Hello! Welcome to another installation of Wesleying’s In Depth series, where we go in depth (get it?) about some of the many, many student groups on this campus. For this installation we interviewed Paige Hutton ‘18 about the new group she helped to establish, Synapse. Paige is an advocate for greater mental health awareness, and hopes that the creation of this group will provide another space for those dealing with or concerned about mental health to gather and express their concerns and needs. Please read after the jump to learn more about the group:
Note: The information found in this feature was recorded in early to mid-February. Immigration and refugee policies in the United States are still in flux under the Trump administration, and the exact details regarding immigration laws and their enforcement may have changed since these interviews were conducted.
Since the Wesleyan Refugee Project (WRP) was founded in the Fall 2015, the volunteer organization has been hard at work in their contributions to resettlement programs, legal aid, tutoring services, and fundraising events. We spoke to one of the group’s founders, Casey Smith ’17, last September. Since then, it’s become even more difficult for refugees to enter the United States under Trump’s new immigration policies, and the future for refugee resettlement in the US is uncertain.
This semester, I spoke to several different members of the WRP, all in different leadership positions. I asked each of them how they got involved with WRP, what the group is focusing on this semester, and how other students can volunteer and participate. Read their stories after the jump:
This is part of our In Depth series, where we highlight the activities and people behind new student groups and/or student groups that might go somewhat under-the-radar. You can read the rest here.
The Wesleyan Refugee Project (WRP) was founded in the Fall of 2015 and had a very busy and successful inaugural year. I sat down with Casey Smith ’17, who helped to found WRP to find out more about their founding, what they’re working on now, and how new students can get involved.
Welcome to another one of our In Depth features, where I’ll be covering USLAC. (By the way, in case you haven’t picked up on my blatant pro-USLAC bias yet, I’m a member of the club/out here ~*~scamming 4 full communism at Wes~*~, depending on who you ask. Either way, true.)
USLAC, or the United Student/Labor Action Coalition, has been around at Wesleyan for a while. However, until about halfway this semester, USLAC was on a brief hiatus. Old school USLAC did some super good work on campus, which you can read about here, and some students wanted to have the opportunity to make a difference on campus. So the new members, coordinated with former USLAC members to revive the club. They also took the opportunity to connect with a dope organization that hosts chapters of labor rights groups at schools nationwide, USAS, or United Students Against Sweatshops. So many acronyms! And whoa-what is USLAC anyway, right? Because I’m not nearly eloquent enough to describe the group’s mission myself, here’s a handy description I got from good ‘ole Orgsync:
WELCOME to the FIRST re-installment of Wesleying’s NEWLY REINVIGORATED SERIES: IN DEPTH! This series will go ~*~in depth~*~ (see what I did there) to bring some of those well known and some of those not so well known clubs to light. We want to help the student body learn more about all the unique things Wes has to offer in order to help them discover their ~interests~.
We’re starting off the series with an interview from one of QuestBridge/First-Class’s own Brenda Quintana ‘18. (For those who don’t know what QuestBridge is and want to find out more about it you can do so here. And if you feel so compelled, spread the word! Recommend Quest to someone you might think qualifies/could benefit from knowing about the program and the ~amazing~ things that it does.) Let’s kick it off! Oh- and P.S. I am also in QuestBridge.
As part of our In Depth student group series, Keren Reichler ’16 and Miriam Kudler-Flam ’16 were nice enough to sit down with me and talk about their new Zymurgy Collective. After being dormant for a couple years, this club has come back to handle all of your fermentation needs. Read on to learn more about fermentation, how to get involved, and the many possible synonyms for the word ferment that you have not thought of before.
It’s 12 PM, which means if you are anywhere near South College, you can probably hear the ringing of the Wesleyan’s famous bells. On any given weekday, members of the mysterious Bell & Scroll society ascend the winding spiral staircase to reach the 24-bell Wesleyan Carillon for their daily serenade. As part of Wesleying‘s “In Depth” series, I sat down with Bell Ringer ’17 (a student member of Bell & Scroll who wished to remain anonymous) and Emeritus Professor of German and Medieval Studies Peter Frenzel to find out what Bell & Scroll is all about.
This is another installment in our series of interviews with student groups at Wesleyan.
For this interview, I sat down with Rama Al Nakib ’16, co-founder of Westitch, to talk about the group’s history, how it is currently structured, and the creative process.
What is Westitch?
Westitch is a do-it-yourself collective. We teach sewing, knitting, and clothing construction from scratch material or old items. My partner, Nicole Roman-Johnson ’16, handles the knitting part of the group.
How was Westitch founded?
Over the summer I was going through the list of extracurriculars because I wanted to join clubs. I’d already been sewing and like cutting up my own clothes really low key since high school but I really wanted to make it a thing that people would do here, because I know a lot of people are interested. So I signed up for a table at the club fair. We applied for funding through the WSA, which we used to buy machines, fabric, and lots of other supplies.
This is another installment in our series of interviews with student groups at Wesleyan.
For this interview, I sat down with Axel Schlossberg ’15 of WesClimb to talk about the group today, its history, and what climbing competitions actually entail.
What types of climbing does WesClimb do?
There are three main types of climbing. One is called top-roping. Top-roping is where you are climbing and someone on the ground is belaying you. In top-roping, you have the security of the harness and rope, which is attached to the top of the wall. The second type is called bouldering. This is usually short climbing without a rope, and you usually go up around 12-15 feet. Bouldering emphasizes power rather than stamina, and tends to be harder. But at the same time, you do your own thing; you can mark your own pace. The third type of climbing is called lead climbing, which is height climbing similar to top-roping, but you don’t have the security of the rope coming from the top; you are actually carrying the rope with you. As you go up, you attach it to clips on the wall. If you fall, you fall only as far as the last clip you’ve reached.
Most of the people on WesClimb primarily do bouldering, but we have about five or six people who do top-roping.
This is the first in a series of interviews with student groups at Wesleyan. While it’s not possible to reach out to all 300-some student groups active at Wes, our focus is to get a snapshot of what different types of student groups are working on.
In this interview, I sat down with Olivia Chavez ’15 from Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights (WSDR) to talk about what WSDR has been working on.
What does WSDR stand for and what is your mission?
WSDR stands for Wesleyan Students for Disability Rights, and we promote accessibility on this campus. We also are involved in some local issues, like a while back when there were some issues on using scream rooms in schools for kids with behavioral issues. They had this practice a while ago where kids that were misbehaving or difficult to manage would be put in a room by themselves, so we were involved a bit in the activism against that through petition. Electroshock therapy is another issue we tried to address. It is a dangerous procedure whose efficacy has not been proven to actually “treat” anything and has been proven to severely damage the brain leading to amnesia, permanent memory loss, loss of short term memory, inability to retain new information, emotional and psychological trauma, and physical trauma that can include death. We were also sort of involved in the activism against that also—that was a trend that was going on in Middletown, and just in the US in general.
What are some things WSDR is currently working on?
So right now we are trying to get medical leave reformed. The process is not really transparent for the students going through the process, it’s a bit difficult for somebody who needs to go on medical leave to be able to understand the repercussions of what’s going to happen later, and the fact that when you’re on medical leave you can’t actually be on campus during your time of absence, so you can’t even actually visit, and it’s often hard to prove you’re physically and mentally in a stable state to come back. So that poses a lot of issues with students, we’re just trying to get the process to be more friendly towards helping students achieve their goals at Wesleyan and not sort of preventing them from coming back and having a great academic experience here.