Libby Salzman-Fiske ’19, Caroline Kravitz ’19, and Sahar Shaikh ’17
Note: The information found in this feature was recorded in early to mid-February. Immigration and refugee policies in the United States are still in flux under the Trump administration, and the exact details regarding immigration laws and their enforcement may have changed since these interviews were conducted.
Since the Wesleyan Refugee Project (WRP) was founded in the Fall 2015, the volunteer organization has been hard at work in their contributions to resettlement programs, legal aid, tutoring services, and fundraising events. We spoke to one of the group’s founders, Casey Smith ’17, last September. Since then, it’s become even more difficult for refugees to enter the United States under Trump’s new immigration policies, and the future for refugee resettlement in the US is uncertain.
This semester, I spoke to several different members of the WRP, all in different leadership positions. I asked each of them how they got involved with WRP, what the group is focusing on this semester, and how other students can volunteer and participate. Read their stories after the jump:
Last year’s directors of the Vagina Monologues, Jessica Perelman ’17 and Eileen Connor ’18 have taken some time to write about why the Monologues won’t be happening on our campus this year.
This post comes as a way to continue conversations about the main subject of the Vagina Monologues- womanhood. As there have been continuous discussions in recent years about whether the Monologues should persist, this post comes not as a defense to “why” or “why not,” but mostly just to inform the wider campus community.
I don’t think it is too difficult to find the problems with the Monologues portrayal of womanhood, as it equates being a woman to having a vagina, a notion which is widely understood to be false. If this idea comes as new to you…. ??¿?¿¿?¿ The discussion of the Dialogues on this campus have also culminated in the creation of a more accepting and accessible version of the Dialogues called the Shmagina Dialogues. But of course, the fight for equity is still ongoing.
In general, this is a conversation we can all continue to learn from, and use to understand gender and sexuality in larger social contexts.
Find the previous directors story below:
“At the end of each week, ask yourself: ‘Have I done this much this week as I did during the week of January 20th?'” – Chris Murphy
Last Thursday, February 2, at midnight, I got an email saying that U.S. Senator from Connecticut Chris Murphy was coming to hold a meeting on environmental policy on the morning of Saturday, February 4 and that there weren’t that many seats left at this late stage. The town hall was sponsored by the College of the Environment and the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. The senator, notable for his Twitter takedowns of Donald Trump, took many questions on everything from general political engagement in these fiery times, to specific measures on the preservation of federal lands, and the precarious nature of environmental data in the Trump administration. He also answered a question on whether he would be considering a Presidential bid for 2020. Read past the jump for more on the town hall:
Some of you have probably seen on Facebook that there is something going wrong with the Theater Department, and might have further questions. Maia Nelles-Sager ’17 wrote a piece explaining the state of the Wesleyan Theater Department and submitted it to Wesleying. We are deciding to post it because we think it represents an all-too-often occurrence where departments are neglected and visiting professors are overworked.
As with many things at Wesleyan, there are inner workings of the administration to which students don’t have access. In the case of the post below, these things are having a direct impact on the formal education that we have come here to receive. As a prospective theater major, this post is something near and dear to me. I’ve seen a big cry for transparency in our community, and I hope you all will take time to see why many students are looking for it in the case of the Theater Department. Read past the jump for Maia’s post.
An invitation to an exciting presentation, courtesy of Joli Holmes ’17:
Increasingly, journalists are turning to tools that were once solely the domain of data analysts and computer scientists to create compelling visualizations and enhance their storytelling. Newsrooms are using accessible technology to process big and open data to assist in investigations, keep citizens informed, and help make institutions accountable— and they’re often following the tenets of data science, like making their work transparent and reproducible. It’s important, now more than ever, that data not be hidden by government agencies from the public so that it instead might be used to illuminate the truth.
Andrew, currently a Koeppel Journalism Fellow at the Center for the Study of Public Life (co-teaching QAC 250) is the senior data editor of Trend CT (http://trendct.org/about/ a CT Mirror affiliate). He was a founding producer of The Boston Globe’s Data Desk where he used a variety of methods to visualize or tell stories with data. He also was an online producer at The Virginian-Pilot and a staff writer at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He’s a Metpro Fellow, a Chips Quinn Scholar, and a graduate of the University of Texas.
Date: Monday, February 13th
Time: 4:30 p.m.
Place: Allbritton 103
This morning at around 9:15, Vice President for Equity & Inclusion and Title IX Officer Antonio Farias sent out a campus-wide email, announcing that the University will be conducting a Title IX policy review this semester in partnership with the Victim Rights Law Center. Three representatives from VRLC – Lindy Aldrich, Amanda Walsh, and Candi N. Smiley – will be on campus February 8-9 to host panel discussions and Q&As with faculty members, class deans, and student representatives (you can view bios of the representatives and a full schedule of the panels here). A full report is expected to be completed and made publicly available by late March or early April.
