Yaaaaaaawn. Just another boring day in Middletown, Connecticut. Parents pull their cars up to WestCo, packing up mini-fridges and bedding as frosh frantically try to hide their drug paraphernalia. A chalked message is half washed away; only the word “bourgeois” is still legible. Red solo cups litter the sidewalk like insect corpses. But… suddenly… a noise breaks the silence on Andrus Field. bzzz. It grows louder. BZZZ. And that’s when… Brood II arrives.
What is Brood II, you ask? Brood II is the 17-year periodical magicicada clutch that will emerge this spring. Every 17 years, once the soil temperature at eight inches deep hits 64 degrees, the cicadas that have been gestating underground crawl to earth’s surface to reproduce. And then they die. And there are a lot of them. Billions of cicadas!
Nobody is exactly sure when this extremely disgusting and thrilling plague will hit — experts are estimating late May to early June in the Middletown area. With any luck, Brood II will seek fresh air in the days leading up to Reunion & Commencement (May 26th).
The title of this post is not meant rhetorically. It’s a serious question: who killed Spring Fling’s vibe?
Was it the student attendees, some inebriated and inconsiderate, who jumped over the barrier when the floor of the rink was at capacity and allegedly behaved drunkenly and belligerently when asked to back up? (“Some students ought to be ashamed of themselves,” observed a witness who asked to remain anonymous.) Was it the massive security detail (Public Safety and CSC) who guarded every nook and cranny with the graveness of airport TSA agents and reportedly physically abused one student and verbally harassed another? Was it the organizers (Spring Fling Committee or otherwise) who neglected to inform students in advance that they would be turned away if they arrived late, even while other students were visibly exiting, and flipped on the lights shortly before Ab-Soul’s set, possibly to punish students for failing to obey orders that were largely unintelligible over the ice rink’s cavernous din? Or was it the fucking weather, or maybe Spurrier-Snyder Rink itself, which has never seemed like a less suitable venue for a free, unticketed performance by one of the fastest rising rappers in the world in 2013? At least it wasn’t Kendrick Lamar, who, despite subpar conditions and acoustics better suited to a high school gym, performed “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” “Money Trees,” and other highlights from Good Kid, M.A.A.D City with admirable energy and charisma, wooing throngs of adoring fans who knew precisely how to yell out “Drank!” or “Ya bish!” on cue and reportedly popping over to Warren after the show, decked out in a Wes sweatshirt.
Military-style checkpoints, email campaigns, and Jezebel features, oh my.
Maybe you thought the administration would reign in its attempts to stop Tour de Franzia after being publicly skewered everywhere from MSN to Gawker-owned feminist snarkfest Jezebel to something calling itself “BroBible.” You were wrong. If anything, after begging your parents to stop the mayhem, the powers that be have only stepped up their game, going so far as to email all faculty, have RAs set up military-style checkpoints outside student dorms on the night of the Tour, and threaten to slap students with six judicial points for, uh, “wearing costumes.” Don’t be mad! They’re just trying to keep you safe! Tour de Franzia is dangerous!
Anyway, here’s your definitive guide to everything you’ve been wondering about What the Fuck is the Administration Doing About Tour de Franzia This Year.
Q: When’s Tour de Franzia? How will I find out about it? Is it even happening this year?
A: Who knows, but probably. There’s no fixed date, but in recent years it has occurred during one of the last weekends of the semester. It’s typically announced by an anonymous Facebook profile, “WesParty Guy” (which is deactivated when not in use), as well as via word of mouth and mass texts. There won’t be a Facebook event or whatever, especially after the Great Facebook Event Crackdown of 2010.
Feminist, artist, musician, and citizen of humanity Ally Bernstein ’13 is continuing the discussion:
How can we foster an inclusive and exciting music and arts scene at Wesleyan?
Recently, I wrote an opinion piece about the lack of female performers in Spring Fling (since then, Girl#$wag has been added to the line-up; shout out Emma Daniels ’13). Members of the band Whore Paint (hailing from Providence, RI) will be on campus at 4:00 PM to discuss their experiences and answer questions. All are welcome to come share and discuss strategies for fostering an empowering scene at Wesleyan.
Date: Saturday, May 4
Time: 4:oo PM
Place: Room 113, 41 Wyllys
Read on for Ally’s rundown of Whore Paint’s members.
Officers “were using a cell phone to take pictures of the student where they live through a window.”
WFSB 3 Connecticut
Though details are scarce, students have been understandably shaken by the recent news that two Public Safety officers have been fired for “the surreptitious viewing and possibly the video recording of a female student in her residence.” The fact that this follows closely on other alleged cases of Public Safety misconduct, ranging from theft to physically assaulting a student, certainly doesn’t help.
A WFSB Eyewitness News video report on the incident offers some clarity as to how this took place. According to the report, the officers were using a cell phone through a campus window to record the student:
Sources told Eyewitness News this was not a sophisticated setup. In fact, they were believed to be using something that most of us already have – a smartphone.
The public safety officers were using a cell phone to take pictures of the student where they live through a window without that individual knowing it.
Here’s how they were caught:
The rad Rebecca Sokol ’15 hollers:
The Office of Sustainability is looking for 2-3 interns to join our team in Fall 2013. Interns manage the Waste Not program and the monthly Do It In The Dark competition in addition to organizing sustainability education programs on campus. You can find the full job description here.
If interested, email your resume to Wesustainability(at)gmail(dot)com. We will be scheduling interviews next week. The application deadline is Monday, 5/6 at 9 AM.
Deadline: Monday, May 6
Have thoughts about recent incidents involving P-Safe? Head to the Daniel Family Commons right now.
As ehc reported less than half an hour ago, two Public Safety officers have just been reported and fired for apparently viewing and possibly videotaping a female student in her residence. This follows on a long chain of recent incidents involving and sparking tensions between students and Public Safety officers this academic year.
Meanwhile, the administration has hired a University Public Safety Review Committee for an independent review of P-Safe at Wesleyan. According to a recent email from Vice President for Finance and Administration John Meerts, “The assessment will explore whether the Office of Public Safety has adopted and implemented an appropriate campus public safety model, based on our environment and campus expectations.” The reviewer is Margolis Healy, a “nationally reputable firm that specializes in campus safety and security” that has “provided similar services for dozens of other universities and colleges throughout North America.”
If you’re a Wesleyan student, “you are cordially invited to meet with Margolis Healy representatives to share any thoughts or questions you might have about Public Safety at Wesleyan in an open student session to be held on April 30 from 7–8 p.m. in the Daniel Family Commons in the Usdan Center.” You read correctly: that’s happening right now. Talk about timing. In case you can’t make it, Lesanjuan, Solomon, and I will be liveblogging the proceedings. Click past the jump.
Public Safety has had an interesting year at best. First alleged racial profiling during homecoming weekend, then allegations of Public Safety assaulting a Wesleyan student, and in January, an officer was fired for allegedly stealing equipment from faculty offices. This was followed by today’s email (see below) in which two Public Safety officers were involved in viewing and possibly video recording a female student in her residence. The two offending officers have since been fired. According to an email from Dean Mike Whaley, Wesleyan “is cooperating with Middletown police in an ongoing investigation.”
Following last semester’s forum, President Roth ’78 had an independent review look into Public Safety’s current practices and relationship with the University. Tonight, from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Daniel Family Commons (third floor of Usdan), you can attend an open student session and meet with the representatives of the independent company conducting the review, Margolis Healy. It’s some pretty strikingly appropriate timing, considering today’s email report.
Watch a student-produced documentary about recent tensions involving Public Safety here.
Date: Tuesday, April 30 (today)
Place: Daniel Family Commons
Read past the jump for the full email.
Since 1902, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art has remained tuition free, offering accepted students scholarships drawn in part from
industrialist Peter Cooper’s epic neck beard real estate holdings and alumni contributions to cover the cost of attendance. Though Cooper Union previously rallied under the banner of an education “as free as air and water,” it seems the only banners being hoisted today are in protest of the school’s move to cover only 50% of tuition. On Tuesday, Cooper Union made it official that it would be instituting the tuition plan proposed by the university’s maligned board of directors back in December of 2012. This blog covered developments in this story at length, which included a student response in the form of a building occupation and that occupation’s inevitable conclusion, as the activism at Cooper Union clicked with the campus zeitgeist regarding Wesleyan’s own decision to discriminate against students without the means to attend Wes abandon need-blind admissions.
Click through the jump for more on what this means for those of us who also attend institutions that renege on espoused principles like inclusion and diversity.
Palmer: “It is always very interesting when people misinterpret art, and then get angry about it.”
Wesleying’s own Gabe took this ridiculously excellent shot of Amanda Palmer at last weekend’s “Humanity Festival.” Click for the full gallery.
Amanda Palmer ’98 (whom we haven’t blogged about in a whole week-and-a-half, it’s true, we swear) is not much of a stranger to controversy, so the Internet probably shouldn’t have been surprised or outraged when she responded to the Boston bombing by writing a poem for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (titled, fittingly, “A Poem for Dzhokhar“) and posting it on her blog on Sunday.
But that’s not really the way things worked out.
As Palmer herself noted in a follow-up post a few days after posting the poem, “there are 1,947 comments on a poem that took me—no exaggeration—about 9 minutes to write. many of the comments have been confused, many of them understanding, many of them angry.” Indeed, dozens upon dozens of readers have called Palmer out for what they perceive as her self-interest and arrogance in the wake of a tragedy. One particularly popular comment, signed “A fan,” argues that “this isn’t a poem for Dzjokhar, it’s a poem for yourself because you imagine you know how he feels.” The comment currently has 770 up-votes and 12 down-votes, if that gives you an indication of what the reaction has been like.