In an email this morning, President Roth ’76 announced this year’s Commencement Speaker will be Saidiya Hartman ’84 (above). Reverend Edwin C. Sanders II ’69 (left) and Former Wesleyan Professor Hazel V. Carby (right) will also receive honorary degrees at the University’s 187th Commencement.
This seems to be the first time in a while that Roth has actually read the room when selecting honorees for Commencement. It’s certainly gratifying to see a Black woman being honored for her achievements on the 50th anniversary of the Vanguard Class of ’96 and the founding of the African American studies program (which has finally been received department status this year).
Certainly, this year’s honorees are a welcome variation from last year’s Commencement Speaker controversy. As many of you recall, Daniel Handler ’92, who has a history of racist and sexist harassment, was chosen as the 2018 Commencement Speaker, while Dr. Anita Hill, known for advocating against those very abuses, was relegated to a lesser position of honorary degree recipient. Handler later withdrew as Commencement Speaker following a flurry of student and alumni demands to #CancelHandler18. Notably, President Roth and the administration did nothing in response to concerns and complaints from survivors, students and alumni of color, and other members of the Wesleyan community. Dr. Hill graciously agreed to give the Commencement address in Handler’s stead.
Hopefully this year’s Honorary Degree recipients can become emblematic of the excellence that Wesleyan chooses to honor at future Commencement Ceremonies, rather than continuing a pattern of choosing powerful (and often problematic) white men who don’t represent the community or values that Wesleyan claims to strive toward.
If you have thoughts or feelings about this year’s selection of honorees, we welcome write-ins and guest posts! Just shoot us an email at staff[at]wesleying[dot]edu.
The full text of Roth’s email can be read below:
Last night, Wesleying received an anonymous tip regarding the presence of a hammer and sickle in an Olin elevator. The entire campus community went cray.
Two weeks ago, Antonio Farias emailed out some updates to Wesleyan’s policies and support networks relating to issues of sexual assault on campus. In the email sent on February 1st, which can be read in full on the Equity & Inclusion blog, Farias announced the hiring of Johanna DeBari, M.A. as the director of the new Office of Survivor Advocacy and Community Education (or SACE, for short).
DeBari partially fills the role of Alysha Warren who, before she took a job at Williams beginning Fall 2017, was in charge of survivor advocacy, running the We Speak We Stand performance during New Student Orientation and bystander intervention training programs, and worked in CAPS as a licensed therapist specializing in trauma resulting from sexual violence.
After the email was sent out, I reached out to Johanna for a Wesleying feature on the new office, her goals for the position, and her past research on sexual violence on campus. We ended up doing an email interview. Here’s what we talked about:
“[My New Year’s Resolution is to] try to just calm myself down. It’s like Sid wants to see that side of me. He’s like, ‘You know, I know there’s a side to you and I am going to push every single button until I get it out of you, daddy” ? Jason Biggs
This article was in collaboration between fern and un meli-melo
It’s been another crazy year with Trump, North Korea, devastating natural disasters, and a solar eclipse. With 2017 behind us, we’re going to take a moment to look back on the happenings of the past year here at Wesleyan. Wesleying‘s done a Year in Review ever since 2012 when hermes began the series. The goal is to sum up the major stories—both serious and Fun—that we’ve covered throughout the year.
If you’re into /history/, read past Year in Reviews to see how writing quality diminishes as GenZ begins to move through the secondary education system: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
Disclaimer: We may have forgotten to mention some things. Since this is a review of some of what we’ve covered on this blog, there will necessarily be things missing and many of the topics included here are still developing and are certainly not over!!! So, if you think we missed anything important, please leave a comment or email us at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org with any moments and/or details you found essential to the character of 2017 at Wesleyan :)
Content warning: This article discusses issues around sexual assault on campus and Scott Backer’s arrest.
