This post is the first in a small series of reflections on the recent events on campus, to be published over the next few days. If you have anything that you would like to contribute, please feel free to reach out to us.
I am writing this in response to the traumatic and overwhelming events that have happened over the past few days – the hospitalization of a dozen students and the arrest of four others, as well as the media and institutional reactions. I hope that this can be a space of positive dialogue and solidarity, where we share our thoughts and reflections with compassion and humanity. I hope to counter the intense and destructive negativity and inappropriateness of some of the language being used to address these events in our own community, in person and online, in the media portrayals and in the administration’s emails. These events remind of us of the importance of fostering a supportive community, one that we must build on our own, as the student body. These thoughts hope to help support that process of reconciliation, healing, and empowerment.
This afternoon, students received an email from Dean of Students Rick Culliton, with the mysterious, somewhat ominous subject line “Weekend events.”
Authority figures seem to have a block on admitting they know the kids they’re in charge of take drugs for fun. Maybe they think it’s their fault or something. Dean Culliton decides to characterize the annual smoke storm on Foss as a protest, which I guess is sort of flattering, but decides he can’t bring himself to mention the name of Zonker Harris without protective quotation marks.
He then reminds us that drugs are still against the rules, and we’ll be in big trouble if we take them, so maybe we should think about that. He refrains from reminding us to eat fruits and vegetables and make sure we get enough sleep, but my mom already called me today and she has that part covered:
In a world where Roxie Pell ’15 wasn’t an intern for the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education, this post was
never submitted submitted by a different intern:
The War on Drugs has never been about drugs.
Join the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education this Thursday for a
screening of the film “The House I Live In,” followed by a discussion
with the filmmaker, Eugene Jarecki.
About the film:
In forty years, the War on Drugs has accounted for more than 45
million arrests, made America the world’s largest jailer, and damaged
poor communities at home and abroad. Yet for all that, drugs are
cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever before. Filmed in
more than twenty states, THE HOUSE I LIVE IN captures heart-wrenching
stories from individuals at all levels of America’s War on Drugs,
offering a definitive portrait revealing its profound human rights
implications and examining the extent to which it has been fueled by
political and economic corruption.
Date: Tomorrow, Thursday, the 11th
Time: Tomorrow, Thursday, 4:15, the PM
Place: Tomorrow, Thursday, the CFA Hall
Paul Blasenheim ’12, campus activism coordinator extraordinaire and WesSSDP member, knows a lot about the War on Drugs in America. He’s willing to share some of that information with you (in a student forum designated AMST420, no less) if you simply show up at an information session this Sunday at 7:00 PM in PAC or contact Paul at pblasenheim(at)gmail(dot)com.
Spots are limited; get them while they’re hot:
This semester, I will be facilitating a student forum (AMST 420, 1.0 Credit) called Intersectionality and the “American” War on Drugs. The course is designed to holistically analyze the intersectional issue that is today’s global “War on Drugs,” explicitly through anti-oppression and social justice lenses. The course will challenge us to think beyond a “single-issue” paradigm, to locate the drug war within fields of power and its role in reinforcing patterns of domination. Our studies will link the drug war to institutionalized racism, heteronormativity, imperialism and compulsory able-bodiedness, as well as specific issues including immigration, globalization, indigenous sovereignty, the prison-industrial complex, sex work, militarization in Latin America, addiction and environmental justice.