Category Archives: News

Wesleyan Creates New College of Integrative Sciences

On Wednesday, the Faculty voted overwhelmingly to approve a proposal for a new college, the College of Integrative Sciences (CIS), to join the College of Social Studies, College of Letters, College of the Environment, College of Film and the Moving Image, and the College of East Asian Studies. Students in CIS would have pursue a CIS Linked Major to complement an additional primary major in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM). According to the proposal, the new CIS aims to “offer Wesleyan students a curricular and research framework that enables new ways of thinking at the frontiers of science.” 

BREAKING: #AFAMisWhy is Marching on Wesleyan

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Beginning at noon today from the Science Library, students have been marching across campus in protest of the administration’s lack of support for African American Studies. This comes at the heels of a massive petition campaign, where other members of the Wesleyan community were encouraged to add their names to a resolution calling for the Provost to prioritize faculty hires in AFAM, to fill the empty lines that are in AFAM currently, as well as demanding a response from President Roth or Provost Ruth Striegel Weissman.

This resolution previously passed the Wesleyan Student Assembly on May 4th, when the WSA decided to suspend their bylaws (in which they are not allowed to vote on a resolution introduced that same day) to vote on the resolution the day of. The resolution passed unanimously and within a week’s time, has garnered over 850 additional signatures from the community.

The March today, entitled “March on Wesleyan,” moved from SciLi into Olin, then across Foss, through Admissions and Usdan, then through North College and ending at South College. Along the way, everyone chanted various phrases, as well as singing the following version of the fight song:

’14 Commencement Speaker: Theodore M. Shaw ’76

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About two months ago, President Michael Roth sent out an email to the entire campus announcing the honorary degree recipients for 2014, as well as the commencement speaker for the Class of 2014. This year’s commencement address will be given by Theodore M. Shaw ’76, a leading proponent of civil rights, previous Wesleyan trustee (twice!), and also a prior recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Wesleyan. You can read the entirety of Roth’s email below.

Shaw’s dedication and work to civil rights and human rights is indeed impressive. Currently a professor at Columbia University, where he also received his J.D. in 1979, he was previously an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for over two decades. What’s most notable about Shaw’s work—that perhaps most directly affects us as college students—was his involvement in creating University of Michigan Law School’s controversial affirmative action policy in the early 2000s, something that has been controversial again just last month. 

WSA Passes Resolution 11.35: Wesleyan Divestment from Companies Profiting from or Contributing to Illegal Occupation of Palestine

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A few days ago, on Sunday, May 4, the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) passed Resolution 11.35: Wesleyan Divestment from Companies Profiting from or Contributing to Illegal Occupation of Palestine. This resolution has two operative clauses. The first calls upon Wesleyan University to divest from companies that a) provide weapons, security systems, prisons, or military support for the occupation of Palestinian land; b) build or maintain the wall between Israel and Palestine and the demolition of Palestinian homes; and c) help build, maintain, or develop Israeli settlements, outposts, roads, and transportation systems in occupied Palestinian territory (defined in the resolution as the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem). The goal of the resolution is to remove the financial incentive to participate in the occupation of Palestinian land. The resolution’s second clause recognizes that the University will likely not divest from Israeli companies, and thus calls upon the WSA to divest its own endowment from the University’s endowment to avoid supporting the occupation by the transitive property. 

Traffic Jam Outside Usdan

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Some breaking news from aspiring student reporter Tim Tim ’16:

Earlier today, beginning at approximately 12:30pm, a multi-car traffic jam on the path between Albritton and Usdan left drivers and pedestrians alike stranded. While the sound of honking car horns and road rage fueled argumentation was easily audible from Foss Hill, the cause of the unusual jam remains unclear. Public Safety reportedly moved to open extra pedestrian lanes on College Row in order to ease traffic flow, but the office was unavailable for direct comment. One student bystander observed, “Man, these kids are going to be really late for brunch if this traffic doesn’t clear out soon!”

Sexual Violence, Spaces, and Privilege

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Amidst the celebration and festivities that are the end of theses this past weekend, a conversation surrounding sexual violence continues to rage through our community, a topic this publication has covered many, many times before. These last few weeks, however, the discourse has intensified and fraternities, or more importantly the spaces in which they occupy, has become the center of attention and controversy.

There are a lot of angry people on campus right now, including me. More specifically, however, what bothers me the most about the way this conversation has taken place is that people continue to talk right past each other, and many times seem to completely disregard what others have to say.

