Tag Archives: scott plous

Professors on the Election

Several of our professors have been called upon by the mainstream media in the past few weeks to talk about the election:

  • Anthropology/AFAM Professor Gina Ulysse on Michelle Obama as an exceptional model of a professional black woman in the Hartford Courant.
  • Psychology Professor Scott Plous on how biases affect perception, as evidenced in this year’s election season, in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Government Professor Elvin Lim and History/American Studies Professor Claire Potter suggesting what President-elect Obama should add to his reading list, in Inside Higher Ed.

Wes-related stuff people have sent in lately

More interesting summer time-wasting tidbits:

  • Remember IraqTheVote, an online petition (but a legitimate petition!) started by Wesleyan psych prof Scott Plous? It has a simple idea: let Iraqis vote on whether the American military should get out of Iraq or not. Jon Golbe ’06 (Jewno, Chicks in the City) points out that IraqTheVote was references in the New York Times economics blog, Freakonomics:

    They came up with a great name: IraqTheVote.org. They’ve gotten 3,000 people to sign their petition so far. Strangely enough, 1,500 of these are professors, including Nobel Prize winning economist Kenneth Arrow.

  • RadarOnline had an article yesterday on its front page trying to determine “just how far a famous name will take you.” One scenario involved creating a fictional person – the son of Mr. Quiznos, of Quiznos Subs – and having him try to arrange special tours and the like at Wesleyan. They have two pages of a phone conversation with a Wes admissions officer:

    His SAT scores are a bit lower than the median there. You don’t have a minimum cutoff, do you?
    We don’t. It depends on what he or she can bring to the class.

    A 1,620 out of 2,400. It’s a bit below the median, and his grades have been uneven throughout his high school career. And the other serious thing is, he had some shoplifting issues about a year and a half ago that haven’t come up since then, but they were over the course of several months. Is it worth his applying—the low grades, the low SATs, the shoplifting, do those things disqualify him from the start?
    I don’t think they necessarily disqualify him off the bat. Is this someone who’s able to show redemption? The admissions process is a very holistic process. We look at you from your grades to your recommendations to what you’ve shown that you’re capable of doing. We don’t see it as a one-factor kind of thing. If you want to say, “I want a second chance to prove that I’m a better person than what my records show,” then I think they’re willing to look at you in that sense and say, “Okay, we’re gonna give you this chance.”

    read more

    All in all, his treatment doesn’t sound that different from most students’; the admissions office always wants lots of people to apply (even if they’re underqualified) since it increases their yield. Sad but true. Except for the whole private tour and meeting with President Roth thing.

  • Erik Underwood ’09 wants to let us know that “At least four Wesleyan Students were at the Obama rally tonight in St. Paul. Names include Erik Underwood, Adam Paulson, Oliver Utne and a couple others. Wes We can!!!”
  • Alex Levy ’08 brings to our attention that “there are FINALLY new pictures on Wesleyan’s homepage!! After seven years, they’ve updated the slideshow.” Recognize anyone?
  • Jenn Cheng ’11 tells us about the Hewitt Award, named after Hugh Hewitt (relation to Joseph Hewitt of Wesleyan dormitory fame unknown). It’s an award to honor “the most egregious attempts to label Barack Obama as un-American, alien, treasonous, and far out of the mainstream of American life and politics” and reserved for “those that border on hilarious extremity.”
    An example is found in Gregg Polowitz criticism of Obama last night:

    U2’s “Beautiful Day” is playing at the Barack Obama rally. No Americans write music Obama likes?

  • MGMT is *everywhere.* I’m not going to post everything Wesleying readers have sent in, but coverage about them is in JUICE Singapore (“the MGMT two have amassed a collection of Technicolour-ed daydreams that appropriately sparkle with a wild ambition and imagination”) and TheMusic.FM; their music is found playing in television commercials and in malls, and their “Electric Feel” video is sometimes linked from the promoted videos section on Youtube. Seriously, they’re everywhere.