c/o Wesleyan Student Assembly

c/o Wesleyan Student Assembly

There’s no question that Geo Fuss ’21 has left an important mark on campus life. Through their work in the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA), Wesleyan United Student Labor/Action Coalition (USLAC), and Wesleyan Democratic Socialists (WesDS), Fuss has been a huge advocate for student workers and staff since their freshman year. When they’re not pushing for political change, you may have seen them serving up tater tots and pancakes at Late Night pre-COVID-19. The Argus caught up with Fuss to discuss their time at Wes and lack of post-grad plans.

The Argus: Why do you think you were nominated?

Geo Fuss: Why do you think I’ve gathered you here today? [laughs] I’ve been on the WSA since my freshman year. I’ve been doing that stuff pretty visibly for a while. I’ve also worked at Bon App [Bon Appetit] since my second semester freshman year. I worked at Late Night for a lot of that. I was known as that person for a while. I have all these tattoos and people know that. I did USLAC, WesDems [Wesleyan Democrats], WesDS, but mostly just USLAC labor stuff now. But [I’ve done] mostly just campus politics stuff.

A: Why did you first join the WSA?

GF: I had done a little student government in high school, and from talking to my new friends in college, it seemed like there were a lot of issues related to financial aid and student employment. I wanted to help people out if we could.

A: What are some things you’ve accomplished on the WSA, including, as one of your nominators mentioned, raising the campus minimum wage and defending Late Night?

GF: Including, but not limited to, the minimum wage. [Fighting against moving Late Night] was a failure. Because of disaster capitalism, they actually ended up moving Late Night from Usdan to Summies. They forced it through [because of COVID]. What other things have I done on the WSA? I mean, we had a resolution supporting the five more workers campaign, which was pretty cool. I was able to implement ranked choice voting for WSA elections and the restorative process that we now have in lieu of impeachment.

[Interview is briefly interrupted by Harry Bagenstos ’22, who says hello as he walks by]

GF: Harry and I did a WesDS thing my sophomore year where we went—I was so intimidated—to fast food restaurants, and we tried to get people to commit to unionizing and push for a higher minimum wage while they were at their jobs. So we’d be like, ‘Okay, their boss isn’t here, sign this thing.’ It was super stealthy. That was fun. We’re helping now with the Committee for Investor Responsibility. We’re trying to get them more ability to see what the University is investing in, because we really have no clue. We’re [also] pushing for the University to do a Community Fund.

A: What about your relationship with Michael Roth ’78?

GF: [laughs] It used to be not bad, because he was actually the one who approved the minimum wage thing when I was a freshman. I guess he was convinced by my PowerPoint presentation. But I think it was maybe the end of sophomore year, we had a Michael Roth Q&A, and I asked him something about his salary, and he just went ballistic. I thought it was crazy that he has such a sore spot about getting paid an outrageous amount of money. Like, [he] should have some explanation for it. And then gradually realizing that everything at the school is like that, where he has no clue what’s going on and has ridiculous answers. So I was like, why not just ask him things that make him uncomfortable? I became the person that would ask all those [tough] questions, and he hates me, but they’ll be rid of me soon enough, I guess.

A: What have you done with USLAC?

GF: What haven’t I done in USLAC? We had the campaign to not get [the University] to move Late Night to Summies, because it was going to cost jobs, but they did that anyway during COVID for convenience or whatever. Back when I did WesDems, [I worked on] connecting them with local politicians, and eventually we were able to pressure [the administration] to [hire] one more custodial worker. 

A: Outside of political stuff, what else have you done on campus?

GF: I used to work for Bon App. That was fun. I would give people food—I’m having a crisis right now. What else have I done on campus that’s nonpolitical?

A: You only do politics.

GF: Pretty much. You may have heard me playing guitar or biking around campus.

A: Academically then, what’s your major?

GF: I am a government major with an American politics concentration, and I’m [also] a history major, and my modules are European and North American history.

A: Why did you decide to pursue that?

GF: When I came here I wanted to do gov and econ, but I took one econ course and realized that I hated it. And then I realized economics, or capitalist economics, is fake. I just took courses I wanted to. Most of that ended up being stuff that I wanted to learn about, and that I didn’t know, and most of that was in the realm of histories of various parts of the world. I just ended up taking enough history courses that one of my professors said I should be a history major, and I was like, ‘Yeah, why not?’

A: What are your post-grad plans?

GF: So, I have a stick and poke kit and I haven’t given anyone stick and pokes, so maybe I’ll do that this summer [laughs]. I need to get money. I’ve applied to jobs working for unions and some political non-profit stuff, but I’m not totally sure what my post-grad goals are.

A: What’s your favorite Wesleyan memory or what’s something you’re going to miss?

GF: That’s really hard. I don’t know. There’s so many cool people here. I’m gonna miss saying what’s up to so many people that I like. I will miss when we were doing Bernie campaign stuff. There were so many cool people and big trips with the WesforBernie squad. That was fun. And, like I said with Harry, just doing political organizing stuff with people. Obviously we couldn’t really do that during COVID, but I will miss it.

A: What would you tell your freshman year self?

GF: Just do more stuff. Just go out and do things, because you’ll find time to do the work, but the friends and the memories and stuff is what you’re going to hold onto, so go do that.


This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Olivia Ramseur can be reached at oramseur@wesleyan.edu

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