So let’s talk about privilege for a little bit. Buzzfeed recently had another one of their typically useless quizzes going viral lately, this one asking, “How Privileged Are You?” It might be worth taking a look at the 100 point quiz and the contents of the criteria. Or go ahead, to take the quiz. “I went to an elite college,” for example, is something pretty much all of us should be checking off.

It may be kind of useless and just internet-buzz material, but for me, the quiz reminded me of two things: all of us have some form of privilege, and that sometimes we forget what privilege we hold. More importantly, however, it reminded me that some of us have significantly more privilege than others.

Hold on just a second. I hope you do not think I am digressing from the issue of sexual violence in this post, because privilege is an immense component of how we speak, what we say, and even how we say it. It shapes our views and beliefs, and those with privilege typically have a much easier time getting what they want compared to those who have much less. And in the discourse surrounding sexual assault at Wesleyan, privilege plays a huge role.

Silence is Violence

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I will preface this post with a few undeniable facts as reminders to this campus regarding sexual violence. First, rape culture does exist throughout campus, thus sexual assault occurs throughout campus—and it is not limited to any part of campus. Second, addressing sexual violence is everyone’s responsibility—as a member of the Wesleyan community, this issue is your issue.

Recently, Mari Jarris ’14 and Chloe Murtagh ’15 have made bold moves in addressing sexual assault. In a fantastic post here on Wesleying, entitled “Don’t Assume ‘She’s Lying’”, they remind us:

We need to show that we take this issue seriously by combating rape culture on campus. We need to speak up when we hear responses such as “it seems like she’s creating a problem out of nothing” or “but she went home with him.” These reactions reveal three dangerous misconceptions. First, that there is a likelihood of false reporting (in reality, there is the opposite problem of significant underreporting). Second, and closely related to the first, is the tendency to blame the survivor. Third is the misconception that sexual assault is always perpetrated by strangers in unfamiliar places and accompanied by other physical violence (in fact, 90% of sexual violence on college campuses is perpetrated by someone the survivor knows).

This past week, the two launched a website, silence-is-violence.org, which serves as one online community for survivors to anonymously speak out about their experiences. The site also features quotes, submitted by any member of the Wesleyan community, that demonstrate how rape culture is perpetuated on campus through language. I highly recommend you check the site out—but this recommendation also comes with a strong trigger warning, as the site archives survivor testimonials and direct quotes.

Room Selection Begins Tonight

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From Kate Cullen ’16 and the WSA:

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t checked your email or heard the nervous chatter around campus, room selection begins tonight! To give you a better sense of where your grade will actually live (cough… not all Seniors live on Fountain and not all Juniors live in LowRise/HighRise) Mika Reyes ’17 and Fred Ayres ’17 of WSA put together a few maps (rising Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores) for you. Also check back to Wesleying’s “Housing Options for Room Selection Guide” for any last minute questions about different dorms.

To all the best of luck!

Kate Cullen ’16 and WSA

Map Links:

Rising Seniors
Rising Juniors
Rising Sophomores

LIVE HOUSING SELECTIONS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

Wesleyan Joins “Open Hillel” Movement

logoIn recent months, colleges around the nation have started challenging Hillel International over their policy surrounding Israel discourse. The movement first started at Harvard, where the local Hillel was barred by the national organization from co-sponsoring a discussion with a Palestinian student group.

Swarthmore became the first “Open Hillel” in early December, declaring that they will no longer abide by the guidelines presented by Hillel national. In their official statement, Swarthmore’s Hillel declared that, “All are welcome to walk through our doors and speak with our name and under our roof, be they Zionist, anti-Zionist, post-Zionist, or non-Zionist.”

Hillel’s official guidelines specify that groups or speakers that deny the right of Israel to exist, support the BDS (boycott, divest and sanction) movement or, “delegitimize, demonize or apply a double standard to Israel” will not be hosted by the organization.

The movement has been met with backlash, especially from the national Hillel organization. As quoted in the New York Times, Eric Fingerhut, the president and chief executive of Hillel, responded to the movement by stating that, “ ‘anti-Zionists’ will not be permitted to speak using the Hillel name or under the Hillel roof, under any circumstances.”

The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Round-Up

The recent news that a Wesleyan student is suing Psi  U due to rape allegations has sparked debate over the role of fraternities in sexual assault, and their presence on college campuses. Zach Schonfeld ’13 has written two in-depth articles on the matter. The first explores the history of various universities that have decided to get rid of their fraternities, and the follow-up wondering if Wesleyan will be the next to do the same.

A recent piece in The Nation explores the worrying fate of publically engaged academic intellectuals in the university system, reflecting on the recent firings of two Columbia professors.