Category Archives: Politics

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

All Campus Email: Daniel Handler Withdraws as Commencement Speaker, Anita Hill to Speak

Around 4 PM today, President Roth sent out an email update notifying campus that Daniel Handler ’92 has stepped down from delivering the Commencement Speech for the Class of 2018. Dr. Anita Hill will instead be delivering the address at the event.

This decision follows Sarah Chen Small ’18‘s write-in as well as the her leading a student response which involved #CancelHandler posters put around campus earlier this week. This is a great example of how student activism can pressure the administration to check their actions. Honestly, this is amazing.

Read past the jump for the full text of the email:

#CancelHandler18 Posters Appear All Over Campus

On Monday, posters like the one above were put up all over campus, including on most (if not all) senior house doors. The posters call for the removal of Daniel Handler ’92 as Commencement Speaker after repeated instances of racism and sexual harassment. They also call attention to the fact that Dr. Anita Hill, who is known for speaking out against workplace harassment, will receive an honorary degree (a lesser honor and a shorter speech) at the same event.

The poster also links to Wesleying’s Write-In: “Commencement 2018: Lemony Snicket, Anita Hill, and Silencing Women of Color in the Age of #MeToo” and a recent article in Pacific Standard by David M. Perry ’95 detailing Handler’s history of sexual harassment.

Write-In: “Commencement 2018: Lemony Snicket, Anita Hill, and Silencing Women of Color in the Age of #MeToo”

On February 15th, President Roth emailed an announcement of this year’s commencement speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients. The 186th Commencement Address will be delivered by Daniel Handler ’92, also known under his pen name Lemony Snicket. Fellow degree recipients are Anita Hill, Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, and Joshua Boger ’73, scientist and chair emeritus of the Wesleyan Board of Trustees. Commencement will be Sunday, May 27, 2018.

The decision has sparked conversation among students, both in light of Handler’s past controversial remarks and the ongoing #MeToo movement, for which Anita Hill laid the foundation when, in 1991, she testified against Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination on the basis of sexual harassment. Sarah Chen Small ’18 has written in with a response to the commencement decisions, which you view below along with President Roth’s original announcement email:

David Vine, “What Are We Getting Out of This?”: U.S. Empire and the Military Overseas under Trump

From the Anthropology Department:

Join us for this interactive, conversational event with political anthropologist (and Wes alum!) David Vine ’97. Prof. Vine will discuss his ethnographic research on US military bases, the state of the US Empire, and the role of public anthropology. With a response by Prof. J. Kehaulani Kauanui.

David Vine is Associate Professor of Anthropology at American University. His books include Base Nation: How US Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World and Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base on Diego Garcia. His other writing has appeared in The New York Times, Guardian, and Mother Jones among others.

Date: Thursday, November 9
Time: 4:30-6:30 PM
Place: Downey 113

A Conversation with Chelsea Manning

Join Wesleyan Democratic Socialists, Wesleyan Students for Ending Mass Incarceration, Wesleyan American Civil Liberties Union, Ujamaa, Students for Justice in Palestine, United Student Labor Action Coalition, and Jewish Voice for Peace for a very special event with Chelsea Manning:

This talk will be a wide-ranging conversation between Chelsea Manning and moderator Professor Margot Weiss, Chair of the Anthropology Department. Ms. Manning and Professor Weiss will focus on the impact of current and emerging military, police, and national security tactics and technologies on Americans, the international community, and the environment. Additionally, they will focus on how Ms. Manning’s life and experiences have shaped her politics, and how queer and trans people are impacted by international systems of surveillance and militarism.

The talk will be ticketed to deal with crowding. Tickets will be free and available to pick up at the Wesleyan Box Office starting on Monday, November 6th. Security will be provided by Wesleyan Public Safety. Ticket checking will be provided by Usdan Event Staff.

This event is co-sponsored by the Wesleyan Student Assembly Student Budget Committee, the Green Fund, the Adelphic Education Fund, the Sociology Department, the Anthropology Department, the American Studies Department, Friends of the Wesleyan Library, Center for the Americas, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and the Student Resource Center.

Date: Wednesday, November 15
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Place: Memorial Chapel
Cost: Free! (Tickets will be free and available to pick up at the Wesleyan Box Office starting on Monday, November 5th)
Facebook Event

UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage

When I walked into Artspace in New Haven, the studio was relatively empty except for a few people and the art pieces. Each piece tells the story of a refugee, both for the eyes and the ears.

Mohamad Hafez, an architect and artist, takes these stories and creates suitcases, each reflecting the refugee experience. He recreates the rooms, homes, and lives of those who have suffered the damage from war. Ahmed Badr ‘20 records these stories, and curates them. When viewing the pieces, you can put on the headphones hung beside the pieces and listen to these refugees recount their stories.

I put on a pair of headphones, and listened. Each detail has made it onto the pieces. They help show the disaster, but also the innate beauty that these spaces occupied. The small details that compose the entirety of the piece–– dents in car license plates, toys that have accumulated dust from the rubble–– further emphasize the reality of these stories. Within those few minutes, I felt like I was in each of these places: Syria, Iraq, Congo, Sudan, all war-torn and never to be entirely the same as they were before.

I took off my headphones and the room swelled with a familiar sound: prayers being read in Arabic. It was strange to be in a public space in America and hear Arabic prayers so loud and clear. In that moment, I was home, with my grandfather, who lived right next door to the masjid. This juxtaposition of space and time took me by surprise, particularly because I wasn’t quite expecting it. The Arabic has its home at home, and here I am exposed to that via television shows, but not such an open space. Nevertheless, the ambient sounds made the entire experience that much more impactful. Here I was, hearing a language so familiar to me, for the most part associated with happiness, and having it transformed to this moment, to something not necessarily happy, but to that of strength, of courage, and of a new life.

The project was created to humanize the refugee narrative, that the refugee crisis is not simply numbers and statistics, but rather human beings, each who hold their own experiences and stories to share to us.

If you missed out on the gallery, fear not, dear Wesleyan’er! Mohamad and Ahmed will be holding a WESeminar on Friday, November 3rd at 5 PM in Fisk 208.

 

All-Campus Email about Charlottesville: A Dialogue with President Roth through Blog Posts

President Roth,

You have worked, implicitly and explicitly, directly and indirectly, to make Wesleyan a hostile environment for people of color, students with disabilities, trans students, survivors of sexual assault and pretty much any student who does not fit into your image of the “conservative oppressed by the liberal arts.” What’s more, you have repeatedly refused to engage with students in any meaningful way about the ways in which you’ve created this hostile environment. So I have resorted to engaging with you on your own terms: in a blog post.

Wes Students Support Yale Grad Student Union in “The Fast Against Slow”

UNITE HERE 217 and Wesleyan Students at Yale for the start of the occupation/strike

Wesleyan students from United Student/Labor Action Coalition and Wesleyan Democratic Socialists joined Yale graduate school employees from UNITE HERE Local 33 on Tuesday evening to kick off a hunger strike meant to pressure Yale administration into entering contract negotiations with the newly-formed union. Eight graduate school employees from Local 33 have committed to an indefinite hunger strike being called “The Fast Against Slow.”

Read more about the strike after the jump: