Category Archives: General

#DONATEYOURRCF Campaign Begins for FGLI GoFundMe!

Dear Wesleyan Alumni, Community Members, and Everybody Else!

Today, I am reaching out on behalf of the GoFundMe that launched on March 15th to support first-generation, low-income, and/or housing insecure students in light of Wesleyan University’s closure. The purpose of this article is threefold: 

  • To clarify the goals of our student-led grassroots campaign
  • To distinguish our effort from the official Wesleyan emergency fund
  • To encourage students to donate their RCF refund to the GoFundMe campaign.

 

  1. Our Campaign in a Paragraph  

The goal of the GoFundMe is to place resources directly into the hands of high-need, at-risk students. Since Wesleyan’s closure, low-income students have either returned home, straining the budget of their already hardpressed households, or petitioned to remain on campus. As a first-generation, low-income student whose mother works as a janitor, each day is filled with the constant worry that we will lose our income. I have had an unprecedented amount of stress worrying about my financial stability. Social distancing and large-scale efforts to quarantine, though necessary for the safety of the public, have only exacerbated the everyday conditions of poverty. Rapidly, parents are losing their jobs, and our fellow FGLI students do not know how they will afford rent, utilities, groceries, routine medical expenses, and other recurring costs that do not stop for national emergencies. Moreover, the recent U.S. stimulus bill does not contain any financial relief for adult dependents, meaning that students do not qualify for monthly relief checks. The needs of Wesleyan’s at-risk student body cannot be reduced to a single narrative, but each and every story shares a sense of urgency. Therefore, our campaign, which is titled FGLI Wesleyan Student Donations, operates under the belief that direct financial donations best meet the fluctuating, varied needs of low-income students as they face the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Figure 1. To help students self-assess their level of need, we provided example statements. The graphic above includes descriptions for level 1 (approximately 10%), level 3 (approximately 55%), and level 5 (approximately 2%) students.

How ya doin?

a brief check in + WSA FAQ!

Hey fam,

As we come to the end of our first week of #distance #learning post spring break, I wanted to check in. How are you? How’s your love life? How’re your friends? Classes? Parties? Anything exciting going on? No? Ok that’s fine, I’m mostly just making sure your life is as boring as mine is right now.

There were a couple things I wanted to fill you in on. First, if you’ve turned your keys in, you should be automatically getting your RCF refund anytime now. But, if you want to transfer it to your checking account, here’s the form for the transfer. I’m sure you have lots and lots of other questions, which can be answered in this amazing, comprehensive FAQ made by the wonderful members of the WSA. Literally everything you could possibly be wondering can be found here.

If you have not yet donated to the FGLI GoFundMe, that can be found here. They’re past $200K now, but every dollar counts. Most importantly, the money from the GoFundMe will not be means tested when distributed. For more information, please check out the updates on the page. Jessi Russell ’20 and Mya Valentin ’19 have been incredibly transparent about where the money is going and how distribution will work, with a timeline and everything.

If you’re looking for a way to get shit off your mind, submit to our series on relationships in the time of corona! This has been a wild time, and whether you were in a romantic/platonic/life changing/very casual relationship or you wanna talk about your friends. Almost every relationship in our lives has been affected by corona, and we want to hear about it. Also don’t even TRY to tell us you’re not all over wescam, we know you are. You can submit through the form, or you can email us a voice memo! We’ll take whatever form you give us :) (staff@wesleying.org).

Wherever you are, I hope you’re with people you love and I hope you’re not letting corona bring you down. We don’t know how long this will last, and it’s painful to wonder when you’ll next see your friends [and friends+ ;) ] again, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The best thing to do is to take this day by day and to reach out to those around you. Don’t isolate yourself. Facetime your friends, go for a walk, or do both at the same time. Rely on others, let others rely on you. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t want to be randomly texted by someone they talk to every day or someone they haven’t spoken to in a year. Zoom happy hour with your friends, and reach out to that senior you hooked up with once freshman year. I know life feels stagnant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it interesting. Fuck shit up and keep moving forward. It’s the only way.

With love and care and affection,

Saadia

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Submission Request

Coronavirus is rapidly changing society as we know it, and we at Wesleying want to know how it’s specifically impacting your relationships with those you love. Fill out this form and tell us about any and all of the changes that are happening between you and your significant other, parents, friends, siblings, hookups, teachers, pets, beloved inanimate objects, and everything in between. Your story will be part of an upcoming article!

