This is an update of michelle‘s update of kitab‘s update of alt‘s update of pyrotechnics‘ update of lesanjuan‘s update of Syed’s 2010 post.
This is part of our 2017 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.
Welcome to the internet, dear prefrosh. We’re so glad you came.
You have already proven that you have some knowledge of how to navigate the digital multiverse (delete your WesAdmits bio before you get to campus, trust me), but there’s a lot to learn when it comes to figuring out the digital landscape here at Wesleyan. Rest assured, I’m gonna try to demystify the finer points of all things technology at Wes.
The first thing you should know: WesTech. It refers to the kindly people who provide “technical services and support to all faculty, staff and students,” you might think. No, that’s ITS and how they describe themselves. Here’s what a previous WesLingo post says about WesTech:
WesTech is a word that will pop up every once in a while (via the ACB): “WesTech refers to everyone not DKE/Beta* or mostly the ‘very Wesleyan’ population. It comes from the idea that Wesleyan has unattractive girls and bad sports and thus might as well be a technical school: WesTech.” Apparently, however, this is a term used mainly by other schools to make fun of Wesleyan, and has been appropriated by the sports teams as a label of pride (sports teams doing the ironic appropriation? Only at Wesleyan). A Techie was a term generally used by athletes to describe a “typical” Wesleyan student (artsy), or a “Techie.”
Now that you know what it means, this is required viewing: WesTech State of Mind.
If you’re confused, don’t worry: I’ve never heard anyone use the term WesTech, which probably means I’m a techie. Huh. Anyway, for instructions on how to be technologically savvy at Wes, read on.
Nancy Ottmann Albert (MALS ’94) will speak about her photographic exhibition “Documents in Black and White,” currently on display in the Special Collections & Archives exhibit cases. The works are selected from the Nancy Ottmann Albert Collection, which she recently donated to Wesleyan, and span the thirty years she spent documenting New England’s built environment. In 1981, inspired by Walker Evans and the FSA photographers, Albert began to photograph textile mills and industrial sites throughout New England. She returned over the years to record their decline and disappearance, shooting black and white film in a medium format camera. Further exploration led her to seek out other endangered structures and landscapes. These include mental institutions emptied by changing philosophies of treatment and a commissioned study of Long River Village, Middletown’s oldest housing project, prior to its demolition. The exhibition also contains images of roadside and urban vernacular architecture; barns and abandoned homesteads; filling stations; drive-in theaters. All of the work, which includes gelatin silver photographs, was printed by the artist. The exhibition will be open through Friday, December 16, 2016.
The talk and event are free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by Special Collections & Archives, Wesleyan Library, and the Friends of the Wesleyan Library. For more information, email libfriends[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.
Date: Friday, October 28
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Develin Room, 2nd floor, Olin Library
From Jennifer Hadley:
Done with your books and don’t want to pack them? We’ll help them find good homes. Please consider donating them to the Friends of the Wesleyan Library for our ongoing book sale. You can leave the books in the donation bins in Olin Lobby or Science Library Lobby. All proceeds help support library events and special projects. Thank you, and have a good winter break!
Date: Today, December 16th through December 23rd
Time: Ends at 5:00 PM on the 23rd
Place: Olin and SciLi Lobbies
From Jennifer Hadley:
Join us for a Veterans Day open house in Special Collections & Archives. On display will be materials related to the United States military and the home front from the Civil War through the present, with a focus on Wesleyan and Middletown history. Highlights include contemporary veterans’ arts and literary projects, such as Combat Paper prints by Drew Cameron, who conducted a recent artist residency in Middletown. Suzy Taraba, Director of Special Collections & Archives, and Leith Johnson, University Archivist, will be on hand to answer questions. All are welcome!
For more information, email libfriends(at)wesleyan(dot)edu.
Date: TODAY, November 11th
Place: Davison Rare Book Room, Special Collections & Archives, 1st floor Olin
From Kendall Hobbs:
The library is offering workshops on research sources and interlibrary loan and other services for seniors writing a thesis or an essay. Sessions will be offered on Monday 9/22, Tuesday 9/23, Wednesday 9/24, and Thursday 9/25 at 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 each day. No need to sign up ahead of time. Choose a date and time convenient for you and join a group for a 45 minute info session at Olin Library’s reference office. Attendees will be granted expanded interlibrary loan privileges.
Date: Monday, September 22nd- Thursday, September 25th
Time: 11:00, 1:00, 3:00
Place: Olin Library, Reference Desk
On Tuesday, August 26th—the day before freshman orientation—University Librarian Pat Tully was suddenly and unceremoniously fired. Tully has been at the school since 2004; she began as interm university librarian in 2009, before being promoted to Caleb T. Winchester University Librarian on March 1, 2010.
In an email to the faculty listserv last Tuesday, September 2nd, Tully explains the administrative disagreement behind her firing. As she did not sign any severance contract requiring her silence, we are luckily able to understand her side of the story. This is not a privilege afforded to us or many other teachers and administrators who are let go or fired—especially those who are, by all means, a respected and much-loved part of the school community.
Wesleying has acquired a copy of the letter, which was posted in full online, and has placed it below. We have also confirmed the authenticity of this letter as it was sent to the faculty. The University declined to comment on matters of personnel. Wesleying also reached out to Tully for further comment on the situation, as well as looked into University policy behind employment termination.
We will continue looking into this matter, as well as other recent firings, in the coming days.
After Wesleying learned of the reasons behind Pat Tully’s firing on August 26, and subsequently posted her letter of explanation, I reached out to a number of administrators to ask for more information about the situation.
In light of the subsequent termination of another University mainstay, Ed Chiburis, Facility and Events Manager for the Memorial Chapel and ’92 Theater, I had some questions how—and why—employees are fired. According to Vice President of Student Affairs Mike Whaley, “Generally speaking, all students should know that (except in egregious situations) a progressive coaching/discipline system is in place to address any performance issues with any employee. Only after that system has been exhausted would an employee be terminated.” He recommended me to talk with Human Resources about that system.
Director of Human Resources Julia Hicks, after receiving my questions about university policies, referred me instead to the staff handbook, as she could not comment about matters relating to individuals.
Assembled by the Human Resources department, the handbook does explain policies and procedures for administration, faculty, and employees. But it did not nearly answer my questions about how “termination,” as it calls it, is considered, pursued, and justified in a liberal arts university setting. Obviously the points gone over in this handbook aren’t going to be revelatory to any University staff, or really anyone out of college who’s held a real job. Students, however, probably don’t know such things—the handbook is pretty much all we have to understand the University’s side.
So let’s go through it and see what we can dig out and make sense of.
From Kate “Leading the Pack” Cullen ’16:
Are the Wesleyan libraries too loud? WSA’s Student Affairs Committee is working with the library staff and the Academic Affairs Committee to conduct a survey on noise level in the libraries in response to an influx in student complaints. If you haven’t already, please fill out our survey on library noise levels here!
Deadline: Sometime soon
Link: YAY SURVEYS
I have the good fortune of working at Scores and Recordings, the music section of Olin Library. I can objectively say that it’s one of the coolest academic hubs on campus. S&R has a massive CD and vinyl collection, a pretty strange assortment of cassettes, shelves of musical scores, a bunch of turntables and other media players for student use, audio and video recorders on loan, and a whole room devoted to Wesleyan’s renowned World Music Archives. It is the home of Notations 21, a collection of creative visual scores that is possibly my favorite book in the whole library.
Scores and Recordings is kind of a metaphor for liberal arts in general— it’s a huge assortment of stuff that you can’t imagine you’d ever be able to string together in a way that makes any sense, but that doesn’t matter because it’s all awesome and interesting and the perfect vehicle for discovering new things. Especially when you choose items off the shelves at random (which is what we all do when navigating WesMaps, amirite?).
It’s always interesting to see what people check out at the circulation desk — everything from recordings of Tuvan throat singing to John Cage scores to Eminem CDs — but my sense from working at S&R is that not nearly enough people know about what’s available here. In an effort to mine some of the treasures that are tucked away in this section of the library, I summoned fellow Wesleyinger Gabe to join me in my adventures, AKA pulling random stuff off the shelves and writing about what we found. For this first installment of a continuing series of S&R adventures, we explored the vinyl collection and made some, er, unusual discoveries. Read about our findings after the jump.
Friends of the Wesleyan Library invite you to also befriend the Wesleyan Library by buying books:
About 2500 mostly literature books for sale. First floor, Olin Library. Follow the signs from the lobby to the sale area.
Date: May 4, 2013
Time: Right now until 4:00 p.m.
Place: Olin Library
Cost: $1 or $2 per book