Tag Archives: weird Wes history

From the Argives: Valentine’s Day Boycott

While some of us look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day each year, others among us see February 14th as just another ordinary day. But, for some people, this romantic day is a holiday worth actively avoiding.

On Valentine’s Day in 1989, The Wesleyan Argus printed a column whose author had decided to boycott Valentine’s Day that year. The author, Adam “Sheep” Long, declared, “I am boycotting Valentine’s Day for reasons of my own.” When I read this, I was curious about these reasons. Was he frustrated by his own romantic difficulties? Angry about American consumerism? Convinced that romantic love is merely a social construct?

The author explained his reasoning like this:

     Every year I like to boycott at least one holiday (I never boycott Christmas). Recently, I have decided to start boycotting St. Patrick’s day (and I’m part Irish) and for a long time now I have boycotted Halloween. Halloween has never been a very good time for me: I generally associate it with things scary, gross, and violent. I can only remember one Halloween that I really enjoyed. When I was five, I went as Batman, which in retrospect doesn’t make a lot of sense, because I wasn’t old enough to read the comic book, and I was terrified of the TV show. I used to watch the cartoon part of the introduction and then leave the room. Only my immediate family knew about this strange behavior. With the kids at school, I just pretended I watched the whole show…

Okay, but why boycott Valentine’s Day? More after the jump:

From the Argives: “The Tally”

1959: “Conn College Girls Get The Whistles; Holyoke, The Dates; But Wellesley Chicks Get The Men”

These days, it’s not uncommon to take surveys about things like our use of campus spaces, our views regarding fossil fuel divestment, the quality of our academic courses, and other exciting and important topics.

In 1959, The Wesleyan Argus gave some Wesleyan students a very different kind of survey.

On Friday, October 23rd, 1959, the Argus’ front page shared the results of a questionnaire asking Wesleyan students (“Wesmen”) to rank women from other New England colleges on the basis of their beauty, personality, intelligence, desirability for blind dates, and potential to be wives. In their article, the writers explained their bizarre experiment:

With its usual interest in the cause of public enlightenment, the Argus recently offered Wesmen the opportunity to pass judgment on girls from five of the major New England colleges. The young lovelies were assessed via questionnaires on their looks, personality, intelligence, and desirability by 200 coldly calculating Wesleyan students.

And so, these students filled out the survey, sharing their “cold, calculating” judgments of the women of Connecticut College, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, and Wellesley. The results became front-page Argus news.

More after the jump: