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.
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
Place: Allbritton 311
From Kate “Leading the Pack” Cullen ’16:
Are the Wesleyan libraries too loud? WSA’s Student Affairs Committee is working with the library staff and the Academic Affairs Committee to conduct a survey on noise level in the libraries in response to an influx in student complaints. If you haven’t already, please fill out our survey on library noise levels here!
Deadline: Sometime soon
Link: YAY SURVEYS
A few weeks ago, I posted a three-part post about the conditions of Wesleyan’s contracted custodial staff (which can be read here, here, and here). Shortly thereafter, the WSA and USLAC drafted a resolution to support the workers push for better custodial conditions, which passed unanimously this past Sunday. Here’s a message from USLAC about this:
On Sunday, October 13, the WSA voted unanimously to pass a USLAC resolution affirming that subcontracted workers are part of the Wesleyan community. The Wesleyan student body demands that Wesleyan create and adhere to our own ethical standards for subcontracted workers. No longer will we look to peer institutions or industry standards to dictate the working conditions in our community.
The resolution encourages the administration to amend their contract with Sun Services and expand the custodial work force by five full-time positions. This will entail the promotion of temporary staff to the status of full-time staff and the creation of an additional full-time position. This and other demands are detailed in the resolution. To read the full content, click here.
Today is the last day to vote in the Wesleyan Student Assembly Fall 2013 elections. Voting closes at midnight, at which time the results will be available on the voting site.
Welcome to utopia! Er, sorta. Well, not really. Actually not at all. Like all the world, good old Wesleyan is plagued with many social ills. Some are more intractable than others, some more terrible than others. I am not here to pass judgment. I am here only to give you the quick run-down on
all most of the things people at Wes have been getting upset about of late. To avoid showing favoritism I put these in random order (literally). Please feel free to add/question/editorialize in the comments below.
This is the Wrath Update. First up:
At Wes, University Policy prohibits the use of chalk “on sidewalks or buildings.” For many students — though definitely not all — this constitutes a violation of the right to free speech and the battle over the chalking policy has raged fiercely for over a decade. On the 3rd of October 2002, then-President Doug Bennet ’59 put forth a moratorium on Wesleyan’s storied tradition of chalking, a moratorium which was theoretically temporary but was never lifted. In those days, you could spend an hour reading chalkings on the hundred-yard walk from PAC to what’s now Usdan. Chalking was primarily used as an empowerment medium for the queer community, but, of course, a few individuals took things a little too far. I do not need to get into the details; you go to Wesleyan so you can imagine it. We still occasionally witness hateful and hurtful public messages around campus.
From Mickey Capper ’13 Adam Isaacson ’13 WHATEVER YA’LL:
Packing is for losers!! So many seniors playing music TONIGHT at Eclectic cause they never will ever again! If you’re on campus, don’t miss it. If you’re off campus come back to campus for this show or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life. BRING YOUR PARENTS CUZ YOU LOVE THEM!!!
10:00 pm Elvis Presley
10:05 pm Protein Stains
10:30 pm Dr. Hackensack
10:50 pm Miami Heat
11:20 pm The Japanese
12:00 am Treasure Island
12:30 am Bamenda
12:45 am Perfecto
01:15 am Adrien Feat. William
01:30 am Tonsil Hockey
01:55 am Juke Wherry???
WITH SLOLIVIA DROPPING THE HOTTEST SLO SONGS ALL NIGHT LONG!!!
schedule subject to change so don’t even exist anywhere other than this show from 10pm-2am
If you can’t go at all try tuning in to WESU 88.1 fm. We might be live streaming?!? [Also always a source for great freeform radio! Donate today!]
Date: UNTIL THE END OF TIME
As you may know if you read the Argus or are just generally more well-informed than the slackers over at The Wesleyinger, the WSA recently passed a resolution advocating for an end to the chalking ban that’s been in place since 2003. Read the article itself for a quick-and-dirty history of the events that inspired the 25-2 vote a couple weeks ago. You can see the resolution itself here, courtesy of sponsor and WSA member Scott Elias ’14, until the WSA uploads it to their website, but be warned – there’s a prominent date error at the top of the document that may or may not irk you. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to see the typical format for WSA resolutions, by the way, you may find the writing here amusing, infuriating, or both. Oh well!
WSA resolutions, if you’re wondering, have no binding “legal” force on the University, but as presented to administrators often are used to further discussions or enact real policy changes in accordance with the resolution (yes, real changes do actually happen because of resolutions). So, y’know, optimism and all that. Check out some words from Elias (you may recognize the style) on why this matters to some people (continuing under the cut):
I think most students when they hear that there is a chalking ban think its insane. So our purpose was to create a consistent communications policy that won’t preemptively restrict student speech, that will be more consistent with our institutional priority of advancing social justice, and that will put an end to the exorbitant cost of enforcing a broad ban– an easy and logical way to curb costs in an era of austerity in which we terminated need-blind admissions.
It is incumbent upon the Wesleyan Student Assembly to reflect the fervent desire of many for a more inclusive campus culture and improving areas in which we, as a community, have fallen short. And our policy on chalking is one example of an area in which we can improve. So it will be interesting to see what kind of leverage this resolution will have with the administration. I’ve met with various administrators and they definitely understand where we are coming from, but they fear that past concerns will manifest again, which, as I understand it, is their main reservation. But let’s not kid ourselves. The chalking ban isn’t the last bastion of social justice the university wants us to think it is. It brushes oppressions and micro-aggressions that occur at Wesleyan under the rug and is thus inconsistent and antithetical to our university’s institutional goal of advancing social justice.
Military-style checkpoints, email campaigns, and Jezebel features, oh my.
Maybe you thought the administration would reign in its attempts to stop Tour de Franzia after being publicly skewered everywhere from MSN to Gawker-owned feminist snarkfest Jezebel to something calling itself “BroBible.” You were wrong. If anything, after begging your parents to stop the mayhem, the powers that be have only stepped up their game, going so far as to email all faculty, have RAs set up military-style checkpoints outside student dorms on the night of the Tour, and threaten to slap students with six judicial points for, uh, “wearing costumes.” Don’t be mad! They’re just trying to keep you safe! Tour de Franzia is dangerous!
Anyway, here’s your definitive guide to everything you’ve been wondering about What the Fuck is the Administration Doing About Tour de Franzia This Year.
Q: When’s Tour de Franzia? How will I find out about it? Is it even happening this year?
A: Who knows, but probably. There’s no fixed date, but in recent years it has occurred during one of the last weekends of the semester. It’s typically announced by an anonymous Facebook profile, “WesParty Guy” (which is deactivated when not in use), as well as via word of mouth and mass texts. There won’t be a Facebook event or whatever, especially after the Great Facebook Event Crackdown of 2010.