Tag Archives: democracy

“Democracy’s future in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the PRC” with Dr. Stephen Young

taiwanFrom Nina Stender ’16:

Democracy’s future in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the PRC:
A presentation and guided discussion with Dr. Stephen Young, former US Consul General to Hong Kong and visiting professor in the College of East Asian Studies

Wed, Dec 2nd, 4:30pm
Munchies will be provided

Supported by the Wesleyan International Relations Association, the Hong Kong Students Association, and Wesleyan World Wednesdays

Date: Wednesday, December 2
Time: 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Place: PAC 002

May Day in Middletown

mayday
Yael Hororwitz ’17 writes in:
Come Celebrate the International Day of the Worker on MAY DAY = May 1st at the  St. Vincent DePaul soup kitchen on Main St. Join the community we will create there for a dinner of rice and beans and a General Assembly.

Date: May Day, May 1st, 2014

Time: 4:30 – 6:20

Place: St. Vincent DePaul, 617 Main St., Middletown

Face: book

Reddit Co-Founder will Visit Wes; Get Your Tickets Now

reddit co-founder visits; get tickets here

Dubbed the “Mayor of the Internet” by Forbes, and one of the greatest believers of the Internet’s democratic potential, reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian will visit Wesleyan on Thursday, December 5 as part of a 77-college book tour to promote his new book, Without their PermissionWith a 140 character limit, he describes himself as:

Startup guy making the world suck less: redditbreadpighipmunkY Combinator. Investor, speaker, host of Small Empires, author of Without Their Permission.

Ohanian is now part of the NYC tech scene and extols the idea that “all links are created equal,” which means that this AMA (ask me anything) with Amanda Palmer ’98 and her husband is on the same level as the AMA with Heemz ’07. But mostly, this means that Ohanian believes people can do awesome things together when they use the right platform effectively.

In 2011, Ohanian was involved with the Internet activism against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Cyber Intelligence & Sharing Protection Act (CISPA). Ohanian was invited to speak in front of Congress and subsequently asked the reddit community what he should say in his testimony. When reddit blacked out its home page in protest on January 18, 2012, Wikipedia and Mozilla followed suit, and Google posted a link to a page protesting the piracy bills. Afterwards, legislators were barraged with 10 million petition signatures, 8 million calls, and 4 million e-mails.

Reddit FB Event Cover Photo

Ohanian’s new book is a lot about “harnessing the power of the web for good,” and along the way, he shares his philosophy about entrepreneurship. In a teaser for the book, he had more to say about this (and to Stephen Colbert), in the eloquent, hyped up way I imagine a successful 30 year old tech start up philanthropist to sound like:

Report: Running For Board of Trustees Sort Of Like Running for the WSA, But For Old People

Reveal yourself, Trustee-Candidates-Who-Didn’t-Make-It-Onto-The-Ballot. We know you’re out there.

Andrew Bleeker ’07 was one of 40 nominees for the Board of Trustees—and is now one of six candidates on the ballot for the Board of Trustees.

You know what it’s like to run for the WSA (it’s okay, we were all freshmen once), but do you know what it’s like to run for the Board of Trustees, Wesleyan’s most elite secret society?

According to a recent post on WesConnect, six alumni are in the process of finding out, each vying for a chance to spend sunny weekends in September, November, and May perched up in the Daniel Family Commons sipping Dom Pérignon, Making Important Decisions About Relle Important Stuff, and occasionally asking Public Safety to kick out uninvited student activists. (Or maybe they’re just running for the opportunity to kick it with West Wing star and Wesleyan trustee Bradley Whitford ’81.) The candidates on the ballot, as they present themselves on WesConnect, include:

Nobody Reads the WSA E-Mails: Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates on Working Together, Trying New Things, and Experimenting More

It’s Thursday afternoon, and WSA elections are drawing to a close. You’re headed home from class, perhaps cooling off from a refreshing jaunt in the Freeman Athletic Center’s spacious main gym. Something about the air today urges you to make a difference in your community, and you resolve to exercise your right to vote immediately upon returning to your dorm. One particular candidate’s catchy slogans, likeable demeanor, and prioritization of social justice really resonate with you, and after receiving extensive campaign coverage via liveblog, you feel prepared to cast your ballot.

But wait! Don’t click that button just yet! Read this excruciatingly long, questionably serious group interview with the candidates first! MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION.

As “someone who has no connection to the WSA and can regard it with some amount of irreverent distance” according to an anonymous peer—let’s call him ZachI was apparently well equipped to conduct this interview, although I have reason to believe vice presidential candidate Andrew Trexler ’14 knows my cousin. (Trexler and aspiring president Nicole Updegrove ’14 are running against an adorable President-VP ticket consisting of Mari Jarris ’14 and Chloe Murtagh ’15, as well as loose cannon wildcard Keith Conway ’16). Those of you brave souls who do chose to venture on past the jump may consider this interview redundant, long-winded, repetitive, and redundant, but I choose to think of it as EPIC and implore you to do the same.

TL;DR:

  • Mari and Chloe like trying new things.
  • Trexler has already tried lots of things.
  • Keith has a lot more friends than I do.
  • Nicole has allergies.

If you cowards are discouraged by the impressive length of this interview, just think about how long it would take to conduct and transcribe it. I’m just saying. Seriously think about it. Blogging is a lot of work, but I do it because I love you. Or maybe I just thought you were cute, I don’t know. 

Could this be the longest Wesleying post ever? Do I hate myself for writing it? Will you fall asleep while reading? Did I make any typos? Did one of the candidates have sexual relations with that woman? Isn’t the election, like, over already? WHERE ARE THEY?? Find out after the jump!

Prison-Based Gerrymandering: A Discussion

Alicia Gansley ’15 reminds us how awesome the word “gerrymandering” is:

How does the prison industrial complex steal your vote?

Peter Wagner, Executive Director of the Prison Policy Initiative, is leading a national movement to protect our democracy from the prison industrial complex. His pioneering work at the intersection of criminal justice and electoral representation has permanently changed how legislative districts are being drawn in 4 states, and has inspired pending legislation in 9 states including Connecticut. Wagner, the nation’s leading expert on “prison gerrymandering”, will be in Middletown to explain how legislators who have prisons in their districts get to claim incarcerated people as their constituents, deny them the vote, and then turn around to push for harsher sentencing laws. And Wagner will explain what you can do about it.

Co-sponsored by Wesleyan Democracy Matters and the WesACLU

Date: Wednesday, March 27
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Place: PAC001
Cost: Free

Discussion on Money in Politics

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From Alicia Gansley ’15:

Money in Politics: A Discussion with the Roosevelt Institute and Democracy Matters

This week the Roosevelt Institute will be partnering with Democracy Matters for a discussion on campaign finance reform. Most Americans believe that the influence of big corporate money on American elections and public policy is a problem, but what is to be done about it? Is it, in fact, a problem? How do we make American elections more just, and how do we make our democracy more “by the people”?

You can learn more about the influence of money on politics at Democracy Matters

For more information, email aedavis@wes (Amy Davis from the Roosevelt Institute) and/or agansley@wes (Alicia Gansley from Democracy Matters).

Date: Wednesday, February 20
Time: 7-8 pm
Place: Usdan couches

Government By and For Millennial America Workshop


Event post by and for Amy Davis ’13:

Do you believe our government reflects values of democracy, efficiency, equality, and flexibility? Do you think we need to change
how we govern ourselves in the 21st century? On Inauguration Day 2013 the Roosevelt Institute will submit to the White House a report compiled from campuses around the country on what we, the Millennials, think the role of our government should be. Make sure Wesleyan’s voice is heard! By participating in a Government By and For workshop you will provide invaluable data and new ideas for the final report. Help us get the conversation started about what our generation wants to see from our leadership! For more information, watch the video, click here, or contact Amy (aedavis@wes) or Joel (jhochman@wes).

Date: Tuesday, November 27
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: PAC 107
Cost: Free

Haven’t figured out what “GOTV” stands for yet? It’s “Generally Overcooked Tiny Vegetables”

“Is one free coffee all that stands between you and voting?” Alyssa Bonneau ’14 asks, clearly expecting you to answer “Hell yeah, yo!”:

Thinking about voting, but still on the fence about it? Sure you’re going to vote but want to feel like more of a champ when you do? This Tuesday come to Red and Black with an “I Voted” sticker and get a FREE small cup of coffee! (sorry to everyone who voted absentee)
 Sounds like a great opportunity, if you’re into drinking brown bean juice like a weirdo. Here’s some more supplementary information from Bonneau:
USA USA USA
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Actually, I could have: “USA! USA! USA! Don’t forget to check out the deets on the Middletown ballot here.

Word: Today, November 6
Two Words: All day
More Words: Red and Black Café, 45 Broad Street

Move To Amend Barnstorming Tour with David Cobb, ’04 Green Party Presidential Nominee

From Ross Levin ’15:

David Cobb was the Green Party’s 2004 nominee for President of the United States. He will be visiting Wesleyan on October 29 as part of a speaking tour with the organization Move To Amend, which was formed in the aftermath of “Citizens United” to promote a more democratic society, including a constitutional amendment ending corporate personhood and a voters’ bill of rights.

Cobb will be speaking about corporate personhood, Occupy Wall Street, voting in America, money in politics, and related issues.  The title of the talk is “Creating Democracy and Challenging Corporate Rule.”

Cosponsored by the Wesleyan College Greens and Democracy Matters.

Also, Facebook.

Date:   Oct. 29
Time:   3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Place:  PAC 001
Cost:   Freedom is not free! But this is.