Tag Archives: mocon


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Last semester Michael Roth revealed that the Board of Trustees was considering demolition the likeliest option for McConaughy Hall.  But now that it looks like that will actually happen! Soon!

According to Physical Plant VP Joyce Topshe, Mocon is scheduled for demolition this summer, and is already being stripped down for hazardous material this week in preparation for that larger project.

And we are overcome with nostalgia! As a member of the graduating class of 2010, I am part of the last generation of Wes students to remember what is was like to eat in that giant spaceship, and it is so bittersweet. And we’re not alone – the Save Mocon Facebook group, created last week, already has over 500 members.

So, what to do, if anything? On the one hand, pressing financial concerns and logistical issues limit any further usage of the building. On the other hand, there is overwhelming sentimentality calling for… something… to be done.

According to the Argus, Physical Plant’s assessment of Mocon is that it is “unsound for contemporary purposes” – after almost 50 years of use, it fails to meet standards of environmental friendliness, is expensive to heat and cool, and apparently costs up to $20,000 to maintain when in use; it also has more limited accessibility to people with disabilities and a much smaller seating capacity than Usdan.

Which are all valid points – clearly, there’s no viable way to use the space in anything near its former capacity. The administration has written it off because any renovation of the structure would be costly and inefficient, and wants to do away with it sooner rather than later because it “presents a safety risk” if left standing. Eventually, presumably after a lot more money comes through, new student dorms will probably be built on the location.

People have been throwing around ideas for alternative uses for the structure – what about only sometimes, for events? Yes, Mocon was a much better venue for Halloween dances, and Foss Cross, and Queer Prom, and the B’nei Mitzvah party, than Beckham Hall or the hockey rink. But however inadequate those venues may seem in comparison to those who remember, the novelty factor of keeping Mocon around as a sporadically used event space is likely outweighed by the administration’s concern for the bottom line.

Miles Bukiet ’11, creator of the Save Mocon group, suggests that the expense of temperature control is the biggest kink in the works regarding the possible salvation of Mocon – if we find a use for it that avoids the energy issue completely, perhaps saving it would be worthwhile. Maybe so, but it’s unlikely that we’ll figure out such a use without a large groundswell of support from current students and alumni.

In fact, the University has already considered other options for use of the space which might have been acceptable to current students and alumni attached to the building, even drawing up estimates for how much each one would cost.

Wesleying’s MoCon Retrospective: Part 2- The Food


If there was ever a cafeteria specially engineered to provide for maximum food fight carnage it would have been MoCon. Unfortunately, although I secretly hoped every day that some idiot would throw a cupcake at the wrong person, nothing of the sort happened while I was there. We actually ate the food (most of the time) and my dreams of living a 90’s kid’s show life never came true.  =(

But that’s not to say that procuring, eating, and digesting MoCon food weren’t magical experiences of their own. I had many a movie moment standing in the ice cream line bathed by the light of the setting sun and sitting in Fauver bathrooms as I stared aghast at the alien creature inside of me trying to escape.

For those of you who can’t imagine the romantic tension of staring across a table 10 ft in diameter at your crush who is desperately trying to maneuver an overstuffed sandwich, I’ll try to make it easier for you to imagine such a confusing emotion. And for those who are already familiar with the slight unease of reaching for a triangular (whaaaaat) pizza slice when all you knew was square, I hope to jog some of those repressed memories.

Tonight we dine in MoCon!!

Well, actually, before you go in (i.e., click “Read More”) we need to make sure you follow this fine establishment’s single rule…


Wesleying’s MoCon Retrospective: Part 1- The People


Here we are, it’s the end of the semester and the beginning of Wesleying’s MOCON RETROSPECTIVE!! Everybody say “YEAH” then wave your arms in the air like you just don’t care!!

I’ve been chatting it up with friends, reading your comments on the original post, and the stuff people sent in to us and it’s been a good time. Everybody has a story, even those in the senior class, which only got the legendary MoCon experience for one year. The good and the very bad (I’ll get to this in the next post on Food) were all part of MoCon’s irreplaceable charm. For those of you who never partook in the fine dining experience that was MoCon, I’ll do my best to recreate some of the atmosphere while you read. You should read these posts with lots of friends, some strangers, and one or two dining workers yelling in the background. Put some spices on the stove and let the aroma infuse your breaths with excitement and some apprehension. Find yourself a room that is mostly windows and watch the sun set behind the trees in a totally unromantic way. Pick up a cup and prepare to drop it if you don’t like what I write. And clear some space on your desk for a drumroll.

For those of us who were there for MoCon’s glory, even if at the tail-end of it, I hope you’re already taking your first steps down memory lane. Writing this is even giving me fuzzy feelings and I’m not even high.

Lay back, light up, and let nostalgia do its thing.

MoCon to be given a new lease on life?

Members of the Bring Back MoCon group on Facebook may have reason to rejoice, if the plans of Delmar Crim and the Bon Appétit Student Working Group are implemented.

According to Christy Nichols ’10, Crim has recommended that Wesleyan reopen MoCon for the 2008-09 school year, due to overcrowding at the Usdan Marketplace, and in response to several student and staff complaints throughout the year:

As one of the six members of the Bon Appetit Student Working Group, I’ve been working with dining staff and BA management to outline the future needs of campus dining. What we’ve been hearing from students and staff is that the Usdan facilities are inconvenient and reach overcapacity at certain times of the day… usually around 6:30 in the evening, and sometimes around 12:30 in the afternoon. Students have also been telling us that the lack of a freshman-centric dining facility hinders bonding among members of the freshman class.

BA management, including Delmar Crim and Dining Manager Krista McKenzie, have also expressed frustration with the layout of the Usdan kitchens and servery, saying it just isn’t fit for the number of students using the space. They have been in touch with various people in the administration and have strongly suggested that the University reopen MoCon next year… at least temporarily, in order to alleviate overcrowding and better accommodate freshman diners.

Bon Appétit has even put its MoCon webpage back online, which is probably an indication that they are pretty sure that their plans for reopening MoCon will be realized.

I, for one, would love to dine at those sweet round tables once more. To show your support for the proposal, Christy says you should email Dean of the College Mike Whaley and the WSA’s Finances and Facilities Committee.

EDIT: Now that April Fool’s Day is over, I should clarify that, much as I’d love to see MoCon reopen, this entry was only a joke. Delmar Crim has said nothing about MoCon, to my knowledge. Christy Nichols ’10 does not exist, nor does the Bon Appétit Student Working Group. But the MoCon webpage is back up! (Justin)

O’Rourke’s Update (And How You Can Visit Mocon/Davenport Reincarnated)

Those of you who have been around Wesleyan long enough to remember and love O’Rourke’s Diner: fear not. Although previous information proclaimed that the beloved diner would reopen February 4 (also known as this past Monday), sources on O’Rourke’s official website forum are now citing next Monday (February 11) as the opening day.

In related news, there was a significant piece in the New Haven Register this past Saturday regarding the story of the diner’s rebuilding. It includes several interesting anecdotes. For one, as it turns out, those students who are feeling nostalgic for last year’s dining will be able to go to O’Rourke’s once it opens and feel a little bit closer to the twin legacies of Mocon and Davenport. The article explains:

“Wesleyan donated booths from the Davenport Student Center and about $30,000 in kitchen equipment from a dining hall being renovated, said Jeff Bianco, the architect who designed the rebuilt interior.”

And in the context of Middletown nightlife, the article also notes,

“O’Rourke has big plans for the new O’Rourke’s that include opening for dinner three nights a week, late nights on Fridays and Saturdays and adding live Irish music sessions on Monday nights.”

For the rest of the piece, go to http://www.nhregister.com and search for “O’Rourke’s Diner.” Or to get your news straight from the source, hit up www.orourkesdiner.com

Hawk Sighting

No, I’m not talking about some sports mascot. I’m so sports-illiterate that I probably wouldn’t even be able to tell you if there was a sports mascot that was a hawk, or which sport they were a mascot for. I’m talking about Buteo jamaicensis, the Red-tailed Hawk. I was walking back to Hewitt from the campus center, and this hawk swooped by, about 2 feet off the ground, coming up from Mocon circle and into the courtyard. He harassed a squirrel a little bit, before perching on the railing connecting hewitt 9 and 10.

He chilled there for a while, then decided he’d be more comfortable in a tree, so again, flying just inches off the ground, he swooped across the courtyard and up into a tree.

Reactions from passers-by were quite amusing. One girl, upon seeing it/having it pointed out to her, took two steps backwards and nearly fell over.

Bring Back Mocon

Scott Cole ’09 created a facebook group called Bring Back Mocon:

After seeing only a few meals being eaten at the new Susan Lemburg Usdan Campus Center, there must be someone who is sitting at home thinking, “Shit, I fucked up.”

While the new Usdan Center may look nice on our pretty new brochures it sure as hell is a crappy place to eat.

The food is delicious, but the organization is terrible. So this is why we need to Bring Mocon Back! The heart and soul of our dining experiance, a missed friend.

The Wisdom of Laverne

Kim Segall ’10 writes this great feature in this week’s Argus about everyone’s weekend sunshine, Laverne Pharham. We could all learn a thing or two about life from Laverne:

“I love [this job] because I love these kids,” she said. “I love these kids. I love my co-workers. I just love people in general.”

“There was this one time when a group of us were coming through the line at MoCon and she decided to give us all hugs and told us that giving and receiving hugs was very important,” Kristin May ’10 said.

“I don’t have a glamorous life,” Pharham said. “The less you accumulate materially, the happier you are.”

She attributes many of these life lessons to wisdom she learned from her mother. These values have shaped her attitudes in life and at work.

“Whatever you dish out to the world, you get back,” she said. “If you’re hateful, that’s what you get back.”

Keep Wesleyan Weird

From this facebook group:

There comes a point where enough is enough.

When the administration outlawed chalking, an understandable uproar went through the campus. This uproar, however, was not nearly loud enough, and that transgression has been imposed upon us for far too long.

When the administration required Eclectic’s parties to be held in Mocon a collective groan of disapproval was heard on campus. Can we let them ruin our already limited nightlife by housing parties in a cafeteria?

Now the administration has just had the Butt’s tunnels painted over. All of the beautiful colors and forms on the walls have been replaced by white and black paint.

Now, with Middletown’s recently added ordinance, the administration is allowing police onto our campus. Can we let them take away the very atmosphere we love?

Bring back chalking.

Bring back Eclectic parties.

Bring back tagging.

Get police off private property.

Even if you don’t agree with chalking, the party scene, tagging in the tunnels, or the new police presence I urge you to join this group. This is clearly not the end of their attempt to strip the entire campus of culture.

I want wespeaks and I want them now. ON IT, BITCHES.

Edit: Anonymous commenter, you made my day:

“Fuck Wespeaks. I’m buying a spraycan and a crowbar first chance I get. It won’t be pretty paint, but this is not the school I wanted to go to. I’ll take it back.”