Now that it’s definitively autumn (which apparently means pouring rain all the time), it’s officially Pumpkin Spice Latte season! And it’s not just millenials/gen z college students who get to enjoy this sweet autumnal beverage.
Our illustrious former managing editor wilk wrote in to the tipbox on Friday morning, and we just had to share it here:
“Dean Mike Whaley just ordered a DECAF PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE WITH SKIM MILK. IN PI CAFE. DECAF Psl wtf”
By the fall, Wesleyan will have a mix of new all-gender single-use and gendered multi-use bathrooms. After the trans* activism in the fall, when gendered bathroom signs were taken off most campus bathrooms, new all-gender bathroom signs popped up in many campus buildings (Exley, Usdan, North College, 41 Wyllys are the ones I noticed firsthand). By the end of this summer, “a new all-gender bathroom will be created on the ground floor of Olin, next to the existing men’s and women’s rooms,” according to University Librarian Pat Tully. “It is being created out of an existing custodial closet, which will be moved just down the hall.”
Physical Plant has gradually installed new bathroom signs across campus, and they committed to complete the installation before the end of the summer. Vice President for Student Affairs Dean Mike Whaley pledged to publish a list of the all-gender bathrooms online once the installations are done. According to him, “We actually have quite a lot of single-use all gender restrooms across campus, but awareness about where they are located needs to be better.”
On a related note, the fines paid by the trans* activists for taking down the original signs only represented a “tiny fraction of the total cost” of the new all-gender signs, according to Dean Whaley. And instead of paying fees, some of the activists worked to install the new signs. The gendered multi-use bathrooms will also have new signs that indicate where the location of the nearest all-gender bathroom is.
Below is the full memo by Dean Whaley and the WSA (originally drafted 11/20/13) outlining plans for de-gendering bathrooms and posting new all-gender signs. These plans should be completed by the end of the summer:
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.
Thought you’d get through April without an ominous email from the administration about Tour de Franzia? Think again. By this point last year Dean Mike Whaley had already emailed your parents about the annual wine-fueled shit-show of a scavenger hunt, and the rest of the administration had quietly set in motion a personalized listserv-by-listserv email campaign imploring you not to participate. It didn’t really work, since Tour de Franzia popped off right on schedule, but on the other hand it sort of did, because participation and hospitalizations were each down by about 50%.
This year’s strategy seems to fall in line with the recent trend: having realized they can’t stop Tour de Franzia altogether (barring use of unreasonably draconian measures), administrators are leveling threats and ramping up judicial consequences in the hopes that participation continues to drop and eventually falls off altogether. The latest “D.A.R.E to Resist Franzia and Dinosaur Costumes” public service announcement comes from Dean Mike Whaley, who knocked off the traditional all-campus Tour de Franzia email on April 11. The gist of Whaley’s note is that judicial charges will be stricter than usual this year, whether or not you’re actually drinking or causing damage or doing anything particularly reckless:
One Friday morning in October, I trekked across campus to Dean Mike Whaley’s office to talk about a chalking controversy that took place about a decade ago. The previous weekend, two students had gotten into a physical confrontation with President Rothfor chalking on Wyllys Avenue during Homecoming. A few hours after chatting with Dean Whaley, I took part in a massive legal chalk-in on Church Street sidewalks as midday traffic cruised by. Dave Meyer strolled by and tried to confiscate the chalk. We explained that the sidewalks are Middletown property. He continued on his way.
Institutional history has a funny way of working in cycles, and Dean Whaley, who arrived at Wes in 1997 and was Dean of Students in 2002, probably knows this better than anyone. Surprisingly, Whaley told me that he loved the queer chalking when he first arrived at Wesleyan. He also mentioned that President Bennet specifically reached out to him, an openly queer administrator, for advice. But unlike the former students I interviewed, Whaley framed the conflict primarily in terms of a hostile work environment. “The problem was, OK, you don’t like the ban, we get that,” Whaley said of the protestors. “But how do we resolve this hostile work environment?”
Was the answer to adopt some vague notion of “community standards”? Or geographic boundaries for chalking? Or an end to the anonymity? Or ought the Wesleyan community realize, as Professor Potter argued, that “no one has the right not to be offended”?
Continued from yesterday, here is the second administration-centered interview on Tourde Franzia (henceforth marked as TDF), this time with Dean Mike Whaley, Vice President of Student Affairs. It’s pretty damn long, and so I’m just going to jump into it, but before that I want to note two things:
(1) Zach and I conducted this interview on the morning of SpringFling, so when we tell this story we like saying “We pregamed Spring Fling with Mike Whaley.” Technically, that’s not an inaccurate statement, but there were no drinkies, so maybe it is. But that’s only if you’re being particular about the definition of pregaming.
(2) When we were conducting the interview, the dean had ambient, meditative/trance music going on in the background. This compelled, at least for me, a sleep-inducing lull that resulted in a lack of coherence, and so the conversation went in a mostly roundabout fashion. What follows is not the natural conversation as it happened, but a selective reorganization of the transcript. We assure you, however, that nothing whatsoever is misrepresented.
This year, P-Safe director Dave Meyer announced plans to “take some precautionary measures and deal with any organizers ahead of time.” But there was no such action: Tour de Franzia was “organized” (read: a date was declared) from an anonymous Facebook profile, which was deactivated immediately post-Franz. Good thinking.
But the administration knowswhat’s up, and there apparently will be “judicial charges against those students who may have violated Wesleyan’s Code of Conduct.” No word on how those individuals will be identified–or what the charges will entail. (Does “all available documentation of the event” refer to P-Safe’s apparent video footage of streakers and partiers on Fountain?)
Here’s Dean Mike Whaley‘s thrillingly ambiguous all-campus announcement in full. Offer up your interpretations in the comments.
I hope that your final projects and papers are going well. In addition to my good wishes for a successful conclusion to your academic work, I also wanted to send a note to register my concern about the “Tour de Franzia” event this past weekend.
. . . except when there’s a professor involved, apparently. In what is surely one of the best all-campus emails I’ve received all semester, Dean Mike Whaley announces a new program:
In order to promote informal faculty-student interaction outside the classroom, I am pleased to announce the Daniel Family Commons Free Lunch Program. We have provided each faculty member with vouchers that enable them to take small groups of students to lunch at the Daniel Family Commons in the Usdan Center. My office is making these same vouchers available directly to you! Each voucher covers the cost of lunch for a faculty member and up to three students, and vouchers will be good for the remainder of the current academic year.
Please consider inviting your favorite faculty member to lunch, and stop by my office (220 North College) to pick up a voucher.
As a wide-eyed prefrosh reading about schools like Wesleyan (and in guidebooks like Jordan Goldman ’04‘s awesome Students’ Guide to Colleges), I was always charmed by stories of professors having small groups of students over for dinner, and other interactions well outside the sharp high school student/teacher divide. At Wes, while professors frequently are approachable and sociable and more than willing to continue academic discussions after class, that scenario has never quite come true for me.
Suffice to say, the program outlined above seems like a fantastic push in that direction. And you’ll even get to subvert the meal plan in the process.
But will professors actively make use of the vouchers? Or will Wes students take the initiative and finally invite that insane Philosophy prof out to lunch at Usdan? (It’s the third floor, remember—mad classy.) I hope so. Provide some thoughts in the comments.