Category Archives: Politics

Art+Feminism: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Bad-ass sophomore Rebecca Rubenstein ’21 writes in:

There is massive gender inequity in Wikipedia – both in terms of topics/people represented, and contributors. We can change that! Come learn the basics of Wikipedia editing to increase representation of/boost access to the work of marginalized artists, activists, and game-changers.

THERE WILL BE PIZZA Y’ALL.

Date: Thursday, May 9
Time: 12:30-1:30 PM
Place: Boger 115

Students and Custodians Allege Labor Violations against Wesleyan

Wesleying stands in solidarity with our custodial workers in their fight to be treated with dignity and respect as they clean and care for our campus. We affirm their demand for Wesleyan to hire five more workers, and offer our platform and support to the workers and students who are organizing to achieve this.

Tomorrow (Friday, April 26), at noon, students, campus workers, and community members will join together at North College to rally for Five More Workers: Support Good Jobs at Wes. Students, other Wesleyan workers, community organizations, labor unions, artists, and even two sitting Congresspeople (Rep. Pramila Jayapal WA-07 and Rep. Andy Levin MI-09) have expressed their support for Wesleyan’s custodial workers, and Friday’s rally is anticipated to be the largest action yet.

This comes just two weeks after United Student/Labor Action Committee (USLAC) organized a series of protests and disruptions during WesFest to call attention to the unreasonable workloads of our school’s custodians and to demand that Wesleyan hire five more workers. (If you want to know more about the WesFest actions, the Argus did a great job covering them.)

Since WesFest, the administration has failed to take action on (or take seriously) the protesters’ demands and workers’ testimonies, citing data shared in an all-campus email from Chief Administrative Officer, and Treasurer Andy Tanaka on Wednesday, April 24 as justification. USLAC responded by sharing a point-by-point rebuttal of the “facts” presented in Tanaka’s email.

A graph compiled by USLAC to explain perceived flaws in the administration’s data analysis

As mentioned in these documents, there have been new developments with regard to the legality of Wesleyan and SMG’s employment practices. On Friday, April 19, Wesleyan students and custodians worked together to file a National Labor Relations Board charge against Service Management Group (SMG), a custodial services subcontractor, and Wesleyan University as joint employers. This occurred after custodians and students reviewed SMG’s corporate handbook and identified several violations of federal labor law.

Read on to learn more about the violations, their significance, and to view the full redacted complaint.

WRP’s Advocacy Week: “Art and Migration”

Caroline Kravitz ’19 writes in:

Join us for Wesleyan Refugee Project‘s second annual ‘Advocacy Week’! Throughout the week, various artists and activists will be visiting campus to perform and speak about storytelling through art. Events include film screenings, panels, fundraisers, and performances by local artists. This week is intended to spark conversations both on and beyond Wesleyan’s campus about art as a form of activism, empowerment, or other times as exploitation. By raising these questions, we hope to re-examine our definitions of crisis, activism, art, and agency. We also hope to think critically about how we frame and engage with one another’s voices.

A brief outline of the lineup of events is as follows:

Mon. April 22nd:
‘Greening the Camps’ Conference call and lunch: 12-1pm
‘Another News Story’ Film screening: 7-8:30 pm

Tues. April 23rd:
‘Know Your Rights’ Training: 12:15-1pm
‘Art & Ethics’ Panel and dinner: 5:30-7pm

Weds. April 24th:
Film-Aid Short Film Screenings & Fundraiser Dinner: 6-8pm

Thurs. April 25th:
‘Matangi/Maya/M.I.A’ Documentary Screening: 7-8:30 pm

Fri. April 26th:
‘Post Advocacy Week Round Table Discussion’: 12-1pm

**Be sure to check out our flyer, in addition to individual facebook event pages/posts as next week approaches!**

ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC!

Date: Monday, April 22 – Friday, April 26
Time and Place vary per event. Check out the Facebook Event for more information!

Divest Now: Wesleyan University’s Institutional Obligation to Address Climate Injustice

Written by Ben Silverstone ‘22 and Ernest Braun ‘22 on behalf of WesDivest, Climate Action GroupWesDems, Sunrise, and a coalition of other sustainability groups, this guest post addresses climate injustice and what Wesleyan must do now to ensure our planet’s future:

“12 years from now, in 2031, Wesleyan will celebrate its bicentennial anniversary. In 2030, the UN’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) warns that we will reach environmental tipping points that will speed up the pace of the climate crisis. The catastrophic warming resulting from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels which has already begun to ravage our planet will be irreversible for millennia. As the students, faculty, and administration reflect upon Wesleyan’s accomplishments over the past 200 years, perhaps they will wonder what Wesleyan may look like in another 200 years, or even in 50. Unless we take drastic actions to reduce our emissions now, we already know the answer to that question.

We are WesDivest. We formed to urge the administration to divest our endowment from the fossil fuel industry, to commit to renewable energy and reduced consumption, and to lead by example in the fight for the futures of our generation. We formed because all of human civilization is implicated in the same challenge for the next decade: to stop greenhouse gas emissions before we make the planet uninhabitable. With this challenge in mind, any institution that ignores the reality of climate change is contributing to its own demise and doing a moral disservice to humanity. Therefore, all people who are invested in Wesleyan’s enduring success – and that of its students  – should seriously consider divestment from fossil fuels and begin building a more sustainable future.

Read the rest of this guest post after the jump:

Bernie Sanders Town Hall Watch Party

From Wesleyan Democratic Socialists:

Join Wesleyan Democratic Socialists to watch Bernie Sanders give his first town hall of his 2020 presidential campaign!

All are welcome, whether you knocked doors in 2016 or are just curious to hear more about his policies and democratic socialism!

Snacks will be provided!

Date: Monday, February 25
Time: 8 PM
Place: PAC 001
Facebook Event

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.