Addendum to Yesterday’s Article Regarding COVID-19

While our previous post listed plenty of concerns that many shares, we felt it was incomplete and wanted to add our thoughts specifically regarding (1) FGLI and (2) immunocompromised members of our community. This article addresses those concerns. 

Two nights ago, I saw a tweet that Amherst was shutting down campus to decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other students, faculty, and staff. They made the calculation that since students would be traveling off-campus during spring break –– despite being encouraged not to –– it would be incredibly difficult to contain the virus on campus. The following morning, Harvard followed suit due to the same concerns. 

When I saw these announcements over Twitter, the first thing I thought was, Fuck, how am I going to finish my work-study? I calculated how much I would have earned for the rest of the semester and felt my heart drop. As a second-semester senior, I took on extra hours this semester, working 4 jobs to earn extra money to pay off my loans post-grad. But, the next thought I had was, Fuck, senior year might end early. I texted my friends, upset about the possibility of missing out on my last quarter at Wesleyan. I thought of the things I still have to do on campus: popping champagne on the steps of Olin, enjoying the sunset on Foss, giving my last tour, stressing about finals in SciLi, commencement. The list goes on.  

While I do acknowledge that some of the responses to COVID-19 are unnecessary, there are some real, valid concerns that need to be addressed regarding keeping campus open. Yesterday, Wesleying published an article in haste that only spoke to one side of campus––the ones who are afraid of what the rest of the semester might hold. The thing is, this is an extremely complex issue. You, I, the Wes community, can be sad about the possibility of campus closing while also acknowledging the gravity of the situation. We do not have to operate in a binary that either: (1) Wesleyan will shut its doors to all students and not provide resources to those who rely on campus for income, housing, and food or (2) Open campus and pretend that everything is normal. 

There have been countless articles that have attempted to explain possible solutions for colleges to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. Some of them call for a complete shut-down of schools to avoid a cruise-ship-like spread of the virus. There are some that say the opposite, arguing that college students are a low-risk population. While I would love to be an idealist and argue that the latter is true, we have forgotten that Wesleyan is not just college-aged students. There are elderly, immunocompromised faculty who will be at-risk if students return to campus. There are staff members who are concerned about the health of their families. There are Middletown community members who will be at risk if the entire student body returns to campus. Not to mention, parts of a student body who, despite Dean Whaley’s continued discouragement, traveled abroad to at-risk counties. The point of (partially) closing campus is to “flatten the curve” and ensure that hospitals have enough resources to treat those in need. This is the reality that we need to face, and instead of arguing in binaries, we should, instead, ally around the students who will be most affected by a potential closure.

Here are some potential solutions that live in the intermediary space between those two binaries:

Women’s Cross Country Alumnae Speak Out on Culture of Disordered Eating, Injuries

This series was produced by sdz with the help of  fern,  melimaury,  gabs,  and  hen.
The 25 testimonials can be read here. The timeline of contact between the team and the Athletic Department can be found here.

 

The following is an open letter from Yuki Christina Hebner ‘17 to the Wesleyan community that speaks to a culture of body shaming, disordered eating, and high attrition rates on the Wesleyan women’s cross country team. Yuki tells her own story and introduces the stories of 25 other women’s cross country alumnae.

In the testimonials, Head Coach John Crooke is alleged to have pressured runners to lose significant amounts of weight with little guidance and no nutritional training, leading to multiple cases of disordered eating and injury. The effects of Coach Crooke’s directives, delivered in meetings which the team colloquially called “fat talks”, have been long-lasting; some of these alumnae are almost 7 years out of college and yet still struggle with disordered eating and injuries from their time on the team.

Yuki’s letter is followed by a petition, signed by 36 alumni. Notably, the petition is not asking for the removal of Coach Crooke, but rather for the Department to advocate for its racing athletes by better understanding the risk factors associated with endurance sports and holding coaches to a higher standard of accountability, among other demands.

The issues presented in this series are two-fold. On one hand, it was Coach Crooke’s actions that so adversely affected each of these alumni. He forced runners to lose weight, played favorites, and fostered a dangerous culture of body shaming and disordered eating. But, Coaches come and go. The issues presented here will not be resolved simply by removing Coach Crooke, or by adding a few more assistant coaches. The systemic issues of body shaming and lack of accountability of coaches that face distance runners simply will not change from the efforts of one person, or scapegoating one person to protect an inadequate system. It will take a cocktail of reforms, as laid out in the petition below, to bring about any sort of meaningful change.

This is not the first time that these athletes have tried to voice their stories. They wrote about their experiences in coaching evaluations, spoke about them in meetings with their coaches, and even brought them to the attention of the athletic directors. And yet, their concerns were never taken seriously. The timeline indicates clearly that the Department had been made aware of the cross country team’s concerns since at least 2013, and yet there is reason to suspect that things have not yet changed as much as they should have. If this were not true, these alumnae would not be speaking up today. (A statement from the Athletic Department follows the petition.)

It took a great deal of courage for each of the alumnae to speak out about her experience on the team. As a community, it is our responsibility to listen now, because it doesn’t seem like anyone was listening then.

Read Yuki’s letter after the jump, and then be sure to read the testimonials. The story is incomplete without them.

Part 2: 25 Testimonials from Women’s Cross Country Alumnae

Yuki’s letter and the petition can be read here. The timeline of contact between the team and the Athletic Department can be found here.

 

In Part 2 of this series, we are presenting 25 testimonials from 25 women who participated on the women’s cross country and track and field teams during their time at Wesleyan. Each story was written and prepared by each alumna herself, and reveals a pattern of mistreatment that led to a cycle of disordered eating, malnutrition, fatigue, and injuries as a result.

While many of the alumnae touch on their personal experiences with Coach Crooke, his actions are only part of the focus here. The first goal of these testimonials is to shed light on the specific actions of Coach Crooke and the devastating effect that they had on the team culture. The second is to call upon the Athletic Department as an institution to step up and protect its athletes, the very people on whose efforts the Department thrives. The testimonials and timeline beg the following questions: Where was the Athletic Department each time a runner spoke up about the conditions of the team? How could runners expect the Athletic Department to act when it did not even really listen in the first place?

A few have asked to keep their name and/or class year anonymous, but that does not lessen the degree of legitimacy of their stories. There are many reasons why they may have chosen to remain anonymous, including, but not limited to, concerns about how the Department or Coach will respond to these stories coming to light. If anything, their decision not to identify themselves speaks even further to a culture of fear and intimidation within the team.

Read the testimonials after the jump:

Part 3: What the Athletic Department Knew and When

This is part 3 of our series on the women’s cross country team. Part 1 is here, Part 2 is here.

Alongside the alumnae testimonials, we also wanted to provide a timeline that maps out the history of contact between the runners on the cross country team and the Athletic Department. A central theme of this series is to show that the Athletic Department was made aware of the issues of disordered eating and injuries that were perpetuated by Coach Crooke, and yet no changes were made to address the problems. This timeline, which was prepared by Rachel Unger ’15, is intended to shed some light on what exactly the Athletic Department knew and when. The timeline also speaks to the repeated efforts that were made by runners to push for change within the existing system as it stands.

S&C MENU WEEK 6

STAR & CRESCENT RESTAURANT
Located at the Alpha Delta Phi House (185 High St.)
LUNCH- 12:00-12:45
DINNER- 5:00-7:00
FIRST THREE FRESHMAN EAT FREE EVERY DAY!!!

MONDAY-
DINNER- Greens w/ Red Wine Vin. Shallot, Garlic & Herb Rubbed Flank Steak or Tofu, Roasted Red Bliss Potato, Cauliflower Gratin, Asparagus, Porcini & Red Wine Reduction
DES- Triple Chocolate Cake

TUESDAY-
LUNCH- Breakfast Burrito. Cheddar & Scallion Scramble, Black Beans, Roasted Sweet Onion & Poblano Pepper, Bacon or Soy Bacon, Avocado, Roasted Potato & Chipotle Salsa
DES- Mango Yogurt
DINNER- Greens w/ Thai Basil Vin. Red Curry w/ Chicken or Tofu & Jasmine Rice
DES- Coconut Cake

WEDNESDAY-
LUNCH- Falafel. House Made Chic Pea Fritter, Lemon Tahini & Cucumber, Tomato, Red Onion Served Open Face on Pita
DES- Coconut Cookies
DIN- Greens w/ Balsamic Vin. Linguini w/ Sautéed Asparagus, Portobello & Carrot, Tossed in Beurre Blanc w/ Roasted Chicken or Tofu
DES- Chocolate Cream Pie

THURSDAY-
LUNCH- Carrot & Ginger Bisque. Garnished w/ Sesame Oil, Toasted Sesame Seeds, Scallion & Sriracha. Served w/ Herb Focaccia
DES- Snickerdoodle Cookies