We’re human and we like things. I love that I’ve met so many folks at Wes with passions they get stoked about, some of which I’ve never even heard. Wesleying wants to know about YOURS.
The occupation of Cooper Union (by students apparently unencumbered by a deluge of finals and end-of-semester projects) came to a close late yesterday morning.
As you may remember, on December 3, a cadre of eleven
freeloaders Cooper Union students locked themselves in the Peter Cooper Suite on the eighth floor of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building, a.k.a. The Clocktower. Protesting the university’s formation of an exploratory committee on “examining potential revenue streams from undergraduate programs,” the occupiers brought with them sleeping bags, blankets, at least one hammock, and oatmeal and ramen noodles for sustenance. Cooper Union has funded the education of its undergraduates since at least 1902 using an endowment that draws as much from alumni donations as it does from its own holdings, including the property on which the Chrysler Building sits.
— Free Cooper Union (@FreeCooperUnion) December 10, 2012
Last night, the New York Times‘ City Room blog detailed the end of the occupation. Click through for a more Wes-centric take on the story.
“An album of songs about meaningful things”—almost entirely Wes-specific.
Over the summer, homegrown musical personality Zack Sulsky ’13 put out a call for submissions. In particular, he requested “original songs about meaningful things.” Each songwriter, he explained, would choose an appropriate charity for their song to fund. In so doing, the project will “contribute not only money, but also serious thought and discourse to the issues that we, the songwriters, care about.
True to promise, Sulsky’s project, “Songs for Something,” has come to fruition. As of last week, the compilation is available on BandCamp for free streaming and $12 purchase. (Remember: those dollars are going to charity.) More than half of its 13 tracks are by Wesleyan artists, and if you’re sick to death of all the post-chillwave hogwash nonsense about unmeaningful things, consider this compilation a pleasantly eclectic ramble through the folksier, rootsier corner of Wesleyan’s student music scene. Particular highlights include “Mercury,” a majestic slow-burner from the recent Honey and the Sting release; “The Holder,” an impossibly soulful minimalist gem from the impossibly prolific Mel Hsu ’13; and “After the Heatwave,” a bittersweet solo cut by Bones Complex‘s Andrew Pfeiffer ’13. The album also contains original music by Julia Mark ’13, The Blooming Youth, Alma Sanchez-Eppler ’14, Sulsky himself, and the “Billionaire” remix we previously posted about. As Sulsky explains,
From Shayoni Nair ’13:
We are a new student group that is dedicated to providing education to young girls of economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds in rural India. Learn how you can help establish a Wesleyan-sponsored school and improve the hygiene standards for students and their families.
Date: Sunday, September 23
Time: 5 pm
Place: Usdan B25 (multi-purpose room in basement)
Happy first birthday, Occupy Wall Street! The movement to repair social and economic equality in America began one year ago today, when the initial occupation began in Manhattan’s Zucotti Park. A small coalition of Wes students was there that first week, with extensive Wesleying coverage appearing here and here. In the year since, Wesleyan has seen on-campus occupations, alumni (and presidential) perspectives, coverage by Ezra Silk ’10 and Rob Wohl ’11, academic discussions, student arrests, aborted Radiohead concerts, and quite a bit more.
Appropriately, a handful of Wes students are in New York right now, joining in the festivities. According to Reuters, over 100 protestors have been arrested, with at least on Wesleyan student reportedly among them. Resident livestreamer and bearded social media journalist Ben Doernberg ’13 has been livestreaming the experience all day, and you can follow along above or on U-Stream.
YouTube clip inspired by 2011 “I Have Sex” video, filmed for a SOC assignment.
Because it’s 2012, and the ongoing string of editorials and banner drops isn’t enough, the movement to preserve need-blind now has an aspiring viral video spot: “Who Would Be Here.” Filmed by Samantha Maldonado ’13 and Katya Botwinick ’13 as a viral video assignment for SOC 234: Media & Society, the YouTube clip takes inspiration from “I Have Sex,” the 2011 video supporting Planned Parenthood that inspired similar efforts at Oberlin, Skidmore, and beyond. This one offers a montage of students on financial aid (or with friends on financial aid) wondering if they’d be here without Wesleyan’s need-blind policy, as Benny Docter ’14 and Leonid Liu ’14 expressed in an editorial earlier this month. (There’s also the obligatory shot of Rotbot ’13 being himself.)
Watch the clip above. Music by Santigold (Santi White ’97), camera by Sydney Lowe ’13.
From Jen Brewer ’13:
Want to have an amazing, fantastic, and stupendous time all in one? Join Best Buddies. An information session will be held tonight in Usdan 108 at 7!
Best Buddies® is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
Date: Tonight, September 17th
Time: 7 pm
Place: Usdan 108
From Anike Arni ’13:
Wesleyan is hosting an urgent food drive to support the Amazing Grace Food Pantry. Right now there is a critically low food supply at Amazing Grace, and all items are appreciated. They are most in need of peanut butter, tuna, hearty soups, cereal, spaghetti sauce, canned beans, and garden produce. There will be bins in the lobbies of North College, Olin Library, SciLi, and right outside of Weshop! We will be collecting food until Saturday, September 15th!
Thank you from all of the customers, staff and volunteers at Amazing Grace.
Date: From now until September 15.
Place: Lobbies of North College, Olin, SciLi, and Weshop.
A few months ago, before the explosion of discussion regarding Wesleyan’s need-blind policy, I posted an interview with Ben Foss ’95 about financial aid-related student activism in 1991 and 1992. Specifically, Foss took leadership in a group calling itself SFAE (Students for Financially Accessible Education), which organized a series of protests against a proposal that would take into account financial need when accepting students from the wait list. What began as a silent vigil and muted protest in 1991 erupted into a full-scale North College occupation in 1992.
In that interview, Foss described significant news coverage of the protests, including “a loud verbal argument with [former dean of admission and financial aid] Barbara-Jan Wilson on the steps of North College in front of TV cameras.” Naturally, I scourged the internets for that footage. Naturally, I came up empty. As far as I could tell, it was lost forever.
Zack Sulsky ’13 sends in a note about an intriguing songwriting project with a call for submissions. Protest singers, take note:
I am seeking submissions for a new album of original songs about meaningful things. Each songwriter who submits a recording will be asked to choose a charity that they would like their songs to fund. It is my hope that the songs themselves will relate to these charities, so we can contribute not only money, but also serious thought and discourse to the issues that we, the songwriters, care about.
The album will be released in early September, so songwriters have until the end of August to submit songs. Please contact me (zsulsky@wes) if you have any interest in participating. I am looking forward to hearing what this talented community of musicians comes up with.
Deadline: August 31, 2012