To say it’s been a wild year would be an insult to things that deserve the title “wild.” But, here we are, a month into reflecting and trying to understand what even happened in 2018, publishing this article to try to find some sense. And what other than to write about a year at an institution that makes no sense during any given year?!
Yes, friends, I am going to try to review this very confusing year––and bonus: I wasn’t even on campus for half of it! Because I am perpetually on the Internet, I have been filled in on the ~happenings~ last semester and will try my best to give 2018 the little justice it deserves.
Disclaimer: this is a subjective process, and things change at Wesleyan sometimes very quickly, but also sometimes veeeeeryslowly. If I’ve missed something, let us know at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org. Send us your funny moments, your important moments…just all the moments.
Because this year was just…a lot…I’m going to do my best to organize this information as effectively as possible.
If you want to procrastinate because it’s been a week of classes, here’s some old content: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
This fall, I taught a student forum through the American Studies department called “Critical Perspectives on Texas.” Historically Texas has served as a site of settler colonialism, racial domination, strict reification of gender roles and repressive sexuality, and economic importance with its oil and agricultural industries.
To name a few topics, the class examined: Texas’s modern-day electoral politics in sociohistorical context; intersectional feminist border studies and the Drug War; health care disparities, race, and climate change in Houston; gentrification and segregation in Austin; the legacy of plantation slavery in the influential Texas prison system; cowboy culture and the myth of the frontier; and indigenous resistance to the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
I grew up in Austin, Texas, and as an American Studies major, a growing activist, and someone who has become obsessed with regionalism since coming to Wesleyan, teaching this forum was a way for me to better understand my home and to help other students learn about the state through a critical lens. I wrote this piece, “Cracking Open a Pecan,” as a final project for our last day of class:
I was scrolling through our Wesleyan University Google Alerts email recently when I came upon a surprising link–someone is selling the old MoCon sign. My first thought upon seeing this was Who on earth would pay $695 for an old sign??? quickly followed by Some student probably stole this when they demolished MoCon in 2010 and is trying to turn a profit almost a decade later. As baffled as I was by this listing on Housatonic Trading Co. (which “offer[s] a curated collection of antique, vintage and modern items including antiquities, jewelry, furnishings, art and decor”), it also seemed like an invitation to dive deeper into the history of MoCon.
Some of you current students (and recent alums) may be wondering, What on earth is MoCon? Worry not, Wesleying is here to dig up some WesHistory for you and teach you about a beloved and sorely missed Wesleyan institution!
On September 4, CAPS Director Jennifer D’Andrea sent an all-campus email alerting students of some alarming changes in CAPS staffing. Over the summer, there were “three unexpected departures from the CAPS team,” including Katie Scheinberg, the APRN that was hired in February 2017 as a direct result of the student-organized Wes Needs CAPS campaign of 2016-17, which had four major demands:
Hire two new, full-time psychologists.
Raise our half-time therapist up to full-time.
Approve the hiring of a full-time Advanced Practicing Nurse Practitioner (APRN).
Increase the CAPS operating budget for the first time in six years.
1929. USSR. Dir: Dziga Vertov. Documentary. 68 min.
Mad genius Vertov applies his “Kino-Eye” theory towards “the creation of an authentically international absolute language of cinema.” Thankfully, his magnus opus is vibrant and unpretentious, an exuberant celebration of both the medium and the surprising inspiration buried unnoticed in everyday urban life. Live accompaniment by Ben Model.
Twitter accounts like @OverheardAtWes and @WeirdWes chronicle some of the wackiest things that Wesleyan students can be heard saying on a daily basis. Private conversations being subject to publication in campus-wide media may seem like a phenomenon exclusive to the internet era, but the concept of OverheardAtWes existed long before twitter. In fact, ridiculous student quotes were often featured in The Argus during the 1800s!
Here are some of the best original OverheardAtWes quotes from the 19th century after the jump:
Wesleyan solicits donations from alumni year-round to support the many fundraising campaigns that keep Wesleyan afloat (but somehow still not need-blind…). Over the summer, I spoke with Cade Leebron ’14about her own campaign for alumni to speak up about the many issues that students and alumni alike see at the school. She began Text Wes Back to collect actual responses that she and other alumni sent back when Wesleyan texted them to donate money to the school.
Read below the jump for the full interview.
Content warning: This interview discusses sexual assault.
I was thinking it would be cool to have a more extensive aggregation of student scholarship about Wesleyan and so I was like “Let me find all of the WesScholar theses about Wesleyan and then ask the aether.”
This afternoon we’ve got a triple double-feature for you: three great interviews, each with two great thesis-writers in their final stages of bewilderment, stress, and manic laughter! You can also read back on parts 1-8 here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here and you can find the entire archive here.