As a freshman navigating his first year in college, this fall has become for me a race to assimilate into Wesleyan’s culture as quickly as possible. For some of us more than others, being at Wesleyan is a sometimes overwhelming culture shock. Speaking to many of my fellow classmates, there was a common thread in the desire—and frustration—to feel completely at home and comfortable in the Wesleyan community.
We want to know: Is there a place to wittily interact with the Wesleyan community and share all the tiny facets of campus life that make Wesleyan such a unique school? A safe haven to express yourself without fear that The Man will take you down? A medium to disparage the administration in a humorous, crude and borderline offensive way? A place that isn’t the WesACB? Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, two graduates from Furman University in South Carolina, answered our prayers. Enter Yik Yak.
“What happens when a prep school’s black student president mocks her white male classmates?” a recent BuzzFeed article asks.
Well, she gets ousted as school president and then attends Wesleyan.
Maya Peterson’s tenure at Lawrenceville School, a prep school in New Jersey, focused on bringing awareness to diversity issues, whether that was trying to ease implicit racial tensions or bring gender neutral bathrooms to campus. The trouble started when she and some of her friends posed with their fists in the air in a “black power” photo in their yearbook. After some students complained to the principal about this, Maya instagrammed a photo of herself as a typical “Lawrenceville boi,” teasing her main critics, with hashtags like #romney2016,” “#confederate,” and “#peakedinhighschool.”
“You’re the student body president, and you’re mocking and blatantly insulting a large group of the school’s male population,” one student commented on the photo.
“Yes, I am making a mockery of the right-wing, confederate-flag hanging, openly misogynistic Lawrentians,” Peterson responded. “If that’s a large portion of the school’s male population, then I think the issue is not with my bringing attention to it in a lighthearted way, but rather why no one has brought attention to it before…”
I thought it might be dangerous for a soon-to-be-senior to interview the thesis writers. Could their red, sleepless eyes and stacks of crumpled paper deter me from (hopefully) putting myself in the same predicament next April? Luckily, the thesis writers I interviewed were calm, content, and eager to talk about their work. I did not find any stacks of crumpled paper, but I did find a biography of Nancy Reagan, a photograph of a baby, and two thesis carrels with new inhabitants.
To see more THESISCRAZY features from previous years, check them out here.
Are you a senior thesis writer who wants to get interviewed within the next 2-3 days (cough, any NSM majors, cough)? Email staff(at)wesleying(dot)org!
The students, advisees, mentees, and friends of Professor Sarah Mahurin invite you to watch this testimonial video where they explain how she has shaped their Wesleyan careers and why they think she should stay at Wesleyan University. For further reading and research, check out the profusion of WesSpeaks (therearemany, click on all theselinks), or the article previously posted on Wesleying.
If you have questions, comments, or want to get involved, email Melody Oliphant ’13and Elsa Hardy ’14 at moliphant[at]wesleyan[dot]edu and ehardy[at]wesleyan[dot]edu
I worried last semester about whether I would have the opportunity to take a course in the spring with Professor Sarah Mahurin. The last class I took with her was the highlight of my semester; I didn’t want to miss my chance this year before she leaves for Bard College. When I got back to campus, the first place I saw Professor Mahurin was not in class, but in the Freeman Athletic Center. It was Saturday and she had watched a track meet, the women’s basketball game, and the men’s basketball game. Her dedication to her former and current students, both inside and outside the classroom, is what makes Professor Mahurin a cut above what we expect from our teachers. She has certainly shaped my college experience and, I know, the experience of many others. My Wesleyan would not exist without her. #ThisIsWhy Wesleyan must keep Professor Mahurin on faculty. Melody Oliphant ’13 (perhaps known better here as Melodious) has written a beautiful testimony to Professor Mahurin’s work, which better explains how she has contributed to our University and why she is such an integral part of campus. Please read, share, and sign our petition. Below is Oliphant’s account:
Prez Obama is running away with our #ThisIsWhy campaign.
What do you do when the leader of the free world hijacks your hashtag campaign? Barack Obama recently launched a new site featuring stories on why health care (reform) matters. The tagline’s Twitter-translation? #ThisisWhy.
It all began on January 1st, with Virginia.
Virginia may be able to go to the doctor again but does she have anything on James W. Thomasson ’63, an alum who gives us this story as part of Wesleyan’s #ThisIsWhy campaign?
At the age of eight, in socially divided Middleburg, Virginia, I was “reported” to my mother by a neighborhood “wag” for playing in the street with “John Henry”—yes, a ten-year-old black boy. As big a disgrace as that must have been for the neighbor, it paled in comparison to the embarrassment of my mother and the rage of my father.
Jake Eichengreen ’13 reminds those of you who will be nocturnal this week:
As always, drip coffee at Espwesso is free when you bring your own cup (although donations to cover the cost of beans are always encouraged and accepted). We’re open our usual hours this week for finals – Sunday to Thursday, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. – so come on down to the basement of Allbritton to caffeinate yourself for studying!
In other exciting news, we’re now offering coffee and espresso roasted by New Harvest Coffee in Pawtucket, RI. We will be featuring a range of drip coffees from them this week, from all around the globe. This new partnership has opened a lot of opportunities for the cafe and coffee at Wesleyan – look forward to all sorts of awesome things from us next year.