During his time at Wesleyan, Len Besthoff ’88spent hours at WESU as a
news director, sports director, and DJ. After graduating, he went into
TV journalism. Len has covered major news stories on the East Coast
and New England for 25 years. Now, he is Chief Investigative Reporter
at NBC Connecticut, in addition to teaching newswriting part-time. He
will be speaking on Tuesday about how local investigative journalism
can make a difference.
This is the first of two evenings this week featuring Wesleyan alumni
now working in journalism! The second talk will take place on Friday
evening at 7PM and will feature Miriam Gottfried ’05 of The Wall
Street Journal and Nicholas Quah ’12 of BuzzFeed News (and of
Date: Tuesday, April 14th Time: 7:00-8:00 PM Place: Allbritton 311
I’m Melanie. At least, that’s what “Kevin” called me on Buzzfeed. In his lawsuit against the University, I’m simply Jane Doe. Jane Doe #1, to be precise, one of three who came forward against him.
I could have told this story before—when it first happened, or when I reported Kevin, or when I first heard that he was starting a lawsuit. But it wasn’t a story I wanted to tell—I didn’t even want to report what he did. What he did to me was shameful, and felt like a reflection on me. But now, he has told his version of the story—his victim-blaming story, in which he did no wrong, but was instead the target of a secret conspiracy. I can’t speak for the other women who reported him, though he lied about them, too. I speak only for myself.
On Buzzfeed, Kevin writes off what he did as drunk texting. He notes that when he texted me that night after midnight, drunk out of his mind and trying to hook up, he called me “babe” and “slut.” He says that, afterwards, I told him “we can definitely put it behind us.” Those things are true, but they’re not the whole story.
This past Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold a Michigan constitutional amendment that bans affirmative action in admissions to the state’s public universities. The 6-to-2 ruling allows for the passage for similar measures in seven other states. The New York Times has an informative set of infographics showing the effects of such bans on affirmative action for minorities throughout the country.
Highlighting the results from a recent study on public college finances, Slate explores the increasing privatization of public colleges. Today, public university students cover almost half the cost of their own educations, on average.
A Brown University student, Lena Sclove, has begun an activist movement to make the campus a safer space for her and other survivors of sexual assault.
Oh God this post is so Buzzfeedy and gross, I promise we won’t make a habit out of this, but whatever—it’s springtime, love is in the air, and the Internet is all atwitter about a crazy little thing called love Wescam:
Did everyone else but me know wescam wasn’t for making new friends???? @wesleying I don’t understand!
Like many of its peerinstitutions, Wesleyan attracts prospective students with the opportunity to “work independently at integrating the core skills and background knowledge necessary to realize a coherent intellectual objective.” In other words, University majors do whateva they want.
If transcending the restrictive disciplinary boundaries imposed by academia’s arbitrary departmental segmentation appeals to you, you should probably read this interview. If you responded to the question “Are you Wesleyan?” with a resounding “I don’t know, maybe, this recruiting strategy is kind of cheesy,” you’re probably right. If you’re wondering why, I can assure you that #thisiswhy.
TL;DR: One out of 25 faculty members agree that inventing your own major is a good idea.
Two days ago, the Bursar’s office at NYU sent out a typical administrative email to all 39,979 students at NYU entitled “Opting Out of the Paper Version of Your 1098T.” Shortly after, NYU sophomore Max Wiseltier, attempting to forward the email to his mom, accidentally clicked Reply All. He quickly realized his error and apologized:
Of course, by this point, the metaphorical door had been opened. In fact, it had been wrenched off the hinges and thrown across the room by the 39,979 people who realized that, with the click of a button, they could email 39,978 other people—NYU’s total student body. For scale, that’s only about 7,500 less than the entire population of Middletown, which was 47,481 in the 2010 census (and way more than the population of my typical Connecticut suburban hometown, which is 23,511).
How did this happen? NYU Local’s tech editor, Ben Zweig, explains the problem:
“NYU uses something called E-Mail Direct for most mass emails. That system is meant for one-way emailing.” E-Mail Direct does not allow for reply-alls, therefore you cannot respond to most mass emails. Several NYU departments still rely on the older, discussion-based ListManager program, however. ListManager also sends mass emails, but allows discussions (in the form of reply-alls), unless the settings are adjusted, disabling group discussions and only permitting emails from admins.
Hello. The vice presidential debates are about to start (@9). Like last week’s presidential showdown, we’re liveblogging the action. This time there’s a twist. Inspired by NYU Local’s Drunk Sober High feature, the debate will be covered by three anonymous Wesleyingers in varying states of consciousness. p-safe will be sober(ish?). gettincrunkman will be drunk. giantepgoynte will be high. Yes, really. This will be fun! Politics! Internet! Liveblog updates past the jump:
If you have no idea what I’m referring to then you might want to read this first. Or this. Or this, or this, or this. Also this. And maybe this, too.
Anyway, the point: this story has been getting a good deal of news coverage, all the way from WesleyingandThe Argus, to the Hartford Courant, to HuffPost, Salon, and more. In addition to this post on the coverage, keep an eye out for a more substantive post frompyrotechnics this weekend. Round-up with brief sketches of coverage below:
BuzzFeed is the first source to challenge some of the contentions of the lawsuit, in particular the campus identity of Beta Theta Pi as a “Rape Factory.” BuzzFeed contacted several current and former students, including our very own Zach, to inquire after the use of this particular term around campus. Some commenters on our earlier piece questioned its use, as did many quoted in the BuzzFeed article, but most do note a stigma around Beta that isn’t exactly positive. All in all, BuzzFeed seems to have done some proper research before writing, taking the time to discuss Beta’s historical image, Beta’s relationship with the University, and some of the confusion surrounding events of the 2010-2011 academic year.
Those of you somehow not yet sick of hearing about Obama Osama Bin Laden’s death—yes, all three of you, look, quick—may enjoy Buzzfeed’s roundup of 40 Incredibly Stupid Facebook Reactions to Osama Bin Laden’s Death,” which is a little funny and a little sad and a little inevitable and a little we-go-to-Wesleyan-this-isn’t-the-real-world-this-isn’t-real-life-but-what-do-you-expect-it’s-2011-at-least-the-internet-didn’t-break-this-time. Consider it an early Procrastination Destination: no, it’s not directly related to Wes; yes, it’s tangentially related to You and Me and The Internet and Everything.
But speaking of college-relevant reactions to bin Laden’s death…
The ACB is a filthy mess of ugly provocation and five-page Bin Laden-related flame wars, but what else is new? This thread is the only thread worth linking to, but it’s very much worth linking to, so here, I’m linking to it.
Wednesday’s “WE GOT HIM!!!!” Bar Night pregame, which popped up within an hour or so of early breaking news reports, now has 50 attending, 100 waiting for reply. Why the tempered enthusiasm? And why no impromptu rallies at Wesleyan, no “USA! USA!” chants? This isn’t New York, and quite a few Wes students—on- and offline—have expressed general discomfort with celebrating any individual’s death (or regarding it as some new post-terror age of freedom), no matter how many innocent Americans died at the hand of that individual’s terrorism.
So does Columbia University. Hundreds of Columbia students (including about 30 members of CU Democrats) traveled to Ground Zero and Times Square last night to witness mass celebrations (flag-hoistings, “USA!” chants, the works) following news of bin Laden’s death. Columbia Spectator provides in-depth photo timeline coverage here.