Back in 2014, ztevenz, a blogger before my time, started a series of posts entitled “The College Bubble: A Higher Ed Roundup” which gave digests of recent news events that happening at college campuses nationwide. Several events in the past two years, most notably the anti-racist demonstrations begun by Concerned Student 1950 at Mizzou and the nationwide sanctuary campus movement orchestrated by Movimiento Cosecha, have generated talks of rebooting the feature. And now it’s finally happening! So here’s a roundup of things that have been going on recently at various colleges and universities:
Classless prefrosh dad of the year: “I’m going to get security if you don’t shut the hell up.”
As the debate over fossil fuel investments continues raging in the NESCAC blogosphere, members of a Tufts student group calling itself Tufts Divest For Our Future infiltrated an admissions information session last week to ask about the University’s investments. Not quite as epic as sending a fake press release to over 150 national and local media outlets claiming the University is formally divesting from the war and fossil fuels industries, but whatever—it’ll do.
In The ‘Cac managed to obtain video footage of the incident, which appears below. Curiously, the most hostile party caught on tape is not the questioner, who politely but insistently inquires, nor the admissions officer (or student?) leading the session, who suggests that they discuss the subject after the session. It’s the disgruntled prefrosh dad who swings into action with some seriously misguided hero fantasies, growling, “We came here to learn about the University. Stop wasting our time! I’m going to get security if you don’t shut the hell up.” Can’t imagine how mortified his kid must’ve been, sinking into hir chair like Harry Potter wearing the Sorting Hat. “Daaaaad. You’re embarrassing me in front of the other prefrosh!”
Earlier this semester, the Dalai Lama stopped at Middlebury College in Vermont for a speaking gig. On October 12, a few days before, a press release was sent to 2/3 of the student body, several members of the staff and administration, and over 150 local and national media outlets from the College Office of Communications—specifically, from Tim Shornak of the Dalai Lama Welcoming Committee. The press release detailed Middlebury’s decision, in honor of the Dalai Lama’s visit, to divest its $883 million endowment from the war and fossil fuel industries.
The catch? Tim Shornak doesn’t exist, and there is no official Dalai Lama Welcoming Committee. Four days after the fake press release went out, the four students who had sent the email posted a letter around campus and on their blog revealing their identities and defending their actions, saying that the hoax email was meant to draw attention to the hypocrisy that Middlebury, one of the most environmentally friendly campuses in the nation, probably has money tied up in industries that destroy people and the planet.
The university’s October 17 statement does not confirm or deny that the university invests in war or fossil fuel industries, but does make clear that the administration was not amused by the students’ actions, stating that “the college is investigating this matter and whether those policies were violated in this instance, and will take disciplinary action if warranted” and that the university would continue “fostering open, well-informed discussions on this topic.”
From Adam Rashkoff ’13:
Come by the pool this weekend to watch the Wesleyan Water Polo team begin the fall season! Wesleyan competes in the Collegiate Water Polo Association’s New England Division, which includes Yale, Dartmouth, BU, BC, and NESCAC competitor Middlebury. Below is Wesleyan’s playing schedule.
Saturday, Sept. 22
10:00am – Wesleyan v. Middlebury
6:20pm – Wesleyan v. BC
Sunday, Sept. 23
9:00am – Wesleyan v. Dartmouth
1:10pm – Wesleyan v. Yale
For more information about Wesleyan Water Polo, visit the team website!
Date: Saturday, September 22, Sunday, September 23
Time: Saturday: 10 AM, 6:20pm; Sunday: 9am, 1:10pm
Place: The Wesleyan Natatorium (the pool)
Wesleyan seems to have become intimately acquainted with the Gastro virus over the past few weeks, but we’re not the only ones: this virus is seriously getting around on northeastern campuses, spreading puke, diarrhea, and cramps like holiday cheer wherever it goes. It all feels a bit like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, but [spoiler alert] even Donald Sutherland succumbs in the end. So it goes.
Down at GW University in DC, health officials have identified approximately 85 cases of gastrointestinal fun, with many more likely unreported. “Hand sanitizer also continues to be supplied at stands located in high-traffic areas,” offers up the health advisory, apparently unaware that hand sanitizer is totally not sufficient to stop the spread.
What’s more, GW Norovirus has taken to Twitter to let prospective targets know what’s up:
Back in the wee hours of Saturday morning we here at Wesleying reported on the disappearance/presumed detainment of Middlebury Student Pathik “Tik” Root ’12 in Damascus, Syria. (You can hit up that earlier post here.)
