Category Archives: WSA

Liveblog: WSA President/VP Debate

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This week’s elections for President and Vice President come at a strange and controversial time for the Wesleyan Student Assembly. After a February meeting about a resolution for low-income and first generation students (proposed by Aidan Martinez ’17, himself a candidate) ended in tears, low-income and first generation students opened the debate about whether the current institutional structure of the WSA is viable, effective, or even helpful. Martinez’s “Shut. It. Down.” campaign called for the complete dissolution of the WSA’s constitution in order to rebuild it completely.

Today’s debate features Kate Cullen ’16 and Aidan Martinez ’17 on one side and Madison Moore ’16 and Victoria Hammitt ’17 on the other.

Martinez and Cullen are running the RefreshWes campaign, designed to turn the WSA and its institutional structure inside-out. Cullen has been a member of the WSA for two years, while Martinez was on the WSA from 2013-14. Moore and Hammitt are running to “make all associated institutions responsible to students.” [EDIT: Moore is a two-year member of the WSA while Hammit has never been on the assembly.] More information about all four candidates can be found here, on the WSA website. Elections are open until Friday, April 17.

Can’t make it to the debate but have questions you wish you could ask the candidates? We can be your proxies. Email them to staff[at]wesleying[dot]org or tweet them to @wesleying.

Community Meeting [WSA Restructuring]

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From Kate Cullen ’16:

Open meeting for anyone and everyone interested in discussing a new WSA structure!

Come for as long or short as you can to give your personal experiences, opinions and suggestions for a new inclusive, representative and accountable WSA. We want to hear from everyone–those who have felt silenced and excluded, those who have left the WSA, those who are currently on it, and those who may love it.

We’ll share what we have in the works so far and what a big change could conceivably look like.

~~~~We will have desseeeerts!~~~~

Don’t worry, if you can’t make it we’ll have another discussion next week!

Feel free to email/message/stop on the street

President Candiate: Kate Cullen (saltemuscull@wes)
VP Candidate: Aidan Martinez (ajmartinez@wes)

Date: Today
Time: [EDITED] 6:30 PM
Place: UOC 190 High Street
FB Event.

WSA Asking for CAPS Testimonials and Surveys

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Hi everyone! Here’s a thing the WSA people asked me to post. Read on.

The WSA is currently reviewing CAPS staffing and programs in order to suggest future improvements! We’d love feedback from any and all students with CAPS experience — from only going to one support group to seeing a therapist every week.

You can send testimonials via email to any of us, and we can meet in person to listen to any concerns you have:

ialter@wesleyan.edu

nravi@wesleyan.edu

eshackney@wesleyan.edu

cdeane@wesleyan.edu

Alternatively, we’ve set up a google form here.

The form is completely anonymous: it doesn’t log your email, and you don’t need to be logged in as a Wesleyan student to fill it out.

Thanks for your input!

Isabel, Nila, Lizzie and Carter

2014: A Very Wesleying Year In Review

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Guys, here’s the deal. We’re all feeling really old again because 2014 is over now, and that’s what happens each time you celebrate another year having come and gone. But before we can settle into 2015, which a previous year tried to warn us about (????), it’s time for your annual Wesleying Year in Review. Frosh writers astag_rockyCaro, and Jackson put together the ten biggest moments on campus (#tbt style), links to relevant Wesleying posts that help you brush up on each of those topics, and lots of fun honorable mentions.

Some really weird, interesting, amazing, magical stuff happens at Wes, and this post serves to remind us to take those memories with us as we go forward. (Looking at you, “New Year, New Me” people.)

Now, a disclaimer: Not everything that happened this year is covered because even with help, frosh only get some of the things right some of the times. Feel free to leave your personal favorite/weirdest/coolest Wesleyan moments in the comment section. Also, note that the events that do get covered are not placed in any particular order of importance or severity.

Read after the jump to see who wore it best.

Student Groups Fair 2014

tumblr_macr0bp9DO1r13hxvo1_1280Daniel Caballero ’15 wants you to get involved:

Kickoff the 2014-2015 school year on a high note by attending the 23rd
Annual Student Groups Fair. Student groups are a big part of life at
Wes and the WSA sponsored event is a great opportunity to meet with
both new and established groups. The annual fair also offers you a
chance to network with a few school departments who provide a great
variety of programs every year. Local vendors from the Middletown
community will be in attendance as well to help make the afternoon fun
and entertaining.

Start the year right and come on down with your friends to the Student Groups Fair at the Huss Courtyard between 2 and 5 pm on Friday, September 12.

Date: Friday, September 12th, 2014
Time: 2:00PM – 5:00PM
Place: Huss Courtyard 

Unofficial Orientation Series ’14: Rage Update

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(Image: Catherine Avalone, The Middletown Press)

You’ve now arrived on campus, and we hope that you find your time here enriching and transformative. In that hope, we feel that it would be ill-advised to allow you to not have at least a foundational understanding of the things that have forced us as a community into dialogue, disagreement, and action.

This is not to scare you or to give you a negative impression of the University. However, we are certain that most if not all of you were told about the “passion” that Wesleyan students have and the issues that we care about on campus are at the forefront of those passions. While there is certainly no requirement to take an activist stance on any of these issues and it is in fact easy to sink beneath the radar on these issues and all the others not covered here, we would plead with you to be engaged in the community that you are now a part of.

Read this, ask questions, and reach out to students and faculty that have been here before you. We hope that as you begin your time here, you fully invest yourself as a community member committed to making Wesleyan as good as it can be for you and for those after you. Caring about Wesleyan does not foreclose critique on Wesleyan and as you read this, and other things like it, we hope you understand that too.

WSA Passes Resolution 11.35: Wesleyan Divestment from Companies Profiting from or Contributing to Illegal Occupation of Palestine

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A few days ago, on Sunday, May 4, the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) passed Resolution 11.35: Wesleyan Divestment from Companies Profiting from or Contributing to Illegal Occupation of Palestine. This resolution has two operative clauses. The first calls upon Wesleyan University to divest from companies that a) provide weapons, security systems, prisons, or military support for the occupation of Palestinian land; b) build or maintain the wall between Israel and Palestine and the demolition of Palestinian homes; and c) help build, maintain, or develop Israeli settlements, outposts, roads, and transportation systems in occupied Palestinian territory (defined in the resolution as the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem). The goal of the resolution is to remove the financial incentive to participate in the occupation of Palestinian land. The resolution’s second clause recognizes that the University will likely not divest from Israeli companies, and thus calls upon the WSA to divest its own endowment from the University’s endowment to avoid supporting the occupation by the transitive property. 

FAQ: What’s Going on with Fraternities, Sexual Assault, and the WSA?

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TRIGGER WARNING: The following discusses the issue of sexual assault at Wesleyan and may be triggering for some readers. Community and official support resources can be accessed here, here, and here.

If you’ve been on campus this semester, you’ve probably had at least one conversation about sexual assault and residential fraternities. Since spring break, there have been four contentious WSA meetings on the subject, drawing sexual assault survivors, fraternity brothers, and other members of the community together to discuss policy to reduce sexual assault, and what that means for Wesleyan’s residential fraternities. The discussion has morphed into a discussion encompassing not only sexual assault and fraternities, but also male privilege, gender equality, gender relations, and how all of those impact the social spaces in which we move daily.

Despite all the discussion on this topic, there has been considerable confusion on both sides about the various resolutions that have been introduced. This FAQ post aims to clear up some of that confusion.

Sexual assault has always been a problem on campus, but we haven’t talked about it much until a few months ago. Likewise, we don’t seriously discuss the role of fraternities on campus very frequently. How did the current discussion begin?

Last spring, a Wesleyan student was raped in the common room of Psi U. Following the incident, the student who committed the rape was dismissed by the University. The survivor left the University as well. In early March of this year, the survivor sued Psi Upsilon, the Wesleyan Xi Chapter of the frat, and several Psi U brothers for negligence. It was this lawsuit that set off the current discussions about sexual assault and fraternities. 

WSA Survey Results on Frats and Sexual Assault Released

Safety of fraternity spaces on campus, relative to other spaces:

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19% say fraternity spaces are safer
31% say fraternity spaces are equally safe
47% say fraternity spaces are less safe

On April 18, the WSA sent out an all-campus email asking for student opinions about Greek life, safety, and gender equality. From April 18 to April 21, the WSA collected data. Within that time, there were 796 responses, which were close to representative of campus in terms of gender, class year, and Greek membership. A comprehensive breakdown of the survey are available here, on the WSA blog. The full set of survey results, complete with the number of people who answered each question and the questions asked, is available here: Sexual Assault and Greek Life Survey Results.

While I will be posting an FAQ post explaining Resolution B and the related resolutions later today, a few interesting excerpts of this right now, presented without comment: 

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.