J Street U is tingling with excitement to announce its first event of the year, a screening of the award-winning, critically-acclaimed documentary, The Gatekeepers. The film showcases six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service agency, who agree to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. Intimately interviewed, they shed light on the controversy surrounding the Occupation in the aftermath of the Six Day War.
Discussion session to follow screening.
1) You’re interested in discussing/learning about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2) You like the idea of eating free pizza(!!!) watching an excellent film, and discussing the conflict with some of the coolest kids on campus.
Jacques Steinberg’s The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College is pretty much indisputably the most illuminating and insightful book written in the past few decades about elite college admissions, which Steinberg terms a series of decisions made “behind a cordon of security befitting the selection of a pope.” Conveniently, it also happens to focus on Wes. Steinberg, a journalist and education expert, tracks a diverse group of high school seniors and a then-Wesleyan admissions officer (Ralph Figueroa, currently Director of College Guidance at Albuquerque Academy) as they navigate the 1999–2000 admissions cycle.
Along with a handful of other Wesleying staffers, I read the book in high school, around the time I decided to apply to Wesleyan, and realized what I had already suspected: college admissions is about as complex, random, and ultimately meaningless as—well, the selection of a pope. It also makes for more thrilling drama than any reality show on TV. Before the rise of CollegeConfidential, The Gatekeepers was the most intimate glimpse at the people on both sides of the admissions process that existed. In fairness, it still is, because CollegeConfidential is a hellish underworld.
Mr. Steinberg, who also founded the New York Times’ “The Choice” blog, where he recently announced his departurefrom the newspaper after 25 years, is on his way to Middletown yet again. This time, he’s not writing a book about us (we think). He’s coming to lead a talk and Q&A in the Chapel, which is being hosted by the WSA. In honor of this glorious occasion, here’s a round-up of six things we learned about Wesleyan from The Gatekeepers—before even setting foot on campus.
If you’re on campus this week and in the mood for another Wes-based The Band cover band band (see: Zonker Harris), look no further: this one’s straight outta Class of ’06. John Wesley ’06 (yes, really) writes in about “Wednesday on Thursday Night”:
Open to all current students, Wes Alumni, and anyone else. This is a rare opportunity to re-live our collegiate Wednesday nights, while also listening and singing along to live music, paying tribute to the best band ever (“The Band”). We’ll be playing late into the night, so head on down to the ‘Keeper (there will be free shuttles running to and from campus). This is an official Wesleyan Reunion Event and a chance to once again taste the best pitcher of beer this side of the Connecticut River at our favorite Middletown saloon (The Gatekeeper, 73 Ferry Street).
In case you’ve forgotten, or were having too much fun to remember in the first place, TBCBB features these infamous dudes from the class of 2006: