Welcome to the fifth installment of Ask Wesleying, an advice column about any and all things Wes! Have a question about life at Wes? Submit it to get it answered in Ask Wesleying! You can find all of the Ask Wesleying columns here.
This week’s question is about the most mysterious housing option available to sophomores:
I recently heard about some kind of housing in the butts that sounds vaguely like cope (co-op? coop?) for sophomores. Something about living with 5 of your friends on your own little hall. Is this real? Is it a good option for sophomores? How the hell do you say it?
You can read the answer to this week’s question below the jump!
Lotus House is located at 356 Washington Street
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.
GRS numbers are now out and I’m assuming the entire Class of 2018’s friend groups have now shifted. Yeah yeah yeah, rising sophomores and juniors do GRS too but it’s not that deep for y’all, I promise. Unless this happens to you. For the ~670 seniors who will live in wood frame houses next year, you now have 167 options to choose from.
In the past, after GRS numbers were released, rising seniors would have to look through every single house and floor plan in their group size on the ResLife website to rank their preferences.
But Avi Stein ’17 and some folks at the QAC have developed a new online tool that makes it SO MUCH EASIER to sort through houses. In case you haven’t read your email and are totally clueless, here’s a summary from a ResLife email:
“Flavors, flavors, flavors.”
I donned my most floral of floral shirts and ducked out to Zonker Harris Day earlier today to get some pictures for the blog. The six hour music fest started sometime around 12 with sets from Hex Grrls and Laszlo. I arrived just after at the beginning of Tasty Desert Creatures’ set.
I was pleased to see that the Zonker Harris Day banner made a reappearance after a troubling absence. I began hearing rumors that the banner, which seems to disappear every year, was stolen in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. The thieves only left a single note that read “Nirvana? That’s the place where the powers that be and their friends hang out.” But yeah, I’m glad someone sorted all that out before showtime.
Dan Beats gave his final performance ever at around 1PM. Here’s a video of his farewell:
Earlier today, members of Music House sent a letter to Wesleying proposing that Music House remain in 200 High Street next school year, sharing the space with the newly-approved Movement House. The letter cites the building’s status as the largest residential concert venue on campus as indirectly creating a workload that is too great for one house manager to maintain, giving specific examples from experiences within Music House that happened last semester. As of now, Movement House will be the only program house occupying the space next year.
The letter says that the residents of Music House who are not satisfied with ResLife’s standing decision to move the program house into a shared space with Full House for next school year and are therefore endorsing the proposal for sharing 200 High with Movement House, are hoping to meet with Movement House residents this Friday. Read past the jump for the full-text of the letter:
On Wednesday night, the WSA held a town hall meeting to have a campus wide conversation about Eclectic and the future of 200 High Street, which is currently Music House. According to Director of ResLife Fran Koerting, Eclectic originally lost their program housing status after repeatedly failing to get a 16 out of 21 on the URLC’s housing assessment and being put on probation, with the final straw being the application from last fall.
The meeting was attended by a variety of students, some who are still a part of Eclectic, others who were in Eclectic but have since left, and many students who are not members of Eclectic as well. Ultimately, the URLC voted not to let Eclectic obtain program house status for the 2017-2018 school year. There were 0 votes in favor, 4 opposed, 2 abstentions, and 1 recusal. The future of 200 High will be considered separately by the URLC, and they have said that they will take the wider campus community’s opinion strongly into consideration.
Weigh in on the future of Wesleyan program houses!
Anyone who submitted a program house proposal will be presenting their proposal this Friday, November 18th, 2-4 pm in Judd 116. We’ll be collecting feedback from URLC (Undergraduate Residential Life Committee) members and community members who attend, and we will use this feedback, as well as an electronic survey to be sent out to all students, to make our decisions about houses.
Date: Friday, November 18th
Place: Judd 116
The former Turath House
It’s official: ResLife is looking to create new program houses. This happens every couple of years, for one administrative reason or another. In 2008, ResLife called for proposals for new houses, and in January of 2009, Music House and Farm House were approved. Calls for proposals also occurred in the Fall of 2012, which led to the creation of Art House.
Lizzie Shackney ’17, chair of the WSA Student Life Committee and co-chair of the Undergraduate Residential Life Committee (URLC) explains the general process:
Students or groups of students will fill out a proposal that includes a series of questions that we’ll all approve ahead of time. They also submit a list of 30 potential residents with contact information.
After that, URLC reviews the proposals, and students will have the opportunity to present their house ideas to the committee. We then deliberate and come to our decisions, which are informed by conversations with students and an understanding of the role that current program houses are playing on campus.
Additionally, current program houses will be given the opportunity to move to new locations. Program house proposals, for the most part, should be open to any potential residence and there’s no option to specify location.
Not that, in this process, completely new houses can be formed and existing houses can move to new spaces. The addresses being opened up for this round of proposals are 202 Washington Street (currently Recess House), Turath House (on Pearl St.), 34 Lawn Avenue (formerly Chinese House), and 230 Washington Street (currently Art House).
After confusing deliberations between the administration and ResLife student staff, program houses can now host only as many concerts and parties as it hosts program-specific events.
The Office of Residential Life has imposed a new policy governing the use of Program Houses as concert and party venues for the Fall 2016 semester. The new policy states that Program Houses are permitted to host one concert or social event for every mission-based program held each month.
What is a mission-based program? Well, each program house on campus has a Mission Statement that can be found on ResLife’s website, and mission-based programs are events that are organized by either the House Manager or other residents of the house and reported to ResLife as contributing to that particular house’s mission. These events are just one of many factors that ResLife considers when evaluating whether a house can remain in good standing with the University and thus keep its program housing status.
As per the factors linked above, HMs must report/organize at least 3 mission-based programs each month. I reached out to the director of ResLife, Fran Koerting, for a statement of the policy and its implications. Based on her research, the new policy should not have any effect on the number of concerts held on campus on any given weekend. Read on for her statement in-full:
Last semester, students campaigned against Eclectic’s history of enabling racism and sexual violence with images like this.
NOTE: Updates are provided at the bottom of the post.
Thursday night, we received knowledge that Fran Koerting, Director of Reslife has reached out to the residents of Music House offering the program house the space of 200 High Street, home to Eclectic Society since 1906, for the 2016-2017 academic year. Koerting confirmed this at 12:15PM today and said that an announcement email will be sent around early this afternoon.
The residents of Music House, after discussion, decided that they would accept Reslife’s offer for the space, which the University has owned since the 1970s when Eclectic alumni sold the house to Wesleyan for $1. When asked about offering the space of 200 High Street, Fran Koerting stated: