News to Know: 2011-2012
276 Freshmen Placed in Forced Triples
At 815 students, the class of 2015 is the largest in the University’s history. As a result, 276 freshmen were placed into triples this year. Many of the triples are forced, meaning that they were originally intended for double occupancy. Most of these rooms are in Fauver, while others are in Clark, Westco, and the Butterfields. The Office of Residential Life will continue to work to accommodate the housing needs of the many students of the class of 2015 as they enter their sophomore year.
Occupy Movement Comes to Wesleyan
An estimated 20 students joined the Occupy Wall Street encampment in New York City on Sept. 17 to protest unequal wealth distribution and corporate corruption in America. In subsequent weeks, over 70 students traveled to the city to participate in the protests, and five were part of mass arrests by New York Police. Students also began “Occupy Wesleyan” by protesting on campus and camping on Foss Hill. The group has since become a platform for other activist efforts on campus.
Snowpocalypse Hits Conn.
October - November 2011
Halloween 2011 marked the start of the “Snowpocalypse,” the name many students gave the multi-day blackout that resulted from a snowstorm that night. Classes were cancelled for two days, and students were left in the dark and cold without electricity for up to ten days. Many students left campus, while residents of 200 Church and 156 High were evacuated due to safety concerns. As dining halls were closed, the University distributed food to those who remained on campus.
41 Wyllys Avenue Opens
The building at 41 Wyllys Avenue, formerly the old squash courts, was renovated to house the Career Center, College of Letters (COL), and the Art History department. Construction began Jan. 2011 and was finished in Jan. 2012, and faculty and staff moved into the building on Jan. 16. The new building opened its doors to the campus on Jan. 26, and the grand opening was held on Feb. 24.
Norovirus Sweeps Campus
January - February 2012
In January and February, an outbreak of gastroenteritis, a stomach flu caused by the norovirus, circulated the campus. The disease quickly spread, with symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea. Medical Director of the Health Services Department Davis Smith sent an email Jan. 31 warning students of the disease after outbreaks had been documented in Boston and New Britain. The last time the norovirus hit campus was in 2005, causing hundreds of people to become ill.
Academic Minors Approved
A motion to allow academic departments to create minors, drafted by the Educational Policy Committee (EPC), was passed at a faculty meeting on Feb. 7. After many surveys and students forums, students and faculty made it clear they wanted minors to be provided as an option. The Economics Department was the first to offer a minor, approved by the EPC on March 27.
Stephen Morgan Sentenced
December - February 2012
In Dec. 2011, a three-judge panel at the Middlesex Superior Court ruled that Stephen Morgan, who was accused of murdering Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10 at Red & Black Café in May 2009, was not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of the three charges against him: first-degree murder, intimidation due to racial bigotry or bias, and possession of a pistol without a permit. On Feb. 29, 2012, the same panel committed Morgan for up to 60 years under maximum security at the Whiting Forensic Division in Connecticut Valley Hospital.
On Thursday, March 8, Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia delivered a speech entitled “The Originalist Approach to the First Amendment,” at the Memorial Chapel as part of the 21st Hugo L. Black Lecture on Freedom of Expression. His appearance on campus sparked protests by University students and other Connecticut activists both before and during the lecture.
University Announces Art Library to Close
The Art Library in the Davison Art Center (DAC) will close in the summer of 2014, and the 25,000 volumes currently housed there will be moved to Olin Library. The reasons for closing the library include climate control problems and a need for more space. President Michael Roth proposed to create a studio space for art students in the current Art Library’s location. Around 150 students signed a petition protesting the relocation of the volumes.
The Office of Academic Affairs decided to increase the course load of full-time visiting professors from two courses each semester to five courses over two semesters. Visiting professors who do not meet the five course requirement would lose health benefits. A student petition circulated calling for the reversal of this “fifth course indenture.”