It’s 4:15 AM on Sunday morning, that period of time when it’s half super late on Saturday and half super early on Sunday, and the piercing sounds of Lotus House’s fire alarm startle me awake. At first I think this sound is my roommate’s alarm clock, which annoys me, but when the way-too-loud screeching persists for about a minute, I figure I should probably leave the room. I’m still too drowsy to realize that I’m forgetting a jacket, shoes, and my phone – a rookie mistake.
My hallmates and I head down the stairs, and contrary to our quick assumption that somebody was either cooking or smoking, we see a lot of smoke accumulating around the first floor that smells like either some crazy chemical or like somebody’s burning their hair. Anything is possible in Lotus House. We wait outside the house until the fire department comes, at which point we’re all like, Yay they can turn off the alarm and let us back in to sleep! But then after a couple minutes PSafe is basically like, Sike! This is gonna take a while.
It’s freezing outside, so they put us in the workshop-garage-annex-type building next to the house, and we wait for about an hour before conclusively being told that the furnace in the basement caught fire and that it ignited some of the house’s super old insulation, hence that chemically smell. Oh and by the way – it’s leaking carbon monoxide. Gotta love it. “It,” of course, being the act of getting poisoned while you sleep in the residential area you pay thousands of dollars per semester to sleep in. But I digress.
On a typical weekend night, a Wes student can find themselves at a WestCo pregame, an Earth house concert, a DKE dance party, and the fountain backyards. But since the beginning of this school year, there have been fewer parties at Wesleyan. As a disgruntled student looking to have a good time, I set out to find the reason. I interviewed many Wesleyan students, administrators, Psafe officers, and fire safety officials and their stories revealed a complex picture. Essentially, there is a declining number of parties because of new maximum capacity rules in wood frame houses, a smaller fraternity presence, and program houses that are unable to fill the party void.
Officers “were using a cell phone to take pictures of the student where they live through a window.” WFSB 3 Connecticut
Though details are scarce, students have been understandably shaken by the recent news that two Public Safety officers have been fired for “the surreptitious viewing and possibly the video recording of a female student in her residence.” The fact that this follows closely on other alleged cases of Public Safety misconduct, ranging from theft to physically assaulting a student, certainly doesn’t help.
A WFSB Eyewitness Newsvideo report on the incident offers some clarity as to how this took place. According to the report, the officers were using a cell phone through a campus window to record the student:
Sources told Eyewitness News this was not a sophisticated setup. In fact, they were believed to be using something that most of us already have – a smartphone.
The public safety officers were using a cell phone to take pictures of the student where they live through a window without that individual knowing it.
Coming at you from the world’s sexiest peer health educator, Jeanne McPhee ’13:
The annual quest for sexual health knowledge and prizes comes at you tomorrow at lunch in Usdan.
Race a buddy in a condom race, learn how to guard yourself from stalkers, and take photos using sexy consent phrases. Along the way, collect prizes and give-a-ways from each of the tables scattered around Usdan. If you visit all of the stations, you will be entered into a drawing to win a high end sex toy likethis, this, orthis!
Come join us, you sexy folk you.
Date: Thursday, April 25 Time: 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM Place: Usdan Tables
If you’ve checked your email in the past hour, you’ll have noticed a fresh, warm email about the retirement of Dave Meyer sitting in your inbox. Yes, you read that correctly: after 33 years of working for Wesleyan’s Office of Public Safety (seven of which were spent as its director), Mr. Meyer will be saying goodbye to Wes.
I wish to inform you that David Meyer, director of Public Safety, has announced that he will retire from Wesleyan effective June 30, 2013.
Dave has been a Wesleyan employee for 33 years and has held every position within the Office of Public Safety from officer to director. He oversaw the Commencement visit of presidential candidate Barack Obama to Wesleyan, and he has guided Public Safety through many other campus events – ranging from the most difficult and tragic to logistically challenging storms to visits from dignitaries and celebrities.
Dave is secretary of the Northeast College and University Security Association and is president of the Connecticut chapter of the International College Law Enforcement Association. For the past six years, he has participated in running the Wesleyan Open, a fundraiser for local charities.
Farewell, Dave! I’m sure you’ve been looking forward to one last Foss Hill spring before bidding us adieu.
I never had a plan for this movie. All I knew was that I wanted to make a documentary about Public Safety. After having gotten approval from the organization, my first instinct was to humanize P-Safe, as it is an institution that is generally maligned by the student body. A wave of on-campus assaults had just occurred within a single week, and I was interested to discover what P-Safe was doing to handle the situation and protect students. But the alerts P-Safe had sent out described the suspects as “African-American” and “male,” and unbeknownst to me at the time, these email alerts were met with a slew of racial hatred on Wesleyan’s Anonymous Confession Board. It was then revealed that a P-Safe officer had allegedly assaulted a black Wesleyan student. A week later, a forum on student diversity and equality was held in Wesleyan’s Beckham Hall.
These conflicts and contradictions form the basis of Billinkoff’s film, which largely speaks for itself. It’s only twelve minutes, so watch it after the jump.
During the Q&A of Justice Scalia several students stood up wearing yellow jump suits and black hoods. They were told to leave by PSAFE and escorted away.
EDIT from wieb$ (a member of the protest): I was told to sit down or exit or I would be put in front of the Judicial Board; I refused to respond and was then forcibly removed. Look for a post from our perspective (including the police/PSAFE/administrative improprieties we encountered as well as videos/photos) at some point tomorrow (?) (after this damn CSS paper is finished).
For anyone who hasn’t heard, 200 Church has been evacuated and the building is currently locked. Rumor has it that the building has gotten somewhat chilly. Rumor also has it that the building may stay chilly for several more days. According to ResLife, all residents were notified in person; however, other sources indicate that some residents were notified by word-of-mouth, or not at all. Residents, call PSafe (860 685 2345) with any questions.
Rumor also indicates that there is now a waiting list for dorm lounges for coldpersons to sleep in, but ResLife has assured me that this is quite false. Call ResLife by 11pm tonight to have them place you in a lounge. The normal ResLife number appears to be out of commission; call PSafe and ask them to transfer you to ResLife.
Stay warm everybody, and good luck tomorrow. May the Force be with you.
Since crash last reported on the whole Beta-gate situation, there’s been a whole lot of chatter ‘round these here cyber-space parts. The comments section on that post was completely balls out with emotion (as well as sarcasm), and the ACB’s been in a flurry with opinions being volleyed from left and right. Chatter has even spilled over to the pages of the Argus, where the editorial as well as my esteemed colleague lesanjuanspoke out against the issue. Of course, it’s problematic to hold up these specific sources and take them to be representative of the student body’s general discourse – what with the ACB being the seedy Chlamydia-filled internet back-alley it is and the total amount of written responses being miniscule in number compared to the actual number of Wesleyan students.
But it cannot be denied that the voices making themselves heard do raise some rather pressing issues that have concerned us before and should concern us now. Whether those voices fairly represent the views of the entire student body or not, these are issues that affect all of us both in terms of our conduct and in terms of the ideals we’re apparently supposed to hold, if not now then eventually.