Tag Archives: keep wesleyan weird

In Defense of Giant Joint

time for change

Remember… you don’t have to light up to lighten up.

From a campaign statement of sorts posted on Aural Wes…

WE CANNOT JUST KEEP WESLEYAN WEIRD, WE MUST MAKE IT WEIRD

CHOOSE ADVENTURE OVER BOREDOM

WE DON’T WANT A CHANGE IN BOSSES, WE WANT A CHANGE IN LIFE

WRITE IT IN!

Elections close at midnight tonight. Don’t sleep on it.

Usdan Performance Art: Caged Humans

performance art usdan

If you walked past the display case next to the ATM side of Usdan today during lunchtime, you couldn’t miss these dancers writhing in slow motion, breaking down the barrier between real space and performance space in the campus center.

performance art usdan2

They’re probably still there.

performance art usdan3

[EDIT] More info (and video footage of the movement explorers) at the Blargus:

The movement installation is being put on by the CCR Task Force, and will be happening from 10 am – 6 pm until Saturday. Just in time for Homecoming/Family weekend! Have fun explaining this to your parents, frosh.

If you’re interested in signing up for a 2-hour shift in the display case, contact Mark McCloughan ’10 at mmccloughan@wes.

Pillow Fight!

International Pillow Fight Day is Saturday, April 4.

featherWesleyan’s observance of this momentous occasion will start at the base of Foss Hill at 4 pm and end at 5 pm, or until it runs out of steam, whichever happens first.

The rules are simple: soft pillows only (filled with feathers, if at all possible), don’t be mean, and everything should be in good fun! Bring your friends, and their pillows. There will be a start signal at 4.

Join the Facebook group if you’re a willing participant, and you will be contacted with further instructions. Thanks to Collin McMichael ’09 for organizing!

Date: Saturday, April 4
Time: 4 pm
Place: Base of Foss Hill

P.S. It might rain earlier on Saturday – if it’s really wet and gross out, pillow fighters will assemble in the Usdan lobby at the same time.

SJB to shut down all Eclectic events this semester

Wesleying just received the following e-mail from Alex Chaves ’12 on behalf of Eclectic Society:

Recently Scott Backer and the Student Judicial Board has informed the Eclectic Society that all events, lectures, gatherings, and shows will be canceled and prohibited at Eclectic due to a “House Hosting Restriction” through April 30th, with the exception of the weekend of WesFest for pre-frosh.

These charges are being made over noise complaints during one night last semester. As a society we are distraught; if this Hosting Restriction is to remain, it will mean that NO EVENTS will be able to occur at Eclectic for the remainder of the semester. We as a society feel that the exception for WesFest indicates that the administration is more interested in creating the appearance of student life for prospective students than actually supporting student culture.

This ban includes a Das Racist and Ponytail concert, an STI testing day, lectures by Lynn Owens and Patricia Clough with the Sociology department, a college in prison fundraising event with Bro-zone, along with many other events. Many students outside of the Eclectic Society have worked hard to plan these beneficial events, and we as a society want to provide a space for them. We feel that these charges will do great damage to the Wesleyan student body, and will undermine the purpose of Eclectic’s presence on this campus.

Eclectic is asking you, the student body of Wesleyan, to help support us in lifting these charges and maintaining the planned events over the course of the semester (events we all were looking forward to). We will be distributing a petition for this Hosting Ban, please sign. We feel that Eclectic makes a positive contribution to the intellectual and artistic atmosphere of Wesleyan’s campus and this punishment is overly harsh. We have tried to provide Wesleyan with fun and stimulating events that improve student life at Wesleyan, please support us in continuing this tradition.

Please join us in appealing these charges,
The Eclectic Society

So, I’m conflicted. On the one hand, in my experience, the SJB tends to be pretty fair. When they dish out harsh punishment, it’s usually justified. Minor violations really are given warnings. Without further details about the violation that led to this punishment, I’d be hesitant to sign a petition.

That said, this totally sucks for the entire campus. Some of the proposed events benefit the whole community in remarkable ways – the free STI testing is an obvious example, but so are the academic lectures and cultural events. (Patricia Clough? As a soc major, can I just say, that’s AWESOME.)

I know we at Wesleyan tend to get very angry very quickly, but I urge Wesleying’s readers to channel that frustration. Instead of getting angry at the administration/SJB without knowing the facts, let’s try to find a way to react calmly, while still appreciating the fantastic events Eclectic throws every semester, and finding a way to help Eclectic continue doing so.

[edit 12:30am] Anna Wiener ’09 wrote a letter on AuralWes that clarifies what Alex wrote, and has more information about where to find the petition to sign. Definitely read that.

[edit by Sheek, 3/3, 2:15 pm] An online petition is also up, sign it!

Wesleyan is smokin’

Over at Roth on Wesleyan, our beloved University President reports:

One of the most exciting bits of news we had over break was the extraordinary number of applications we’ve received for next year. More than 10,000 students have asked for a place in the class of 2013, a surge of well over 20% from last year. As many of you know, our Early Decision Applications were up over 30%, and we’ve now learned than most of our peer institutions are not seeing anything like this spike in interest. It’s a lot more work for the tireless group in the Admissions Office, but the fact that more and more people are hearing about the great things going on at Wesleyan is very good news indeed.

So, umm, that’s pretty cool. But why the spike of interest in Wesleyan this year? Was it the Obama commencement? Mainstream musical alum success? A widespread revelation that “Ivy” status doesn’t mean a better education? (Yeah, right.) A nationwide shift toward more liberal discourse, making Wes not seem as crazy-radical and more awesome-radical? Whatever it is, keep it up, Wes.

