A message from USLAC:
Have a voice and want to use it?
Join us in thoughtful, open discussion regarding labor at Wesleyan. Members of the custodial, dining, and maintenance staff as well as administrators and students will be sharing their experiences and expressing their concerns about working conditions on campus. There will also be an open-mic for audience members to share their thoughts and ask questions.
This is a unique opportunity for the whole Wesleyan community to come together in conversation, reflection and solidarity- we hope to see you there!
Date: Wednesday, April 9
Time: 7pm – 9 pm
Place: Daniel Family Commons, Usdan
Jamie Jung ’16 writes in about an exploration of the physical and spiritual approaches to depression and addiction:
Undoubtedly the issue of depression is a rampaging topic not only in schools, but in one’s personal mind. But what triggers it? How does one deal with it? Bring your own questions (and most importantly, yourself!) to the 3rd annual Veritas Forum at Wesleyan University.
Dr. Dan Blazer – Vice Chair of Faculty, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University
Dr. Nii Addy – Assistant Professor Psychiatry, Yale University
Moderated by Dr. Jennifer D’Andrea – Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, Wesleyan University
Date: Friday, November 1st
Place: Exley 150
Have thoughts about recent incidents involving P-Safe? Head to the Daniel Family Commons right now.
As ehc reported less than half an hour ago, two Public Safety officers have just been reported and fired for apparently viewing and possibly videotaping a female student in her residence. This follows on a long chain of recent incidents involving and sparking tensions between students and Public Safety officers this academic year.
Meanwhile, the administration has hired a University Public Safety Review Committee for an independent review of P-Safe at Wesleyan. According to a recent email from Vice President for Finance and Administration John Meerts, “The assessment will explore whether the Office of Public Safety has adopted and implemented an appropriate campus public safety model, based on our environment and campus expectations.” The reviewer is Margolis Healy, a “nationally reputable firm that specializes in campus safety and security” that has “provided similar services for dozens of other universities and colleges throughout North America.”
If you’re a Wesleyan student, “you are cordially invited to meet with Margolis Healy representatives to share any thoughts or questions you might have about Public Safety at Wesleyan in an open student session to be held on April 30 from 7–8 p.m. in the Daniel Family Commons in the Usdan Center.” You read correctly: that’s happening right now. Talk about timing. In case you can’t make it, Lesanjuan, Solomon, and I will be liveblogging the proceedings. Click past the jump.
Public Safety has had an interesting year at best. First alleged racial profiling during homecoming weekend, then allegations of Public Safety assaulting a Wesleyan student, and in January, an officer was fired for allegedly stealing equipment from faculty offices. This was followed by today’s email (see below) in which two Public Safety officers were involved in viewing and possibly video recording a female student in her residence. The two offending officers have since been fired. According to an email from Dean Mike Whaley, Wesleyan “is cooperating with Middletown police in an ongoing investigation.”
Following last semester’s forum, President Roth ’78 had an independent review look into Public Safety’s current practices and relationship with the University. Tonight, from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Daniel Family Commons (third floor of Usdan), you can attend an open student session and meet with the representatives of the independent company conducting the review, Margolis Healy. It’s some pretty strikingly appropriate timing, considering today’s email report.
Watch a student-produced documentary about recent tensions involving Public Safety here.
Date: Tuesday, April 30 (today)
Place: Daniel Family Commons
Read past the jump for the full email.
Image c/o Shannon Welch ’14 and the Wesleyan Argus.
On Wednesday night, students, faculty, and staff gathered in Tischler Hall of the Exley Science Center for the second Diversity University forum of the year. This program, entitled “Diversity University: In the Classroom and Beyond,” was a follow-up to last semester’s forum, “In Theory and In Practice.”
From the very start, it was clear that the atmosphere of this forum was very different from the first one. Not only were there fewer people in attendance, the emotional level, though high, was distinctly more subdued. Clearly this time of year is particularly busy for Wesleyan students, and I can only imagine that that was a major factor in keeping the numbers down. But there was also not the same feeling of urgency, the immediate need for such a gathering—which, all in all, is probably a good thing.
Last fall’s forum was organized in the wake of a series of upsetting incidents of attacks on students, and subsequent issues of racism, targeting, and exclusion that arose from conversations, Public Safety reports, and WesACB threads. In Wednesday’s forum, while there was an expression of similar concerns and issues of diversity, but there was not the same shocking outpouring of powerful emotion.
