Jessica Francois ’14 might admit to hating everyone but her friends, but it’s hard not to love this senior. Francois, a member of Eclectic and a WesBurlesque dancer, sat down on a couch in Pi Café to talk to The Argus about nudism, George Bush, and why she can’t wait to graduate.
The Argus: Why do you think that you’re a WesCeleb?
Jessica Francois: I literally knew this was going to happen to me. I don’t know. I literally hate everyone, so I don’t—well, not hate everyone. I only like my friends, and everyone else sucks. I don’t know.
A: Are you good at pretending that you like other people?
JF: No? Well, that’s a lie. I’m super outgoing, and—I don’t know, maybe that’s just what happens when you get to be a senior. You just know a lot of people.
A: Why do you hate most people?
JF: Ha! Well, you just have your friends, and you think they’re awesome, and everybody else is kind of subpar. That’s basically how that goes.
A: So what are you involved in on campus?
JF: I’m in Eclectic, and I dance a lot, I guess. I’m in Burlesque this year, and that’s actually a good thing. I forgot about that. Yeah, I’m pretty excited.
A: How did you get involved in Burlesque?
JF: I just tried out. This year. And I have a lot of friends who are in it.
A: Are you in a dance with people you know?
JF: Well, I’m in a dance with people I did not know. Now I know them. Yup. You should totally come see me.
A: Was it weird to be in a Burlesque show with people you had never met before?
JF: No, but it was hard to get in. A lot of people tried out. I’ll be naked.
A: Totally naked?
JF: No. With, uh, an undergarment. Yeah, it’s fun.
A: And that doesn’t faze you?
JF: No. [Laughs.] People should be naked all the time.
A: Does living in a nudist colony appeal to you?
JF: [Long pause.] No. But I feel like we would be a little less high-strung if people didn’t care that people were naked.
A: Have you been to a naked party on campus?
JF: No. I don’t know why, but I have not. I’ve been to parties where people just so happen to get naked, but I have never been to one that is explicitly a naked party.
A: Did you do a thesis this year?
JF: No. Congratulations to everyone who did one—you guys are great and should be absolutely so proud of yourselves—but that is not my life, and I wasn’t trying to make it my life.
A: What’s your major?
JF: I’m a gov major.
A: Do you enjoy it?
JF: Yeah, especially because the gov major is comparative. You’re going to get a wide breadth of information around global political issues, which is really cool. I’m not going to say that I know a ton of things about one particular country, but I would know enough to have a conversation, which is pretty good. And I definitely want to continue my education in grad school. [The government major] did me a solid.
A: Are you interested in politics?
JF: Absolutely not.
A: Why not?
JF: Well, because there are so many other things you have to factor in into being a politician that you can’t control. For example, me being an African American woman and, like, short, and also from the inner city with demographics that don’t necessarily represent the Christian family. That is obviously going to be a major setback for me. And that’s something I can’t control. There’s a lot of things that politicians do or say that have nothing to do with their political campaign. For example: George Bush. Hilarious, such a charming guy, so funny. You should watch a documentary—“Journeys with George.” He is so fun. He’s so charming, so witty, but he was a really horrible politician. Just because he’s a great person, or to be around, or charming, it does not make you a great political leader.
A: Do you think you’d be friends with George Bush if you knew him?
JF: Uh, absolutely!
JF: O.K., don’t quote me—I guess it’s O.K.—I think he’s so funny. He reminds me so much of my, like, Texan boss from Boston. He’s so funny to banter with, so funny to go back and forth with. My boss is also really conservative, also a Republican, because he owns seven businesses; he’s a rich man. But he’s fun to make fun of, and he makes fun of me. I probably would enjoy hanging out with George Bush.
A: So what do you want to go into, if not politics?
JF: I actually really want to go into criminal justice. I want to be a detective. I don’t know if I’ll have the power to control this, but I don’t want to do anything drug-related. I don’t believe in mass incarceration for drug use or drug sales. I think it’s 70 percent of individuals who are incarcerated for nonviolent crimes are because of drug use. It’s stupid, and it doesn’t make sense that we’re wasting so much. It’s definitely a medical issue, and we should be pouring way more money into rehabilitation than to incarcerating them and making them felons. I’m not really into that. But I do really want to do child prostitution, like, child trafficking. Yeah, especially child trafficking. Child anything. Child pornography, child kidnapping. But I do not want to do social work. Sorry.
A: Are you good with kids?
JF: That’s the problem, that’s the point. I am good with kids, but that’s not really—I want to do two kinds of things. Because this is a global issue, I would definitely want to do something federal, and then on top of that, but I’d also be down to do policy work.
Passing Friend: Jessica! She’s so awesome!
JF: Shut up! Can you buy me a lemonade?
JF: [To friend:] Thank you. [To A:] Yeah, I would want to do policy work, and then do, yeah, obviously do individual cases. I want to do both of those. I don’t know which one comes first.
A: Why are you interested in working with children? Do you have siblings?
JF: I have a little brother. Right now he’s 15.
A: Whoa! That’s old.
JF: I know! I’m so excited because I’m waiting for him to get cool. Like, when he’s not my little brother, and he’s just my brother, and we can be homies. He’s in ninth grade right now, so I think it’s going to happen, what, 10th grade? That’s when he’ll be golden. I’m so aggressively outgoing, and he’s so shy, so I can’t wait for him to be as outgoing as I am. Or not as outgoing—just cooler! God.
A: What’s uncool about him now?
JF: He’s so whiny. He’s a baby. He’s a baby! Like, my mom made him help her cook, and he complained about it for so long. I was like, it’s really not that big of a deal. There are so many other struggles in the world.
A: Have you always been a mature person?
JF: Actually, I was. I used to forge my mother’s signature for everything. I was in the sixth grade, signing things, like yeah, I’m doing this. I signed myself up for sleep away camp in sixth grade. It was academic sleep away camp. My mom was like, “How did this happen?” And I was like, “I signed up.”
A: Did you enjoy the camp?
JF: Yeah. It’s hands-down the reason I’m at Wesleyan…I was learning chemistry and biology and physics when I was in the sixth grade.
A: Wow! What’s your favorite Wesleyan moment?
JF: It will be when I graduate.
A: Are you excited to graduate?
JF: Yes. I really hate this school. I mean, I love my friends, I love my homies, but that’s what it boils down to. Actually, that’s not true. It’s had some great moments. But these four years need to wrap up. It’s time to go. I’m just over it. I’m just done. This has been the perfect amount of time, and now it’s time for me to go.
A: Will you miss Eclectic?
JF: No! Because literally everyone in Eclectic is moving to New York City, so I’m going to see them. Whatever. It’s going to be fine.
A: Is Eclectic’s future going to be as good as your experience in it?
JF: I think so. I mean, that building is a historical landmark; it was built by Henry Bacon, and there’s a lot of alumni, a lot of money, who are in support of…the existence of Eclectic. Not to mention, Wesleyan loves, on its little fucking tours, and all of its articles, when they want to show how diverse and awesome and eclectic Wesleyan [is], they love to bring up our house. I know they’re having a lot of issues right now with fraternities, but they know that it’s not going to be beneficial for the school—in terms of bringing in more freshmen—to one hundred percent wipe it off the campus. And if it does happen, whatever. Glad I was in Eclectic.
A: If, one day, you become really rich and famous, will you give money to Wesleyan?
JF: No. Absolutely not. Not a damn penny. And I want you to write that. Not a single dollar from me. I absolutely do not support the administration here. I think they are—I’ve had the worst experience with the Wesleyan administration that I’ve ever had in my entire life, and I think that there is a lot of people—and I could count on a lot of people of color to say the same thing. In terms of how much Wesleyan cares about the people of color? Not that much. And it’s sad, because there’s not that much solidarity in terms of people of color helping each other out. But this is a white-bread institution, and they’re not doing that much to make sure that our success is up there. I’ve had tons of friends who’ve left this school for various reasons, obviously, but I have a lot of friends who are not graduating with me, and it’s a big deal…They’re absolutely the worst. They all suck. I said this my freshman year. I literally said this to my advisor, and it’s been four years of me feeling like this. I can’t with Wesleyan anymore. I’m so done.