Deep FryDay

Tomorrow, on Friday October 3, Keep Wesleyan Weird will be holding a deep fry sale.

We’ve got a deep fryer–it’s called Fry Daddy. We’ve got chocolate bars. We’ll deep fry anything else you bring us [within reason–no babies]. $1. Usdan bottom floor. We’ll be open 11 – 8. Come by and deep fry something!

Date: Friday, October 3rd
Time: 11am – 8pm
Location: Usdan

Remember the Boon!

Way back in the second week of Wesleying’s existence, Xue posted about the long-forgotten legend of Boon Tan, the most infamous pre-Internet meme Wesleyan had yet known back in the ’70s. Boon Tan languished in the subconscious of alumni of decades past until it was dredged up in April 2006 by blogging Wes grad Plain(s)feminist from an archived Argus article:

“Boon Tan was a Malaysian student who failed to show up in 1972 and again the next year though his face was in the face book. Shortly thereafter ‘the Boon began to appear on the University walls; not a representation of the missing student, but a symbol of evil incarnate. Midnight ceremonies were held. Mass gatherings cried out the word of Boon…’ Boon Tan had the largest following on campus.”

Apparently the whole thing started out as a practical joke on Tan’s ertswhile roommate in WestCo Down 4, with hallmates pulling pranks on him and blaming them on the absent Boon Tan. The spirit of Boon Tan became a WestCo in-joke and was eventually drawn as an “evil” version of the Smiley Face, which became the central character in a series of comics drawn by the head of WestCo for his residents as a sort of a vessel for the decidedly un-PC darkly humorous side of the “peace and love West College environment”.

The drawings were passed around campus and caught like wildfire, with spontaneous Boon graffiti soon going up all over Wes in all sorts of contexts. The phenomenon culminated in a giant Day-Glo Boon being painted on the roof of the former power plant building (which stood where Usdan is now) in the spring of 1977, and kept going strong through the ’80s as a manifestation of Wesleyan weirdness, though by then students were probably unaware of the intentionally offensive origins of the legend.

Incidentally, Boon Tan the human being apparently ended up going to school in Malaysia and becoming a successful doctor, unaware of his inadvertent cult status at Wes.

This brief history is paraphrased from Wes alum Oppyman’s firsthand account of the origins of Boon Tan on the Plain(s)feminist blog, which is kind of fascinating as a window into what Wes was like in the late ’70s.

I bring all this up because the one thing Xue’s post lacked was an actual picture of the infamous Boon – which Wes alum Tod Norman ’79 very belatedly emailed us earlier this week after idly Googling “Boon Tan”, finding Wesleying’s old request for a drawing, and realizing he had one lying around:
A little underwhelming, after all that? I guess you definitely had to be there. Norman reminisces about the heyday of the Boon:

It was ’75. I was a freshman that year… But I was also in West College, and a participant in the very first Zonker Harris day, so I don’t remember much more.

By the way, on the original ZH day, we had over 100 West College residents on a very special batch of…well…. Something. It had been cooked up in the chemistry lab – which, of course, had been noted in the 1974 ‘Underground Guide to Universities’ as producing the best acid on the East coast and Timothy Leary’s favoured supplier.

I do know that about 1979, on a brief return to the states, I saw Boon Tan all over the New York subway (in those days it was covered in graffiti – I understand it’s clean now). It even appeared on two sides of a lift door in a building down in the village, which closed to reveal evil in all its glory.

Well there you have it, an icon of Wesleyan past thoroughly exhumed. Keep Wesleyan Weird advocates, if you’re still around and looking for a vaguely offensive former symbol of weird Wesleyan glory to rally behind, look no further!

Links:
Wesleying: Where is Boon Tan?
Plain(s)feminist: The Legend of Boon Tan
Plain(s)feminist: Behind the Wesleyan Legend: Boon Tan, Part Two

Administration to “make Wes normal” over the summer

the butt tunnels: RIP

South College:

The administration gave the go-ahead to a top secret plan this morning called “Operation Make Wesleyan Normal,” set to begin in late May, immediately after senior week.

An anonymous tipper informs us that the plan includes:
painting over the butt tunnels (again)
closing WestCo cafe
bulldozing the tomb
making Eclectic the new admissions building
replacing the heat-sensitive detectors with smoke-sensitive detectors in the foss dorms
possibly flattening Foss Hill, and much more…
Our anonymous tipper writes, “This is bullshit. I think it’s obvious that they’re doing this over the summer so we won’t be here to protest. Spread the word!”
another anonymous student, a graduating senior, said “I’ve been afraid that this plan was in the works for years. Now it’s finally out. I knew something was up when they demolished the M7 building last summer.
In an exclusive interview, David Pesci, director of Media Relations, defended the projects under OMWN: He says of the butt tunnels, “who wants graffiti sprayed all over the place where they live, work, and learn?”  (ok, we took this one from here. but the rest was from an exclusive interview, really)
Pesci had similar things to say about everything else:
on closing WestCo cafe: “who wants dirty hippies all over the place where they live, work, and learn?”
on bulldozing the tomb: “the tomb? who wants a constant reminder of death all over the place where they live, work, and learn?”
and on the smoke detectors: “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Who wants fire all over the place where they live, work and learn?” on making Eclectic the new admissions building: “I think it’s a nice building. Good old classical columns and all that. Who wants Eclectic kids all over the place where you would want prospective students with rich parents?”
When asked about why the plan is taking place over the summer, Pesci said “who wants Wesleyan students all over the place where you live, work, and learn?”