As many of us recall from the November Diversity University: In Theory and Practice forum (full video can be found here), issues and questions regarding diversity and inclusion at Wesleyan have been very prominent this year. WSA President Zach Malter ’13 would like members of the Wesleyan community to come together once again to talk about the progress that has been made since last semester’s forum, and what more has to be done in order for Wesleyan to live up to its “Diversity University” title, specifically as it relates to the classroom experience. In his own words:
The follow-up to last semester’s Diversity University: In Theory and In Practice, this panel will allow students to engage with prominent faculty members and administrators on the most pressing campus climate issues. The focus will be on issues of diversity as they relate to the classroom experience, but the conversation will by no means be limited to that.
The event will take place this Wednesday at 7PM in Exley 150. The moderator will be Professor Lisa Dierker, and the confirmed moderators are:
Andrew Trexler ’14 and Michael “President” Roth ’78 want to know what on Earth you’re doing here. Want to let them know? Your chance is tonight.
“As an elite liberal arts institution, Wesleyan can often look very similar to its peers (whoever they are). And yet, we at Wesleyan generally believe that Wes is unique, is the best. What is it that distinguishes us from our peer schools? What are our comparative strengths, and what are our comparative weaknesses? In other words, why Wesleyan? And how can we improve?” We hope that you can join us and give your recommendation for Wesleyan’s future.
Attendance at events like these proves to administrators that students care and want to have a voice. So if you have the chance, prove it.
Date: Tuesday, April 16
Place: PAC 002
As a final project for his Digital Filmmaking class, slam poet regular and Wesleying contributor Solomon Billinkoff ’14 has made a brief documentary about Public Safety. The twelve-minute short focuses on a series of events in the fall of 2012 (many of which led to the recent decision not to include racial descriptors in safety alerts). As Billinkoff explains in his voice-over:
I never had a plan for this movie. All I knew was that I wanted to make a documentary about Public Safety. After having gotten approval from the organization, my first instinct was to humanize P-Safe, as it is an institution that is generally maligned by the student body. A wave of on-campus assaults had just occurred within a single week, and I was interested to discover what P-Safe was doing to handle the situation and protect students. But the alerts P-Safe had sent out described the suspects as “African-American” and “male,” and unbeknownst to me at the time, these email alerts were met with a slew of racial hatred on Wesleyan’s Anonymous Confession Board. It was then revealed that a P-Safe officer had allegedly assaulted a black Wesleyan student. A week later, a forum on student diversity and equality was held in Wesleyan’s Beckham Hall.
These conflicts and contradictions form the basis of Billinkoff’s film, which largely speaks for itself. It’s only twelve minutes, so watch it after the jump.
From Andrew Trexler ’14 comes an opportunity to spend some cozy-time with President Roth tomorrow at noon, before this weekend’s Board of Trustees meeting:
I am writing to invite you to participate in a new form of student engagement with President Michael Roth and the Board of Trustees. Over the past several months, I have worked with the President’s Office to organize a face-to-face discussion with the President on an open question about Wesleyan’s future direction, shape, and character. Board meetings (in which WSA representatives participate) usually address one such question, and this time around I am pleased to announce that the question is also being posed to the student body as a whole.
President Roth’s question:
We often talk about the scholar-teacher model as being at the heart of Wesleyan’s educational experience. I believe very strongly that much of the work that our faculty do to advance their own fields makes their teaching sharper and more vital. But not all research finds its way into the classroom, and at many universities there is a strong feeling that research serves some larger cultural good — not just the good of the students. This is much less true at most liberal arts colleges. Many professors at institutions that value research express that they want time “to do their own work,” and this often means work that serves their disciplines, not (necessarily) the university.
Shirley Deng ’14 opens up a serious can of worms:
Didn’t get your questions answered at the Veritas Forum this past Thursday? Dissatisfied, intrigued, or contemplative after the talk? Miss the talk completely?
If so, Professor Voth from the Physics Department at Wesleyan will be facilitating a follow-up discussion about questions surrounding the topic of science and faith this upcoming Wednesday in Usdan 108!
See you there!
Date: Wednesday, February 27
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Place: Usdan 108