Since then, there have been positive developments in the case. The Middlebury website has announced that Root has been located, is highly believed to be safe and well, and that although he remains in custody by Syrian authorities US officials are working hard to get him back.
For more info, you can head over to an informational Facebook group set up and regularly updated by Root’s sister, and you can also check out this article filed by Boston.com earlier today. (Thanks to Rory Stamp ’12 for the tips!)
For more info on the detainment of the other US citizens during the same protest which Root was believed to have been witnessing when he was picked up, head over to this al-Jazeera article. (Thanks to J- ‘?? in the comments section for the tip!)
Despite the continuing coverage all over the CNN and HLN and whatever other newsy-outlet they blast over at Freeman, it is often the case that it is quite difficult to grasp the gravity of the chaos that’s ripping a new hole in the Middle East and North Africa right now. That is, until some shit closer to home hits the revolutionary fan.
On Thursday, the Burlington Free Press reported that a Middlebury student, Pathik “Tik” Root ’12, went missing in Damascus, Syria, where he was studying abroad.
Yesterday, the Burlington Free Press followed up by confirming that he has indeed been taken in and is being held by Syrian authorities. It is believed that he was rounded up when he was witnessing a demonstration that was taking place on March 18th at a “major mosque in the old city.” He has not been heard from since that date.
Details remain considerably sketchy at this time. More info after the jump.
Update [3/27]: On March 26th, confirmation has been given that Tik Root has been located and is believed to be safe and well. More info on the Middlebury page. Thanks to Leslie in the comments section for the tip!
So you guys know Middlebury College, right? It’s that one that almost sounds like Middletown, which is the city we’re next to, so it’s kinda sorta related, right?
Look, we don’t need an excuse, all right? We’re Wesleying, it’s a webseries called “Public Safety” by junior Chris De La Cruz at said college, and most importantly, it’s funny. So watch it.
Here’s the pilot:
No, it’s not an awkward thing to do. Not when you’re in Middlebury, as The Hidden Ivies claims Wesleyan is. It’s clearly a mistake–towns and burys–because they seem to know we’re in central Connecticut (I’ll let you judge for yourselves if we’re safe, have a fair amount of off-campus social and commercial opportunities, and have easy access to those cities listed). Or maybe all liberal arts colleges really are the same?
Either way, the weather forecast gives reason to be somewhat grateful we’re in Middletown, CT and not Middlebury, VT. The (upgraded) Winter Storm Warning for us seems to indicate we’ll get some PSafe emails: [Updates in bold]
- HAZARDS… HEAVY SNOW… SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN.
- ACCUMULATIONS… 7 TO 12 INCHES OF SNOW ACCUMULATION… LOCALLY HIGHER IN ORANGE COUNTY… AND UP TO A HALF AN INCH OF ICE ACCUMULATION BY LATE WEDNESDAY.
- IMPACTS… TRAVEL WILL BE IMPACTED TUESDAY THROUGH AT LEAST WEDNESDAY EVENING. SNOW AND ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL MAKE FOR DANGEROUS TRAVEL. ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL LIKELY KNOCK DOWN TREE LIMBS AND POWER LINES.
- …ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY… (Grounds for closing school tomorrow please?)
Even just the snowfall at Middlebury is greater according to the Winter Storm Warning for them:
8 TO 14 INCHES ACROSS THE CHAMPLAIN AND SAINT LAWRENCE VALLEYS WITH 12 TO 20 INCHES ELSEWHERE.
Speaking of President Roth, The Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual salary report is out. The report lists the compensation in 2008 of university presidents throughout the country. The New York Times points out that thirty presidents of private colleges were paid over a million dollars. It goes on, (down from 82%) “78 percent of presidents of private colleges, however, had total compensation packages of less than $600,000 in 2008.”
The President of Wesleyan Wellesley came in 19th among the “Baccalaureate colleges – Arts & Sciences.” Michael Roth came in 28th with $535,344 as his 2008-9 total compensation package. You can view more information about his compensation here. The site considerately puts the institution revenues ($197,167,000 for Wes) and expenditures ($225,619,000 for Wes) down also for comparative purposes.
In case anyone cares, here’s an abbreviated chart of Wesleyan and some of our “peer institutions.” The highest college in the category, Franklin & Marshall, pays its president about $326,000 more and Vassar, who we seem to rank near often, pays its president about $73,000 less.
Personally, I love President Roth. We should keep paying him. A bit of transparency doesn’t hurt though.