Andrew Trexler ’14 and Michael “President” Roth ’78 want to know what on Earth you’re doing here. Want to let them know? Your chance is tonight.
“As an elite liberal arts institution, Wesleyan can often look very similar to its peers (whoever they are). And yet, we at Wesleyan generally believe that Wes is unique, is the best. What is it that distinguishes us from our peer schools? What are our comparative strengths, and what are our comparative weaknesses? In other words, why Wesleyan? And how can we improve?” We hope that you can join us and give your recommendation for Wesleyan’s future.
Attendance at events like these proves to administrators that students care and want to have a voice. So if you have the chance, prove it.
Date: Tuesday, April 16
Place: PAC 002
In celebrating President Roth’s birthday, we are sharing a timeline of his illustrious life.
Springtime is in the air and Foss Hill is alive with cheer on this glorious April day, a day full of historic occasions, none of them so grandiose as the 56th birthday of everyone’s favorite part-time university administrator and full-time historian of the history of psychological thought, Michael S. Roth ’78. While Wesleying is not privy to the full week of gala celebrations probably kicking off tonight with a Freud-themed costume party at the presidential residence, we do want to share in the cheer by looking back on President Roth’s illustrious life and career. Courtesy of Wesleyan Ampersand historians Piers Gelly ’13 and Benjamin Soloway ’13, here is a rough timeline of Michael S. Roth, interspersed with visual tributes that some of our readers and fans have sent in. (Some of the images are also via The Ampersand.) We have also changed our banner for the occasion.
Want to wish President Roth a happy birthday yourself? You can do so on Facebook, where he is, like, 92% guaranteed to accept your friend request. You can also do him the favor of fixing a “Citation needed!” alert for his date of birth on Wikipedia, which bans citing Facebook in articles. You can also follow him on Twitter or hit up his blog or read this Bomb Magazine interview or watch a video of him hanging out with Judith Butler.
“Diversity and Inclusion” will be theme for next fall’s Orientation, fall Board of Tustees retreat
In an all-campus email update yesterday, President Roth sent word that Public Safety will no longer include racial identifications in its safety alerts, an issue that has become increasingly contentious since Homecoming Weekend, when a sudden rash of safety incidents all described assailants as “African-American males.” The move has been recommended by a Public Safety Review Committee, which consists of students, faculty, and staff members. From Roth’s note:
The committee has recommended that Public Safety modify campus safety alerts to provide descriptions of suspects without using race as a descriptor, and Public Safety has adopted this practice. The committee continues to review the department’s policies and protocols, web presence, and schedule of trainings. Ensuring that there is a clear path for reporting concerns to the department is important.
Roth’s attention to issues of diversity and racial profiling follows closely on November’s “Diversity University” forum, where the topic of alleged racial profiling took center stage, alongside claims of Public Safety misconduct (most notably, an incident involving Paulie Lowther ’13), hateful ACB remarks, and diversity sensitivity in general. A number of students of color took the microphone at that event, describing being singled out for suspicion and unwarranted hostility. “It’s your responsibility not only to protect us, but to get to know us,” a student demanded to Director of Public Safety Dave Meyer. A heated exchange followed between Meyer, who insisted that Public Safety is required by Connecticut law to include racial identifications in email alerts, and Visiting Professor of English and African-American Studies Sarah Mahurin, who claimed that Yale—where she completed her graduate work—does not include race in its reports. (Meyer disputed this claim; a current Yale law student later verified it in an email to Wesleying.)
Have strong opinions on the tobacco resolution? Get ready to get polled.
Smokers, rejoice: Judgment Day hath been delayed. After much ado, ballyhoo, and brouhaha over a proposed resolution to ban the sale of tobacco on University-owned properties (read: Neon), the Wesleyan Student Assembly decided on Sunday night to table the
sequester cuts vote until polling the student body. No, this doesn’t mean the resolution is going away for good. It does mean that it’s postponed.
“We tabled the vote in order to poll the student body and engage more with the owners of Neon Deli,” explained Student Affairs Committee Chair Nicole Updegrove ’14, who first proposed the resolution, via email. “Many of us, myself included, weren’t willing to vote without more opinions from the student body.”
The proposal quickly sparked some loud, impassioned, and occasionally bizarre arguments in the Wesleying comments section (my favorite one notes that “addiction is the gift that keeps on giving—if we start selling cigarettes at Weshop, Pi, and Usdan, it’ll be a big help to the University’s endowment”), and Updegrove has been quick to respond to some of the angrier voices.
Yes, that’s President Roth chilling in Korea’s Namsan Park with William Choi ’89. According to the @WesConnected Twitter, Roth is wandering through Asia between now and January 18 on a mission to
find himself meet with “alumni and friends” for official Wesleyan business purposes:
You can follow along with Roth’s visit at this Facebook album, which also includes an image of Roth meeting with the Wesleyan Korea (WesKo) alumni group for a discussion of how Wesleyan can “continue to strengthen its global network, raise its visibility among prospect students in Korea, and make curricular advances while working in a more sustainable model.” Apparently more Presidential Receptions are planned in Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong and Bangkok. If you live in one of these cities, please go to one of these events and then send us a selfie with Michael Roth.
