Above you’ll find a brand new video interview with Griffin Gallati ’15, fictional ten-year-old astronomy and music major who holds several jobs on campus and is reported to be “one of Wesleyan’s more unique students.” Subtly nestled into Wesleyan’s homepage yesterday, it was a valiant effort—and clearly took an admirable amount of work on the part of whomever Wesleyan pays to feed into student narcissism every weekday with a video camera—but let’s just say Oberlin wins this round, probably forever. Presenting the Oberlin (err, Meowberlin) homepage, as it appeared yesterday, April 1:
Not long after Wesleyan’s own “Diversity University” panel followed on hateful remarks on the ACB and racial identification in Public Safety reports, Oberlin College is experiencing its share of diversity-related conflict.
The liberal arts college in Oberlin, OH, received reports this morning of “a person wearing a hood and robe resembling a KKK outfit between South and the Edmonia Lewis Center and in the vicinity of Afrikan Heritage House.” Shortly after, the college officially cancelled classes for the day, and students acted quickly to organize a “day of solidarity.”
Oberlin has reportedly been experiencing numerous accounts of hate-related issues recently. According to Arianna Gil Oberlin ’15, an active organizer in the “day of solidarity,” the past month has seen many “threats, attacks, defacement, and graffiti” against students of color and queer students.
This page offers a detailed timeline of the incidents of hate from February.
When asked about whether the suspects are students, Gil responded, “No one really knows who they are. I have my thoughts.”
Note to Wes: here’s how to make NSM credits less of a chore.
Because Quantum Mechanics and dadaist performance art go together like peas and carrots, Columbia University Professor of Physics, Emlyn Hughes, was spotted yesterday stripping to his boxers, donning a hoodie and sunglasses, attacking a stuffed animal with a samurai sword, and assuming the fetal position to the tune of Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot”—all in front of a full lecture class. Oh, and apparently ninjas and puppets were involved in the harrowing display, too. At any rate, it turns out the only effective way to learn Quantum Mechanics is to “strip to your raw, erase all the garbage from your brain, and start over again.”
What’s the Twittersphere saying about the Times piece? Click past the jump.
A weekend New York Times article covers Wesleyan’s change in admissions policy, giving a national and international platform to some of the activism surrounding need blind here on campus. With little communication to the alumni and larger Wesleyan community about the recent change in admissions policy, for many alums this could be the first they hear of the policy shift, a topic we’ve been abuzz with for months. Not only did my mom text me this morning to check the article out, but other people are wildly sharing it, too: it is listed in the top-emailed articles on the NYT website, and the tweeting world is hot on the topic.
The article cites financial instability as threatening diversity at small elite colleges, specifically Wesleyan and Grinnell. Small schools like our own have been steadily raising tuition, while families are increasingly unable to meet rising costs in a weak economy. Richard Perez-Pena writes,
As a result, more students need financial aid than did a few years ago, they need much more of it on average, and colleges have fewer resources with which to provide it, though a major expansion of the federal Pell Grant program has made up some of the difference.
Wesleyan is described as having “had the most heated recent debate.” Disappointingly, then, no students are quoted in the piece, but President Roth gives a shout out to student activism, saying “I applaud the students’ commitment to our values,” and adds, “I did not think that the economic model we were using would be sustainable in even the midterm, over the next decade.” This is out of character given his recent confrontations with chalking Wesleyan students and Nemo Allen ’12 from Democracy Now!. Links in the NYT article direct readers to two Argus articles about student activism surrounding the barge-in at the Trustee meeting and protest at the Homecoming football game. Additional coverage here and here. Added to this semester’s memorably heated moments—but unmentioned in the Times—are the artistic chalk bomb, Alumni letter asking to withhold alumni donations, and parent assembly infiltrations.
“We wanted to bring [?uestlove] in because we felt he should really be a professor.”
Remember that time Wesleyan snagged celebrated alum Dar Williams ’89 to return to campus to teach a course on Music Movements in a Capitalist Democracy and then Williams went and got Peter Yarrow, co-writer of “Puff the Magic Dragon,” to show up on campus and lead a raucous protest singalong in Zelnick while holding hands with Adam Rotstein ’13?
NYU’s one-upped us. No, not another Lil B lecture. This time they got ?uestlove to co-teach a course at the Tisch School of the Arts this spring. Just call him Professor ?uesto:
— Questo of The Roots (@questlove) October 16, 2012
Wilbur Fisk Osborne Professor of English Henry Abelove retired from Wesleyan in 2011 after thirty-something years, but he’s not done teaching yet. The intensely beloved (err, abeloved) faculty member (whose revered Walden FYI BZOD was lucky enough to take) will instead be making history at Harvard—his alma mater—where he will fill the first endowed faculty position for LGBTQ studies in the United States. A one-semester position, the F.O. Matthiessen Visiting Professor of Gender and Sexuality will be tasked with teaching courses on LGBTQ issues. As the Harvard Crimson reports, it was made possible by a $1.5 million endowment raised by the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus:
Lecturer on History and Literature Timothy P. McCarthy ‘93, who has served on the HGLC board since 2006, coordinated the event that honored Abelove as the first Matthiessen visiting professor.
“Since the HGLC took part in the fundraising for the creation of the Matthiessen Chair, I thought it was really important that we have something to welcome professor Abelove back to Harvard after all these years,” McCarthy said. “It’s a big achievement to have raised $1.5 million to endow a chaired professorship.”
Cornell’s back at it. This week, in addition to the sheer public-defecation epicness of the Avicii concert, Cornell’s very own “Cameron Knight” shot and starred in her first (we assume) one-woman porn show. In the university’s engineering library of all places. Gawker had this to say:
In the video, a young blonde woman, possibly Miss Knight, records herself on a laptop webcam wanking and masturbating in broad daylight while seated at a public work station. The library is largely deserted but for one other student, who appears to be working (or maybe also wanking and masturbating) at a table in the background. Based on the emptiness of the library, and the fact that the video was uploaded to a hosting site in August, EzraBoard users have deduced that it must have been shot over Cornell’s summer term, when the school is populated by a scant mix of over- and under-achievers.
And you thought Cornell couldn’t get any more lame?
In possibly the most embarrassing story to come out of Cornell since the hilarious 2009 administrative email chain sex scandal, six people were hospitalized at a recent Avicii show on the campus. The Swedish DJ played a set for Cornell’s homecoming weekend, which turned into a drunken, ecstasy-filled shitshow. Literally, someone apparently “defecated in the bleachers” while another girl was “grabbed under her skirt twice while she was waiting in line.” Anyone who is familiar with the culture surrounding Avicii’s music probably has a high school friend that goes to Syracuse or Indiana and maybe studied abroad in Barcelona. Seriously, the music is not terribly popular on Wesleyan’s campus, which is not to say we don’t have some passionate outliers fighting for their cause. But most of our rowdy ‘n out of line behavior is usually reserved for more ironic and cool acts (read: cool is an objective and absolute term determined by the author of this post).
Most of the students were either rolling face or apparently very drunk, but according to student testimonials, “That just made things better.”
Is nothing sacred? Over at NESCAC neighbors Trinity, the Trinity College Quirks have put their own spin on “Call Me Maybe,” the Carly Rae Jepsen song-turned-meme that infiltrated your skull matter all summer long. This may well be the biggest pop culture breakthrough since 50 Shades of Grey popped up on a Brown Sociology syllabus.
For better or for worse, we seem to be living in a clothed era here at Wesleyan. Gone are the days of Art House naked parties (and Art House, for that matter). Gone, too, is the infamous annual Eclectic sex party. There are still whispers about WestCo being clothing-optional, but aside from the occasional streakers or Olin prank, people aren’t exactly running around campus in the nude. Our reputation precedes us.
Is there a stigma around nudity here? Possibly. For those of us who want to combat that stigma, maybe naked parties aren’t the way to go. We can derive inspiration from Brown, where a nude art series called “Nudity in the Upspace” took the stage this week. According to a Brown Daily Herald article, Brown juniors Becca Wolinsky and Camila Pacheco-Fores designed the series to feature “an array of events including yoga, body painting and scenes from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, all conducted entirely in the nude.”
In the article, the creators of the series explained that they hoped to foster appreciation for all body types and to “help themselves and others become more comfortable with their own bodies.” There were also discussions about the “power dynamics of being clothed versus being naked” and the creators’ inspiration for the series.