, send it/them in to us using our tipbox form or email us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org. Questions are due by 4 PM on Wednesday.

If You Want Your Event Posted to Wesleying, Read This!

A lot of this is recycled text from last year (thx Samira), but here are some tips and guidelines for submitting your events!


HEY WESLEYAN ! We love posting your events, but we get a lot of them. If you want your meeting/audition/application deadline/concert/thing posted to Wesleying on time, please use this form here. The beginning of the year is especially busy which makes our inbox quickly burst at the seams, so it helps if you submit your event at least 4 or 5 days in advance.

Much of this is elaborated from our event submissions policy, but here are some things you can do to make life easier: