Tag Archives: activism

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:

Guest Post: Wesleyan, It’s Time to Rise Up for Custodial Workers

“Janitorial workers provide essential labor in our homes, dorms, classrooms and athletic facilities. Our failure to see, support and organize with these workers must end.”

María with her grandchildren.

Some of you may have seen students tabling with petitions in Usdan or sharing a GoFundMe on social media in support of María Sarabia this week. Students for Custodial Workers has written this guest post to explain the conditions of custodial workers at Wesleyan and what you can do to help! Read below the jump for their post:

Unofficial Orientation 2018: Rage Update

Wes is known for its history of activism. Rage update outlines all public activism that occurred on campus in the past academic year. It seems to have become an every other year sort of thing for us with our first article in 2014, our second in 2016, and now our third in 2018.  All articles are definitely worth a read and although 2017 didn’t get an article, it was certainly a year worth remembering so I’ll leave some links to further reading in the end.

Rage update wouldn’t be complete without the words of alt, the author of our first rage update:

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.

Why this Is(n’t)?

Questions about queer activism? Wondering what’s up with sexual assault? Curious about campus history?

Come join us for a teach-in and skill-share on recent activist history at Wesleyan.
We’ll give a brief tour through the now-updated activist timeline and have time for Q+A :)

Date: Wednesday, March 7
Time: 8-10 PM
Place: 200 Church
Facebook Event

Tell the Trustees All the Things You Care About

Most of this is recycled from my old post

bot

Guess who came to the good-ol’ M-Town right before Spring break? If you guessed your hallmate’s mom (because like, let’s be real, your hallmate needs an intervention), then you are very close. This weekend,  a rather eclectic (lol) bunch of folks arrived on campus via sky dive (I wish).

The Board of Trustees is had the first of their meetings this year! If you ever forget when the meetings are, just think about the weekend before Wesleyan goes on break, and the Board of Trustees are likely meeting. Their next meeting will be in May around Reunion & Commencement.

Well, as this semester has already started off with some extremely valid frustration, I thought it would be appropriate that we reminded everyone who the Board of Trustees are, what their job titles are, and how you might be able to contact them. Turns out, their names and jobs are publicly available on the Wesleyan website, and their emails are too (on Wesconnect, via the ‘Networking’ tab). Thanks Zach for doing this first when students were frustrated about need blind being axed a couple years ago.

#CancelHandler18 Posters Appear All Over Campus

On Monday, posters like the one above were put up all over campus, including on most (if not all) senior house doors. The posters call for the removal of Daniel Handler ’92 as Commencement Speaker after repeated instances of racism and sexual harassment. They also call attention to the fact that Dr. Anita Hill, who is known for speaking out against workplace harassment, will receive an honorary degree (a lesser honor and a shorter speech) at the same event.

The poster also links to Wesleying’s Write-In: “Commencement 2018: Lemony Snicket, Anita Hill, and Silencing Women of Color in the Age of #MeToo” and a recent article in Pacific Standard by David M. Perry ’95 detailing Handler’s history of sexual harassment.

Text Wes Back: An Interview with Cade Leebron ’14

Wesleyan solicits donations from alumni year-round to support the many fundraising campaigns that keep Wesleyan afloat (but somehow still not need-blind…). Over the summer, I spoke with Cade Leebron ’14 about her own campaign for alumni to speak up about the many issues that students and alumni alike see at the school. She began Text Wes Back to collect actual responses that she and other alumni sent back when Wesleyan texted them to donate money to the school.

Read below the jump for the full interview.

Content warning: This interview discusses sexual assault.

What’s Going On in the Film Department?

“There has long been an inequality of opportunity within the film industry, and we know diversifying the film industry begins within our education at Wesleyan.”

On March 28, students from the University’s College of Film and the Moving Image released a letter, along with a list of signatures and testimonies, expressing dissatisfaction with aspects of Wesleyan’s Film Studies department. The letter called for systematic changes to the ways in which the department operates, including hiring three tenure-track professors (prioritizing women and POC), offering more diverse courses within the department, and reforming disciplinary procedures so that they are less reliant on “blanket threats” to drop students from the major or drop their theses.

The letter, which has been in the works since February, was a collaboration between a group of current film students – both majors and minors – as well as prospective film students. Before it was put into wide circulation on March 28, the letter was shared amongst students and alumni of the Film Studies department, along with a call for signatures and personal testimonies to present to the CFILM faculty. (From email circulation and tabling in Usdan, the letter received 175 signatures and eight accompanying testimonies.)

Read the full letter and testimonies after the jump:

Disorientation Spring 2017: A Guide to Campus Activism

disospring2017

Students arriving back from spring break on Saturday were treated to a special release party for a long-awaited staple of Wesleyan activism: Disorientation, the annual guide compiled by campus activists to, in their own words, “serve as a resource for students looking to get involved with political organizing on campus.”

Disorientation is a tradition that has, in some form or another, existed since the 1970s. In addition to serving as a guide for student activists, it’s meant to 1) act as a counterbalance to the admin-approved information that new students and prefrosh receive during campus tours, WesFest, and the official Orientation sessions, and 2) keep a historical record of campus activism, protests, and organizing, as well as administrative failures from the perspective of students. The latter is especially important because, like most four-year universities, Wesleyan’s institutional memory is short, and keeping activist movements alive on campus is difficult when there’s a constant turnover of students. Disorientation acts, in part, as a reference for those wondering what issues have been central to campus discourse in the past, and what methods can be reutilized for future organizational efforts.

The guide’s most recent iteration formed in Fall of 2014, spearheaded by Abby Cunniff ’17 and Claire Marshall ’17. It’s primarily been presented as an online PDF, posted to WesAdmits around the beginning of fall semester, but also has been distributed as a paper zine. You can view the Spring 2017 issue (edited by Abby and Paige Hutton ’18), as well as our breakdown of what’s in it, after the jump:

In Depth: Wesleyan Refugee Project (Part 2)

Members of the Wesleyan Refugee Project

Libby Salzman-Fiske ’19, Caroline Kravitz ’19, and Sahar Shaikh ’17

Note: The information found in this feature was recorded in early to mid-February. Immigration and refugee policies in the United States are still in flux under the Trump administration, and the exact details regarding immigration laws and their enforcement may have changed since these interviews were conducted.

Since the Wesleyan Refugee Project (WRP) was founded in the Fall 2015, the volunteer organization has been hard at work in their contributions to resettlement programs, legal aid, tutoring services, and fundraising events. We spoke to one of the group’s founders, Casey Smith ’17, last September. Since then, it’s become even more difficult for refugees to enter the United States under Trump’s new immigration policies, and the future for refugee resettlement in the US is uncertain.

This semester, I spoke to several different members of the WRP, all in different leadership positions. I asked each of them how they got involved with WRP, what the group is focusing on this semester, and how other students can volunteer and participate. Read their stories after the jump: