Category Archives: Politics

Cracking Open a Pecan

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:

HAPPENING NOW: Protect Title IX and Tell DeVos: #HandsOffIX

The Title IX Student Advisory Committee is currently putting on a training and comment-writing event to address proposed changes to Title IX that would harm survivors:

Betsy DeVos’s most recent changes to Title IX propose to protect those who are accused of sexual violence, and the institutions to which they belong, rather than students.

The Trump administrations’s proposed changes include only requiring schools to investigate the most extreme forms of harassment and assault, allow schools to ignore violence that occurs outside of school programs, increase barriers to reporting, and allow schools to delay investigations for months.
Read more here:
https://actionnetwork.org/user_files/user_files/000/028/107/original/Two_pager_on_proposed_rule.pdf

The good news? We have 60 days to comment. Writing a comment is basically the Education Department version of calling your senators, and it’s the best way to make our voices heard for Title IX.

To write a comment, join the Title IX Student Advisory Committee this Thursday, Dec. 6th in the Downey House Lounge. Drop in any time from 4-7 PM. There will be pizza, information on the proposed changes, and guides for how to write a successful comment. It won’t take long, and it’s the best way to tell DeVos #HandsOffIX.

Date: TODAY, Thursday, December 6
Time: 4-7 PM
Place: Downey Lounge
Facebook Event

Public Charge: A New Threat to Immigrant Families

Caroline Kravitz ’19 shared this information from Protecting Immigrant Families regarding proposed changes to America’s immigration policy and what you can do to support immigrant families. You can submit public comment at the link above before December 10 to support the effort to prevent this catastrophic rule change.

For more information, check out the flyer below:

What’s Happening in Syria? Humanitarian Aid and Response to the Crisis

Caroline Kravitz ’19 writes in:

Wesleyan Refugee Project presents “What’s Happening in Syria? Humanitarian Aid and Response to the Crisis” on Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 5:00 pm to 6:30pm in the Usdan University Center, Room 108.

Join us and speakers from the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees (MFA) for an overview of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and what you can do to help. MFA is a New York City based NGO that mobilizes the interfaith community to deliver humanitarian aid and to advocate for sensible and humane refugee policies.

The speakers will include Ahed Festuk, a Syrian refugee from Aleppo who organized peaceful demonstrations in 2011 before working at a front-line field hospital and aid organizations in Syria, and Bennett Gross, Executive Director of MFA.

This event is cosponsored by The Albritton Center, The Government Department, the Middle Eastern Students Union, the Interfaith Council, Resource Center, and the Fries Center for Global Studies

This event is free and open to the public. Dinner from Typhoon will be served.

Date: Wednesday, November 15
Time: 5:00-6:30 PM
Place: Usdan University Center, Room 108
Facebook Event

WesAlums, Democrats Victorious in 2018 Midterm Elections

Campus this Wednesday was beaming with happiness and sunlight. There was hardly a cloud in the sky and it was a balmy 64º outside, which, frankly, is hardly an anomaly for New England weather in November. For those of us who were on campus the day after the 2016 election, we know that this is the exact opposite of the weather that descended upon Foss Hill the day after President Trump was elected to office. I can’t be the only person thinking that the difference in the weather feels reflective of how different the outcomes of these two elections have been.

Wesleyan Get Out The Vote Town Hall

This is happening today!!! Get civically engaged!

Wesleyan Democrats, Wesleyan Political Union, Every Vote Counts, Climate Action Group, and Veg Out are bringing Matt Lesser, and Quentin “Q” Phipps to Wesleyan’s campus!

Since 2008, Matt has been a strong progressive leader in the Connecticut General Assembly. Matt wrote the nation’s first Student Loan Bill of Rights, co-authored legislation that kept fracking waste out of Connecticut, and took on Wall Street to protect retirement security for public school teachers. A cancer survivor, Matt is leading efforts to protect the Affordable Care Act in Connecticut and provide everyone with access to paid family and medical leave. Read more about Matt here: http://mattlesser.com/.

Quentin “Q” Phipps is a lifelong resident of Middletown and proud to be running for State Representative in the 100th District. In 2007, Quentin filled a vacancy on the Middletown Planning & Zoning commission. In 2009, he was unanimously elected Chair of the Planning & Zoning Commission. He was first elected as City Treasurer in 2011 and was most recently re-elected in 2015. Read more about Quentin here: https://qphipps2018.com/.

Remember, the last day to register in Connecticut is October 30, but you can still register on Election Day so it’s not too late to learn about local candidates running in the district!

Submit your questions for the candidates here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdWtyb4b6wICgcbQL01GRIY6rHoT3HBZQ759Z3FHy8S43-BbA/viewform?usp=pp_url.

Please come out this Thursday to hear Matt, Quentin and Laurel talk about important issues and to make your voice heard! The event is open to the entire Middletown community.

Date: Thursday, November 1
Time: 4:30 PM
Place: PAC 001
Facebook Event

Write-Ins and All Campus Email: Wesleyan Responds to Federal Proposal on Defining Gender

Editor’s Note: This post contains references to transphobia/trans-erasure. If you are upset or disturbed by this news and need support, please reach out to CAPS at (860) 685-2910 and alert the CAPS staff you are in need of a same day appointment. If you are unsure if your issue is a “crisis,” please contact CAPS to discuss.

Wesleying aims to provide a safe(r) space for trans voices, and we are very willing to listen if you feel there are things we can be doing better towards this goal.

Cover Photo from the Trans at Wes Facebook page

Upon returning from Fall Break, students were greeted with an email from Interim VP for Equity and Inclusion Debbie Colluci and VP for Student Affairs Mike Whaley about the federal proposal on defining gender. This proposed federal policy would eliminate protections for trans and gender non-conforming individuals under Title IX, which has in recent years been one of the sole policies guaranteeing trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) people rights within institutions like the university.

In the email, Colucci and Whaley attempt to quell fears about trans and gender non-conforming students losing protections by pointing to Connecticut State laws and University Policy which prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity and/or gender expression. However, not everyone at Wesleyan lives in Connecticut full-time, and there are countless trans and gender non-conforming people in our wider community who don’t have the protections of the university, not to mention all of the trans/GNC folks who live in much more hostile environments.

We reached out to some trans/GNC members of the Wesleyan community to share their thoughts and feelings on the matter. Given the intent of the federal policy to literally erase trans and gender non-conforming people’s identities, we wanted to make sure we amplified trans/GNC voices in this post.

If you are trans/GNC and have thoughts or feelings you’d like to share (on this or any topic), please email them to staff[at]wesleying[dot]org and we can post them here at Wesleying! These can be published as anonymously or with your name, depending on your comfort level.

Read on for responses from members of the trans/GNC Wesleyan community, along with the full text of the email, below the jump:

UPDATED: Mysterious Posters About Administration Show Up in Usdan

Sometime between when the Usdan bulletin boards got cleared last night and around 11 AM when one of our editors spotted this, these posters reading “An idle administration is a failed one.” went up. It is unclear whether the administration in question is Wesleyan’s, Trump’s, or some other one, but clearly someone is upset about something. If you have any information regarding the origin or meaning of these posters, please contact us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org or via the tipbox.

[EDIT: 10/1, 1:09 pm]

We received the following anonymous tip in response to this post (cw: sexual harassment/assault, racism):

Why this Is(n’t)?

Questions about queer activism? Wondering what’s up with sexual assault? Curious about campus history?

Come join us for a teach-in and skill-share on recent activist history at Wesleyan.
We’ll give a brief tour through the now-updated activist timeline and have time for Q+A :)

Date: Wednesday, March 7
Time: 8-10 PM
Place: 200 Church
Facebook Event