I have been pleasantly surprised to see a few comments on recent articles asking for a source on the 68% figure that has been flying thick and heavy around need-blind conversations lately. For context, here is an excerpt from a recent controversial speech about donating to Wesleyan:
“Did you know that 68% of any donation earmarked for financial aid gets swept into the general operating budget, and that only 32% of such donations goes to improving the financial aid budget?”
That 68% figure was first circulated in a document produced by Need Blind Wes and distributed during Homecoming Weekend. It is profoundly shocking that the majority of a specified donation would somehow be weaseled into unrestricted funds, isn’t it? Isn’t that illegal?
Well, yes, that would be illegal — except the 68% figure is just flat-out false as described. Incorrect. Inaccurate. Wrong. Or, at the very least, incredibly misleading.
When the three trans* activists charged with participating in the direct action campaign against gender segregated bathrooms last month went before the SJB on Wednesday, they didn’t go alone. Alongside them stood more than 40 of their friends and allies who packed the lobby of North College in a display of solidarity and support. This energetic but civil crowd included students, professors, and even two supporters from New Haven who had read about the hearing on the Internet and drove up to condemn the University’s response to the actions.
The official SJB protocol allows those accused to invite witnesses to give testimony. Many of those assembled at North College had prepared statements wherein they intended to creatively ‘bear witness’ to the injustice of the proceedings, while refusing to give incriminating testimony in direct relation to the events themselves. In effect, supporters successfully staged a sort of filibuster of the hearing which ultimately lasted a grueling 4.5 hours.
Aside from the massive display of solidarity, which over the course of the afternoon transformed the North College lobby into a temporary encampment of snoozing, snacking, card-playing, homework-doing, carpet-lounging supporters, many things about the proceeding were irregular. For one, the administration had stationed a particularly burly PSafe officer to stand guard at the door. Furthermore, Dean Scott Backer insisted on being present throughout the hearing, the questioning, and the witness testimonies. Reports from inside indicate that he repeatedly interrupted or attempted to cut short the witness testimonies, and at one point threatened to table the hearing entirely despite the fact that dozens of witnesses were assembled outside waiting to testify.
Early September, President Roth sent an email to the campus community calling for proposals that, in his words, “have the potential to significantly improve the distinctive educational experience by leveraging its residential dimensions.” After the deadline for proposals of November 1st had passed, students received an email from VP for Academic Affairs & Provost Ruth Striegel Weissman, VP for Finance John Meerts, and VP for Student Affairs Michael Whaley that these proposals have begun to be reviewed by an advisory group made up of faculty, students, and staff headed by Provost Weissman.
These proposals are for and follow the Wesleyan 2020 vision set by the Board of Trustees in May of 2010, which serves as a “fundamental tool for strategic decision making at Wesleyan… [to] assist us in making decisions about the allocation of resources in the next 5–10 years.”
In his email to the campus and his blog post, President Roth has made it clear to focus on proposals that would improve or stress the “residential aspects of the Wesleyan experience.” In a blog post from November 5th, Roth wrote, “After getting input from students, faculty and staff, I expect to be announcing some pilot projects early in 2014. Wesleyan’s residential dimensions foster a learning, research and creative culture that is one of our greatest assets. We will use those strengths in even more intentional ways in the future.”
Wesleying will provide updates as able.
At 10:50AM, a message was sent out to the Yale community placing the campus on lockdown. The following message was sent out:
Text message to the Yale Community, November 25 – 10:50 a.m.
Reports of person with gun on Central Campus. SHELTER IN PLACE until further notice.
The gunman was confirmed to be on campus just after 11AM, with Yale Police, New Haven Police, and State Police on the Yale campus searching for the gunman. Yale Daily News reports that the gunman was confirmed to be on Yale’s Old Campus, and New Haven Independent reports that the university was tipped off by a caller at 9:30AM saying that his roommate was armed and headed to campus to “shoot up the area.” Police stated that the caller had called anonymously through a pay phone, and have yet to identify the caller.
Joe Ringoen ’14 of WesAmnesty writes in:
Five Wesleyan students from a variety of backgrounds will share first-hand experiences with human rights issues in the Middle East. The testimonial-style presentation will be followed by informal discussion over Middle Eastern food.
The presentation will end by 8pm, so if you’re planning to go to Wes Thinks Big, fear not!
Date: November 20th, 2013
Place: World Music Hall
A few weeks ago, I posted a three-part post about the conditions of Wesleyan’s contracted custodial staff (which can be read here, here, and here). Shortly thereafter, the WSA and USLAC drafted a resolution to support the workers push for better custodial conditions, which passed unanimously this past Sunday. Here’s a message from USLAC about this:
On Sunday, October 13, the WSA voted unanimously to pass a USLAC resolution affirming that subcontracted workers are part of the Wesleyan community. The Wesleyan student body demands that Wesleyan create and adhere to our own ethical standards for subcontracted workers. No longer will we look to peer institutions or industry standards to dictate the working conditions in our community.
The resolution encourages the administration to amend their contract with Sun Services and expand the custodial work force by five full-time positions. This will entail the promotion of temporary staff to the status of full-time staff and the creation of an additional full-time position. This and other demands are detailed in the resolution. To read the full content, click here.
Post submitted by Emily Greenspan ’16:
Come join J Street U at Wesleyan for a talk with Avner Gvaryahu, a
representative from Breaking the Silence, for a presentation about
what the organization does and the reality of life under Israeli
occupation. Discussion will follow.
Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran combatants who have
served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada
and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the
reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. They endeavor to
stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which
young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are
engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life.
Read more about Breaking the Silence on the interwebz:
Date: Sunday, October 13
Time: 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Location: PAC 001
Cost: Free, but if you’d like to support Breaking the Silence, small contributions will be welcome
Friday Night Lights at Wesleyan University on Saturday
I recently thought back to when I first toured Wesleyan. My tour guide, a gentleman that my mother would later refer to as “the hippie,” was a nice fellow who had a lot of great things to say about Wes. One thing that stuck with me, however, was his thoughts on Wesleyan athletics. To paraphrase, he had claimed that Wesleyan’s students, in a place overflowing with school spirit, frequently spent time watching the athletic events on campus.
While I won’t deny his bit about school spirit, I have come to question what the hell he was trying to pull with the whole ‘we like sports’ thing. True – Wes can claim that the athletic events that take place at our campus’s center have an “audience.” False – Wes can claim that this audience is even mildly aware of what sport is unfolding before them, due to A.) utter intoxication or B.) philosophical distraction. Just because Foss Hill conveniently situates its occupants facing the football/baseball field doesn’t mean that its occupants have the slightest comprehension of what’s happening.
For further redundancy, incredible sarcasm and unrelenting disgust has been clogging up the tubes around campus.
That’s right folks, it’s that time of year again: US News and World Report has released its infamous college rankings list and put Wesleyan at #17 on the National Liberal Arts College list, tied with Grinnell College of Iowa and the United States Military Academy (West Point) of West Point, New York. In a demonstration of recursive redundancy, this ranking is exactly where we ranked last year. In a demonstration of arbitrary analysis–this is US News we’re talking about here–the publication stated the following blurb to describe Wesleyan (reproduced in full from the rankings listing):
Wesleyan University is located in Middletown, Conn., overlooking the Connecticut River. The private institution’s sports teams compete in the Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference, as well as in the unofficial Little Three athletic conference with Amherst College and Williams College.
Last October, a former student (under the pseudonym of “Jane Doe”) filed a federal lawsuit against Beta Theta Pi fraternity, the Baird Association (which owns Beta’s house), and Wesleyan University. The lawsuit alleged that Wesleyan had failed to abide by Title IX law through failure to “warn or otherwise take corrective action” against the fraternity that could have prevented the assault on the student that occurred in Beta two years prior.
The case accumulated significant attention in national media (as well as, uh, me), especially when it came to light that lawyers for Beta were attempting to force the survivor to reveal her identity.