Category Archives: WSA

Sexual Violence, Spaces, and Privilege

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Amidst the celebration and festivities that are the end of theses this past weekend, a conversation surrounding sexual violence continues to rage through our community, a topic this publication has covered many, many times before. These last few weeks, however, the discourse has intensified and fraternities, or more importantly the spaces in which they occupy, has become the center of attention and controversy.

There are a lot of angry people on campus right now, including me. More specifically, however, what bothers me the most about the way this conversation has taken place is that people continue to talk right past each other, and many times seem to completely disregard what others have to say.

So let’s talk about privilege for a little bit. Buzzfeed recently had another one of their typically useless quizzes going viral lately, this one asking, “How Privileged Are You?” It might be worth taking a look at the 100 point quiz and the contents of the criteria. Or go ahead, to take the quiz. “I went to an elite college,” for example, is something pretty much all of us should be checking off.

It may be kind of useless and just internet-buzz material, but for me, the quiz reminded me of two things: all of us have some form of privilege, and that sometimes we forget what privilege we hold. More importantly, however, it reminded me that some of us have significantly more privilege than others.

Hold on just a second. I hope you do not think I am digressing from the issue of sexual violence in this post, because privilege is an immense component of how we speak, what we say, and even how we say it. It shapes our views and beliefs, and those with privilege typically have a much easier time getting what they want compared to those who have much less. And in the discourse surrounding sexual assault at Wesleyan, privilege plays a huge role.

Meet Grant Tanenbaum ’15, The Only Person Running for WSA President

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Every year on Wesleying, we typically have a very sassy interview with the WSA presidential and vice presidential candidates (a tip of the hat to the venerable frostedmoose and the awesome Roxie for their extra sass-tastic features, which you can see here and here). It’s a shame that we don’t have any other candidates like last year’s dark horse favorite Keith Conway ’16 or the frostedmoose-proclaimed “Vanilla” Zach Malter ’13, but we’re making due.

Read after the jump to meet Grant Tanenbaum ’15, the only person running for WSA President this year (minus a hilarious April Fools’ “opponent”, a prank orchestrated by Kate Cullen ’16 that nearly gave Grant an ulcer). This is the first post of two parts on the prez, so stay tuned.

Room Selection Begins Tonight

Senior Housing Options

From Kate Cullen ’16 and the WSA:

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t checked your email or heard the nervous chatter around campus, room selection begins tonight! To give you a better sense of where your grade will actually live (cough… not all Seniors live on Fountain and not all Juniors live in LowRise/HighRise) Mika Reyes ’17 and Fred Ayres ’17 of WSA put together a few maps (rising Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores) for you. Also check back to Wesleying’s “Housing Options for Room Selection Guide” for any last minute questions about different dorms.

To all the best of luck!

Kate Cullen ’16 and WSA

Map Links:

Rising Seniors
Rising Juniors
Rising Sophomores

LIVE HOUSING SELECTIONS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.

Sign Up for the WSA Kickball Tournament

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From Lizzie “Shack Attach” Shackney ’17 and Key “I’m a Boss” Session ’17:

Gather your student group, sports team, house, hallway, and friends to sign up for the WSA Kickball Tournament! It’ll be at the Bacon Field House starting at 12 pm on Sunday, April 6th and it’s totally free. Sign up and get your friends to come cheer for you. There will be music, excitement, and $100 for the winning team, bobble water bottles for the runners up, as well as the pride of being able to say that your student group/friend group/whatever is the best (at kickball).

Sign up HERE by Friday, April 4th.

Date: Sign up by Friday, April 4th (Actual kickball tournament is on Sunday, April 6th!)
Time: 12pm-6pm on April 6th
Place: Bacon Field House
Sign Up: HERE HERE HERE

Student Group Leadership Summit

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From Lizzie “Shack Attack”/”Lizzie McGuire” Shackney ’17:

All student group leaders and aspiring student group leaders: Come to this year’s Student Group Leadership Summit this Tuesday, March 4th, at 7 pm in Usdan 108. It’s a great chance to hear what all of Wesleyan’s 277 registered student groups have been up to, and to talk about what’s been going well, not so well, the future of your group, or any issues you may want to bring up. Members of the WSA will be there to remind you of how the WSA can be a resource to you.

There will most def be cookies, coffee, and cross-group collaboration. Bring a younger member from your group because we’re all about ensuring the continuity of student groups.

Date: Tuesday, March 4th
Time: 7pm-9pm
Place: Usdan 108
Cost: Freezies

Roth to Attend Open WSA Meeting Tonight

President Roth will join the Wesleyan Student Assembly tonight at 7:30pm for the WSA’s weekly General Assembly meeting. All students are welcome to join for part or all of the meeting, and to bring issues to President Roth’s attention, ask questions, or give feedback on University policy and initiatives. We hope to see you there!

Date: TODAY
Time: 7:30PM to 8:30PM
Place: Usdan 108

Students Call on WSA to Divest from Israeli Occupation

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There are new developments from the ongoing controversy around President Roth’s denunciation of the American Studies Association’s recent resolution supporting the academic boycott of Israeli universities. Alums began circulating a still-growing petition earlier this month expressing support for the ASA decision and criticizing Roth for poor argument and hypocrisy.

Current Wes students, it seems, have followed suit. A separate petition has been making the rounds on email and social media in recent days and has already garnered over fifty signatures. Echoing the alumni declarations of support for the ASA’s boycott, the document also calls on the WSA to divest its own holdings from  ”companies that directly profit from or materially contribute to the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories”.

If such a resolution is adopted, Wesleyan will be following a long and growing line of universities who have endorsed the BDS movement. Read the full text of the petition after the jump or sign here:

Wesleyan has More Vacation Days than Peer Schools

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It’s been a month since this semester started, but it’s felt like ‘forever’ since we’ve been at school. However, it wasn’t too long ago that I was hearing the same about winter break’s length. Why are our breaks so long? I’ve wondered about this since freshman year when I realized that, by the last two weeks of winter break, I didn’t have many ‘home’ friends left to hang out with because they’d gone back to school.

So I did some research to figure out why we have so much vacation time and found that the creation of our academic calendar is more complicated than I had anticipated. It’s created through a years-long process that involves a wide variety of stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, and students. Vacation days aren’t the only thing that must be taken into account; we need to have enough time for class meetings and exam prep, with a balance that makes everyone content. The reality is that there are many complex interests involved in the process and striking the right balance is difficult.


Making the Calendar

Academic Affairs and the Education Policy Committee (EPC) (a committee comprised of six faculty members, two WSA members, and one graduate student) update the academic calendar every five years—most recently last year. This process usually begins a couple years before the year it is updated.

Privilege & Policy at Wes, Part I

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Exactly a year ago, the Diversity University forum was held to address diversity at Wesleyan in light of hateful comments on the ACB, the use of race in Public Safety Reports, and allegations of unnecessary use of force by Public Safety. The conversation also touched on many other points and became a three hour-long panel/discussion with over 400 students, faculty, and staff in attendance.

These were a few of the most salient points from the forum, summed up by pyrotechnics in his post from last year:

  • We’ve got problems. Big, scary institutional and individual problems and shortcomings. We all do. Every one of us.
  • There are a lot of people who really give a shit. Not only was this evident in attendance, but in the words, actions, and thoughts of many. This carries from those brave students who shared their own horrifying stories all the way to President Roth at the helm of the University, who remarked: “I take this very seriously. It’s so corrosive. It undermines the very fabric of this university. This can’t go on. … If we have screwed up, we will fix it. What you’re describing to me wrecks the University’s mission.”
  • Dialogue is important, and this kind of forum needs to happen regularly, but actions speak louder than words. Right now, there is a real limit to the trust that our community affords itself and the administration to actually address these issues. Ostensible, and more importantly, tangible progress in institutionally healing our community is necessary to shore up that lack of trust.

The dialogue continued again this year with the Privilege and Policy forums, which happened over a five part series in the span of a month. Student Body President Nicole Updegrove ‘14 organized the series, and 1-4 Wesleyan students facilitated each talk. The goals were to more thoroughly address diversity issues, for a wide range of students to participate, and to explore potential policy solutions. The conclusive points from this series were similar to those of the Diversity University forum from last year, namely that these issues are incredibly complex and important, that they affect everyone, and thusly, we need to talk about them.

WSA Winter Elections Info Session

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From the super hip and funky fresh Jacob Musinsky ’15:

Ever feel like there is something you wish you could change about Wesleyan? Are you interested in working on policies concerning financial aid, residential life, student life, academics, dining, social justice, and other issues facing the student body? Do you want to be involved in working with student groups – from helping them budget their activities, to bringing them into important conversations where the WSA could benefit from their input? Do you want to keep Wes weird, sustainable, affordable, and just an overall awesome place?

If so, consider running for a spot on the WSA in the Winter Election!  If you are interested, election petitions will be available Monday, November 18th, and are due at 5:00 PM on Friday, November 22nd to the WSA office on the bottom floor of Usdan. A mandatory candidate meeting will then take place at 5:00 PM on the 22nd in 41 Wyllys Room 112. Voting will occur when we return from Thanksgiving Break, from December 2nd to December 6th.

An information session explaining both the general workings of the WSA and the election process will occur on Sunday, November 17, from 1-2PM in Allbritton 311.

If you’re looking to make a change at Wesleyan and represent your friends, classmates and fellow students, then the WSA could be the place for you! If you want to get in touch with us – you can email us at wsa(at)wesleyan(dot)edu, check out our website, or tweet at us.

Date: Tomorrow, November 17th
Time: 1pm-2pm
Place: Allbritton 311