We’re liveblogging tonight’s Eclectic Community Forum so that those who can’t attend know what’s being discussed in the meeting. Eclectic is reapplying for program housing status on Campus. Tonight’s forum will be co-hosted by the Undergraduate Residential Live Committee (URLC) and Eclectic members. Eclectic members will give a presentation and then the forum will be opened to the greater Wesleyan community.
This article was a collaboration with smello.
According to the university’s website, “Wesleyan graduates are successful in every profession imaginable, including law, science, medicine, business, politics, and the creative arts. They are often leaders and innovators in their fields”. With all the recent focus on Lin-Manuel Miranda, we thought we’d shed some light on the other people who made the name “Wesleyan” famous.
Editor’s note: The original post incorrectly identified the URL of the site as wesmaps.com. We apologize for the error and will fact-check our memes more thoroughly in the future.
Wisly Juganda ’20 tipped us off to wesportal.com, a wacky alternate universe version of WesMaps/WesPortal (are we in the upside-down???).
Featuring a tiled background of “If Michael Roth Was A Character From Harry Potter, He Would Be Dumbledore, Says Michael Roth,” the site is evocative of geocities. This seems like a fitting tribute to the 10 year anniversary of the inauguration of Michael Roth ’78 as Wesleyan’s President, which just so happens to be today.
You can add to the message board on the left side, which currently has posts like, “Can I access moodle from this” from guest and ‘i hate this’ from our very own michael roth.
In the center of the site, there’s the infamous bagel pb&j that haunted Soggy We$ Memes in a 3-post saga (courtesy of Oren Maximov ’17), complete with a poll to respond to the question of whether the bagel pb&j is indeed a sandwich.
At the bottom of the page there’s this gem (the button tragically doesn’t work, so you’re stuck with the points calculator):
There’s also a button saying, “Click here to go to the real Wesportal,” but, in an infuriating game of cat and mouse, it moves everytime you try to click on it.
We are extremely curious who did this, so if you have any leads, send them our way (staff[at]wesleying[dot]org)!
Professor Emeritus David Beveridge who, until last Spring, was a full time faculty member in the Chemistry Department and the Molecular Biophysics certificate program, was arrested on Tuesday after his dog died in a hot car.
According to reports by NBC Connecticut and the Hartford Courant, Professor Beveridge intended to take his 3-year-old labradoodle Jennie to a doggie day care before he went into work. Instead, he went straight to work, forgetting to drop Jennie off first, and remembered 2.5 hours later. After remembering that he had forgotten to drop her off, he found the dog had passed in the intervening time.
This afternoon, President Michael Roth ’78 sent out an email informing the campus community that DKE has won its lawsuit against the University. The trial, which was public, began on June 6th, and President Roth testified on June 7th.
The original suit was filed by DKE and Kent Literary Society, which is DKE’s alumni chapter. DKE accused the University of discrimination and deceptive practices in its handling of DKE after the decision that all fraternities on campus must be co-educated. DKE had submitted plans for co-education that did not meet the University’s requirements.
The University has not said what will happen with DKE’s house, or whether it will re-achieve program housing status. Roth states that the University is searching for further legal avenues to pursue, and the University must also decide what to do in terms of its plans for coeducation.
The full text of the email is below:
“As someone who identifies with the political left, I welcome this intellectual diversity–and as a teacher, I know that education requires it. If you are on the right, you might call this a remedy for political correctness; if you are on the left, you might prefer to call it the ‘new intersectionality.'”
c/o the Wall Street Journal op-ed
In the haste of reading period and yesterday’s news, we missed big news from President Roth’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling for affirmative action for “conservative, libertarian and religious modes of thinking” on college campuses. The op-ed generated quite the buzz on Twitter, and even received mild praise from notable conservative magazine the National Review. Roth’s op-ed, entitled “The Opening of the Liberal Mind” was published in the Wall Street Journal behind a paywall last Thursday, May 11. Luckily, thanks to the Wesleyan Library’s databases, Wesleyan students have access to the op-ed.