Tag Archives: opinion

Students Reflect on 2016 Election

campaign-2016

With yesterday’s conclusion of the seemingly endless 2016 election, some Wesleyan students reflected on their experience deciding who to vote for. This article contains interview excerpts from several students who were interviewed separately before the election results were known. These students included Michelle Fisher’19, a Co-Chair for Wesleyan Democratic Socialists, Simon Korn’17 and Aimee Wilkerson’17, Co-Chairs of Wesleyan Democrats, Mathias Valenta ’20, Treasurer of Wesleyan Republicans, as well as Posse Veteran Scholar Brian Barkman’19. Of the five students interviewed three of them (Fisher, Korn, and Wilkerson) were planning to vote for Clinton, meanwhile Valenta, though not a U.S. citizen, supported Trump. Barkman was undecided at the time of the interview but was adamant that he would not cast his vote for Trump.

Guest Post: Yes, It Is a Problem That There Is Not a Single Woman in the Spring Fling Lineup

Bernstein ’13, a senior and former member of Spring Fling Committee, reflects on male domination in the Wesleyan music scene—and how it can be changed.

Riot grrrl supergroup Wild Flag performs at Eclectic in October 2011. Photo by Rachel Pincus ’13.

Ally Bernstein ’13 offers a critical view on the 2013 Spring Fling lineup, weighing in on an argument that appeared in the comments section of Thursday night’s announcement post:

As I struggle to match words to my experience, I recall the last time someone wrote an article critical of the gender imbalance in the Wesleyan music scene. Avery Trufelman ’13 wrote a Wespeak in 2010 in response to our general feelings of malaise as well as an upsetting incident of sexual assault at a Titus Andronicus concert. And while she wrote it during the beginning of our sophomore year, as a senior, I wonder how much has changed. At the recent, excellent Potty Mouth concert in the WestCo Café, an overwhelmingly male audience turned out to watch four punk ladies from Northampton churn out sweetly melodic lo-fi tunes. Spring Fling Committee is 72% male. The Spring Fling lineup is 100% male. The majority of campus bands are still male.

Since the Potty Mouth show, I’ve tried to figure out why. Why don’t more female Wesleyan students attend shows, and why don’t more female Wesleyan students play shows? Why are women not engaged by what Wesleyan has to offer? In 2012 I visited a friend living in Olympia, Washington, birthplace of riot grrrl and home base of Kathleen Hanna, who spoke at Wesleyan in 2010. I attended a show at my friend’s house, and every single band out of the four that played had at least one non-male member. Many had more. Not only did these ladies kill it, but the atmosphere in the crowded living room was electric. Men and women and non-binary folks were all feeding off the positive energy of dedicated people making good music. During that trip, I sat in on some band practices where people of all genders were collaborating and sharing and just figuring things out. The attitude was infectious.

Point/Counterpoint: No, Tobacco Sales Should Not Be Banned on University Property

“This proposal has me questioning what it really means to attend a university committed to diversity.”

T-minus one hour until the WSA commences its discussion of a proposed ban on the sale of tobacco products on University-owned property. As promised, here’s a counterpoint opinion against the proposed resolution courtesy of Charlie Smith ’15, founder of Wes Students for a Free Society:

Tonight the WSA will vote on a potential ban on the sale of tobacco products by Wesleyan tenants. In other words, the WSA will vote as to whether or not you should be able to buy cigarettes from Neon Deli.

This proposal has me confused. It has me questioning what it really means to attend a university committed to diversity. I would think that “Diversity University” entails the celebration or at least the acceptance of any lifestyles that students may have as long as they do not hurt others. Whether we agree with their choices or not, we cherish their right to make them and accept that what is right for one may not be for another. Many of us hope to see our commitment to diversity embodied in our classes, in our clubs, and, yes, in our stores.

Point/Counterpoint: Should Tobacco Sales Be Banned on University Property?

“The document is about aligning the commercial decisions of the University with the values it espouses.”

Well, should they? That’s the subject of a WSA General Assembly meeting tonight in Usdan 108, where President Roth ’78 will make a not-so-surprise appearance and is willing “to talk about anything you want.” (Including Hegel.) (And Freud.) The meeting is at 7 p.m., and maybe I’ll see you there, because it just occurred to me I’ve never been to a WSA meeting before in my life.

According to the Argus, the WSA’s Student Affairs Committee recently proposed to ban the sale of tobacco products on all University-owned properties, a category that most notably includes popular cigarette supplier Neon Deli. In fact it was committee chair Nicole Updegrove ’14, not the committee itself, who proposed the resolution (update: The Argus has amended their article to reflect this distinction), and in a brief email interview with Wesleying, Updegrove defends her controversial resolution against opponents.

Have opinions of your own about the resolution? Good. Consider going to the meeting tonight, where the Assembly will be asembling in a most assembly-like fashion. We’ll highlight a counterpoint from a student against the proposal later today. Here’s our interview with Updegrove:

Valentine’s Day Post-Mortem, Part One: In Defense of Valentine’s Day

Or, “Why You Are Actually In Love and Just Didn’t Realize It”

sayanything

Yes, that’s President Roth ’78 gazing up at Clark Hall longingly in 1977.

Valentine’s Day seems to have gone out of fad. It’s a day to bemoan, moan, eat chocolate, buy into or cynically quip about commercialization of holidays, and generally feel bad about another year having gone by without finding that special someone.

But it’s time to give Valentine’s Day the justice it deserves.

Wesleyan is awash in couple celebration today. Wesleyan University Facebook posts like this, for “Love Bugs” alumni to tell their couple story, and Argus articles like this and this, about what to do if you are single or in a couple on Valentine’s Day, or Argus polls about nominating the sexiest single are symptoms of obsessive culture around a single/couple dichotomy. At a campus where we like to toss around words like “messing up the heteronormative patriarchy,” maybe we could turn an eye to the relationship one.

Because even if you’re not in love with someone, or even if your love is missing reciprocation, Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate all of the love—all of it. It can be a day to honor, celebrate, and proudly blast the stereo over your head for the love that does not fit perfectly into the typical monogamous couple picture we all seem to be myopically stuck on. If your life does not match coupledom, you have not failed—you can still be happy, and it does not mean that you are out of love. If your life does, there are still some unconventional love valentines to be given out this year.

WesleyingSpeak: Tragedy and Facebook Statuses

I wrote an essay this afternoon, at roughly 2:30 PM, mostly out of frustration and a kind of helplessness. It is my hope that people will identify with these feelings and that, whatever form grief takes, we will continue the essential constructive dialogue that today’s events call for.

We no longer huddle around the television to learn about national news. As the piece below relates, what we do now is experience news in what I believe is a bizarre and fragmentary way. National tragedies amplify this strangeness. Grief is to be shared. With whom? What does it mean to “share” in the Facebook age?

Anti-Scalia Wespeaks: reactions, aggression, and Mytheos o.0?

In case you didn’t pick up the Argus yesterday (or up to this point, for that matter), you probably didn’t get to see the rather interestingly formatted multi-singular-plural-whatever Wespeak penned by a number of Wesstudents (and an alum) speaking out against Scalia’s impending visit to Wesleyan.

Now, when it first came out, our Dear Leader Zach sent his flying monkeys to compel us Wesleying bloggers to pick up and comment on it. Unfortunately, in the last 12 hours or so, we did not. And it seems that an old friend, Mytheos Holt ’10 (pictured right), whom you may remember as Wesleyan Conservative extraordinaire and local troll-muffin, has beaten us to the chase.

Writing for the conservative online news and opinion platform The Blaze, Holt provides a considerable play-by-play of the Wespeaks. In an interesting turn that possibly had something to do with the editorial staff, it proved remarkably neutral for Holt’s standards.

Click here for Holt’s article, which conveniently links to the four Wespeaks that are up on the Argus website. If you’re interested in some choice morsels both within and without Holt’s article, check us out after the jump.

Also, what do you folks think about all anti-Scalia fist-waving? Sound out in the comments below.

Snowpinions

Isn’t wordplay awesome? Yes, you’re right: it is! Anyway, you may have noticed some white stuff out there (it’s brown some places too).  For those of you unfamiliar, it’s snow.  And here’s what students think, as posted to the Wesleyan YouTube page:

Note the WesCeleb at 0:42, who very rightly so points out that the snow is very aesthetically pleasing (if you don’t know who that is, you should).  Judging by my Facebook news feed, not everyone is happy with the snow.  But one thing’s for sure, no one is less happy than the people in the Butts without hot water.  Also, here’s something I found aesthetically pleasing not too long ago: