“I couldn’t figure out if it was pronounced ‘Ooze Dan’ or ‘you’s Dan.’ ‘Sudan’ solved that problem for me”
Today, Usdan is a no-brainer. It’s where you go to eat. It’s where you go to buy shit. It’s where you go to check your mail. It’s where you go to hold WSA Presidential Debates and watch Obama’s inauguration. It’s your ATM, your band practice space, your WSA office, your farmer’s market. If you’re an incoming frosh, it’s pretty much your natural habitat.
But on August 27, 2007, when Holly and Xue entered Usdanistan for a fateful first visit, things were honestly pretty scary.
The place seemed sleek and corporate. You couldn’t make announcements, like in MoCon. How would anyone find anything out ever? “It’s just like everything else in the world—the values of commerce and circulation reign supreme,” one long-winded commenter bitched. “And the sausage at breakfast was really weird,” observed another. The lines were huge. Like, ridiculously long. And no one knew how to pronounce the name. Yooz-Dan? Ooze-Dan? Uss-Din? Some were quick to suggest “Usdanistan.” Wesleying offered up a campus poll (possibly the first formal Wesleying poll ever). Another student started calling it “Sudan.” Wherever that person is, I hope ze hasn’t stopped calling it that.
“For better or worse, if people remember me and Xue, they know two people they can talk to about Wesleyan.” —Holly
August 23. On this date in history: the Austro-Prussian War comes to a close (1866), Japan declares war on Germany (1914), River Phoenix is born (1970), and a magnitude 5.8 earthquake rolls up and down the East Coast (today!).
What you won’t find scrolling through Wikipedia for four and a half minutes, then, is this. On this date in Wesleyan history—five years ago today—two bored rising juniors slash legendary WesVisionaries registered a blogspot domain, served up a meaty fifty-three words of text + an image of some straight-up foss-chillin’, and called it a blog. Half a decade, two presidents, one domain, one dining hall, a whole student turnover (and then some), about a bazillion hits, and one combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell later—