In other Roth Dog news, the president’s latest blog post comments on Wesleyan’s impossibly long winter breaks and hints at possible plans for “new January programs” that could definitely get in the way of your day-long Boys Meets World Netflix marathons:
A few weeks ago, commenting on the New York Times’ coverage of Wesleyan’s financial aid woes, we wrote that this was likely the first many alumni were hearing of changes to Wesleyan’s need-blind status. Following a Q&A with the Board of Trustees in November, chairman Joshua Boger ’73 assured A-Batte and me that the great majority of alumni are aware of cuts to need-blind and enthusiastically approve. A new petition by Lana Wilson ’05 suggests otherwise.
“I don’t think any program, building, or department is worth sacrificing an economically diverse student body,” writes Wilson in the petition, which is personally addressed to President Roth via Change.org. “I and everyone who has signed this letter hopes that you will do the right thing, and continue Wesleyan’s practice of admitting the best students possible, rather than those with the most personal wealth.”
“My intent was originally for alumni to sign it, but I’m fine with current students signing it as well,” Wilson explained to me in an email. “Then my plan was to send President Roth a hard copy of the letter with all the signatures at the end.” According to Wilson, Roth receives an email for every signature the petition receives, including any personal message that’s attached. As of writing, the petition has amassed some 246 signatures, ranging from current students to a diverse scattering of alumni, including Beasts of the Southern Wild producer Dan Janvey ’06. The individual messages are particularly affecting. Many speculate that they wouldn’t have been able to attend Wesleyan without need-blind admissions. “Wesleyan falls far short in alumni giving of its competition and this is an issue those of us who love Wesleyan feel strongly about and would impact upon giving,” writes one alum. “Stop being assholes,” chimes in another:
In the wake of the Newtown shooting, should teachers be armed?
One week after the Newtown shooting, the NRA has ended its social media blackout and the national gun policy debate is as bitter as it’s ever been. Thousands of Americans are demanding gun control now, and if you’re reading Wesleying, chances are you agree. But on the gun-owning side of the lobby—the sort of people who follow NRA’s Twitter account in the first place—conservatives demand the opposite: more guns, more concealed carry, more self-defense. (Don’t believe these people are real? Read a few NRA Facebook comments. Go ahead; I’ll wait.) In one heated exchange, Larry Pratt of the Gun Owners of America appeared on Piers Morgan and suggested that gun control advocates are responsible for the massacre. “Since we have concealed carry laws in all of our country now, people can get a concealed firearm,” Pratt argued. “And yet, we have laws that say not in schools.”
Should teachers be armed in the classroom? Could guns in school have saved the lives of 20 children and six teachers? Should America combat guns with—err, more guns?
Over at Tenured Radical, in a post titled “Teachers Are Not Soldiers,” Professor Claire Potter has a response for the pro-gun lobby. In a phrase: “Uh, no.”
Professor Potter describes learning about the Sandy Hook massacre after having just read Jeffrey Goldberg’s December Atlantic piece in favor of more guns. The bulk of her argument revolves around an experience at Wesleyan following the shooting of May, 2009, when a gunman remained on the loose after murdering Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10 in Red & Black Cafe. Wesleyan’s campus went into lockdown, and Potter waited for hours in the Center for the Americas:
You may have heard of the controversy surrounding AEPi and Rho Epsilon Pi’s joint petition to be considered for a spot as a program house. Essentially, 230 Washington, previously Interfaith house, is opening up to become a new program house. Anyone can propose a new theme, given that you get signatures of interested peoples to live in it. Applications are due to ResLife this Friday, November 30.
The issue is that Roth has unilaterally banned AEPi & Rho Ep from applying and presenting their proposal to the committee of students and administrators. Regardless of their specific missions, AEPi and Rho Ep feel that “this is discriminatory and a violation of the program housing application process.” (Full quotation from petition after the jump.)
From the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA):
Please join us on Sunday for our weekly General Assembly meeting, guest-starring President Michael Roth. President Roth traditionally joins us the weekend of a meeting of the Board of Trustees, such as this one. As always, all students are welcome to come participate in the conversation.
Note that this meeting will start at 6:00PM, not 7:00PM as the WSA General Assembly usually meets, in order to accomodate President Roth.
Date: TODAY, Sunday, November 16, 2012
Place: 41 Wyllys, Room 114
Facebook event here.
Last year, I broke the story about a momentous event that should engage all Wesleyan students: Thanksgiving dinner served at Usdan. You can imagine my surprise when my housemate nonchalantly mentioned this afternoon that tonight was the night that it was happening all over again. Was I the only one who’d missed the boat on this one? Could that be possible, given my public support of Bon Appetit? I’m posting here, right before I rush over, to make sure that no one misses out on this culinary experience and cherished Wesleyan tradition. There’s also always the possibility of President Roth serving up your Thanksgiving dinner there tonight. Even if Roth can’t make it, the Usdan tradition of administrators and faculty serving Thanksgiving Dinner will certainly continue this evening. Seriously, you don’t want to miss it.
TIME: 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
PLACE: Usdan Marketplace