The news follows several months of high-profile controversy surrounding Scott Backer, the former Associate Dean of Students, whose history as a sexual predator was only made public due to an investigative report by the Boston Globe. Last semester was marked by multiple student protests over how Wesleyan handles sexual assault cases and faculty accountability; at an open forum, students expressed their wish for Farias and President Michael Roth to be removed from office. A number of faculty members expressed their own disappointment at the University’s Title IX policy by sending an open letter to the Argus, demanding that faculty sexual harassment cases required independent review by an outside party.
Read Farias’ full email and more information on the VRLC after the jump:
“You can hate me for being muslim, or for being a refugee, but I will show you that your hate is ill founded by my appreciation for your voice and your perspective.”
Today, many in the Wesleyan community are in uproar in the wake of the news of Trump’s executive order banning immigration from 7 majority Muslim countries. Many students attended demonstrations at Bradley International Airport that protested the order. President Roth sent an all-campus email in response to the ban.
Ahmed Badr ’20 is closer to these issues than most. He moved to the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee with his parents when he was 10 years old. He is now a U.S. citizen and student, entrepreneur, youth leader, writer, poet, and photographer. He also founded a global storytelling platform called Narratio. On Sunday afternoon, he tweeted a statement about Trump’s Muslim Ban and has given us permission to republish his words here.
We know that this executive order (and the no doubt numerous to come) is having immediate effects on many in the Wesleyan community. If recent actions by the Trump administration are impacting you or your family and you have something to share, feel free to email us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org.
Earlier today, thousands gathered at JFK International Airport to protest the detaining of 12 people from the list of seven majority-Muslim countries covered in Trump’s executive order from yesterday. This order has suspended all immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia for the next 90 days, regardless of visa and permanent resident status. The order also bans entry of all refugees for the next 120 days and the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely.
Among those at JFK earlier today was Casey Smith ’17, who gives more information about what’s going on there:
At least a dozen refugees and immigrants from the now-banned Muslim-majority countries were detained by Customs and Border Patrol inside JFK and more–unclear how many–were detained at airports around the country. The protests were posted on Facebook by immigrants’ rights and human rights activists, including Linda Sarsour. Lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project and the ACLU were inside the airport, by the arrivals gate, working to get in touch with the detained refugees. At the time of writing one Iraqi refugee had been released but the others were still detained. Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (NY-7) was inside the airport and at the protests all day to advocate for CBP to release the refugees. Protestors shouted “no ban, no wall” and that immigrants/refugees/Muslims are welcome here.
Smith also said that it is important that those who are directly affected by the ban be centered in conversations about the policy. Read past the jump for reactions to the news:
Photo Credit: Kirill Lebedev for Liberation News
On Friday afternoon, a cohort of Wesleyan activists drove down to New Haven’s financial district to protest three major banks’ investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline. Students from Wesleyan Democratic Socialists and Fossil Fuel Divest joined other protestors on the march, which began at Wells Fargo, moved to Bank of America and the Federal Courthouse, and ended at TD Bank. At each stop, organizers and indigenous activists made speeches and led chants demanding a halt to pipeline construction and that the banks divest from the project. Read past the jump for more information about the march and specific calls to action from the protest’s organizers.
A NYT photo of a Stanford party from outside.
Wesleyan is no stranger to out-of-touch New York Times journalists writing about ~campus life~. In March of 2015, Tatiana Schlossberg (JFK’s granddaughter) wrote an absurd piece about trying to investigate the drug scene at Wesleyan. In 2003, now-fancy-and-serious NYT Correspondent Neil MacFarquhar wrote a piece on WestCo, “The Naked Dorm,” about “how one well-choreographed rite of passage from high school to college life went unexpectedly awry.” In 2007, bizarrely, they also published a fashion shoot of Wesleyan students wearing designer clothes.
While Wesleyan has mostly avoided coverage this fall (though MRoth hasn’t), today the NYT is at it again, with a simultaneously laughable and unsettling piece about responses to college drinking and sexual assault across the country. While both alcohol consumption and especially sexual violence on campuses (and elsewhere) is indeed a big deal, journalistic coverage of these phenomena tends to be stilted and ridiculous. Much can probably be said about this coverage, and how it fits in to broader patterns of cultural representations of college students. For now, though, I’ll let the article speak for itself, after the jump: