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Monthly Archive for August, 2008


The Drop/Add period begins on the first day of classes each semester and lasts ten days. To participate in drop/add, students must first enroll for the semester by clicking on the “Enroll Me” button in the e-portfolio. The drop/add period for the Fall 2008 semester opens at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 2 will close at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, September 15. After the close of the drop/add period, all students must confirm their course schedules through the e-portfolio.

The drop/add system enables students to submit drop/add requests on-line. Instructors accept drop/add requests electronically and may drop students who do not attend the first class meeting. Advisors are able to review and approve the drop/add requests of their advisees electronically. An e-mail notification system informs students, faculty and advisors of daily drop/add activity. The ranked drop/add requests which students make during pre-registration will appear in the drop/add system and are used by instructors to admit students to courses. Students may also make unranked drop/add requests once drop/add opens. During drop/add, instructors determine who may be admitted to the course. Advisors must approve the individual drops and adds of each of their advisees.

During drop/add, students may enroll in more than four full credit courses with the permission of their advisor, who must increase their credit limit through the e-portfolio. Students may change the grading mode of courses for which this option is available during the drop/add period. After the end of drop/add, grading mode changes cannot be made. A list of Drop/Add Frequently Asked Questions is maintained of the Registrar’s webpage.

On the evening on Thursday, August 28, members of the Class of 2012 took part in a survey on climate change.  Here are the results:

What do you see as the greatest threat resulting from climate change?

    threats histogram

  1. Threat to water resources. (16%)
  2. Threat to ecosystems. (37%)
  3. Threat to food. (7%)
  4. Threat to coasts. (5%)
  5. Threat to health. (9%)
  6. Warm spells/heat waves. (3%)
  7. Heavy precipitation events. (3%)
  8. Area affected by drought increases (4%)
  9. Intense tropical cyclone activity increases (4%)
  10. Increased incidence of extreme high sea level (14%)

What do you see as the most effective adaptation or alleviating factor to reduce the impact of climate change?

    alleviation histogram

  1. Stabilizing carbon emissions at the rate existing between the years 2000 – 2030 (17%)
  2. Stabilizing carbon emissions at the rate predicted between the years 2020 – 2060 (7%)
  3. Stabilizing carbon emissions at the rate predicted between the years 2050 – 2090 (3%)
  4. Adaptation of agricultural planning (4%)
  5. Coastal zone infrastructure (1%)
  6. Reinvestment in infrastructure and design of cities (11%)
  7. Adaptation to water use (4%)
  8. Adaptation to human health planning (3%)
  9. Reduction in pollution from domestic and industrial sources (24%)
  10. Strengthening of energy transmission and distribution (26%)

north end peninsula

The north-end peninsula of Middletown is an area of spectacular beauty and unique aquatic and riparian ecology in the Connecticut River watershed. The north-end peninsula contains a converted sanitary landfill as well as the recycling center and the remnant of the old Remington Building that built both type writers and munitions during World War I. The Coginchaug and Matabesset rivers converge at the north-end peninsula just below the Cromwell Meadows. Professor Chernoff will talk about aquatic conservation efforts on the Matabessett and Coginchaug Rivers as well as the efforts of the Jonah Center to develop the area sustainably for residents while protecting the ecosystem. All of these efforts include involvement of Wesleyan students. Students will follow the lecture with a trip to the land fill and North-End Peninsula. This is an ongoing research and community involvement project to transform an important piece of Middletown and to protect our environment. The lecture will take place in Usdan 108 at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 30. The trip to the North End Peninsula will follow the lecture.

lermanThe Feet to the Fire Common Moment is being led by the world renowned Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. The event features a dance performance by Wesleyan students with a special performance by students and community members on bicycles, tricycles and unicycles. As part of the performance, students will assemble in the shape of a histogram that outlines the results of a campus poll on global climate change. The night will conclude with a performance of fire-dancing by Wesleyan student group Prometheus.

The Common Moment takes place on Friday, Aug. 29 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Foss Hill.

pine islandThe Feet to the Fire/First Year Matters Common Reading Discussions that will be taking place on Thursday, August 28, from 7:00-8:15 p.m. are based on two sets of “texts:”

1. The first set of texts is four articles on the topic of global climate change that were made available over the summer:

  • Suketu Mehta, “Lost Horizons” (2007)
  • Edward T. Nickens, “Walden Warming” (2007)
  • T. Root, et al., “Fingerprints of Global Warming on Wild Animals and Plants” (2003)
  • Juliana Spahr, “Unnamed Dragonfly Species” (2002)

All four articles are available through the Wesleyan Library eReserve system (course: fym001; password: fym001) and all first-year students are expected to have read them before arriving on campus.

2. The second set of texts is four faculty lectures on the topic of global climate change that will be taking place on Thursday, August 28, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. All new students are expected to attend one of these lectures:

  • “Changing the Moral Climate” (Professor Elise Springer, Philosophy)
  • “Climate Policy and Interdisciplinary Scholarship” (Professor Gary Yohe, Economics)
  • “Decision Time: A Scientist and Humanist Discuss Energy Scarcity and Global Climate Change” (Professor Brian Stewart, Physics, and Professor Krishna Winston, German Studies)
  • “Social Knowledge and Climate Change” (Professor Paul Erickson, History)

The Common Reading Discussions are meant to provide new students with an opportunity to share their ideas on global climate change with faculty and other community members in a relaxed setting. Following these discussions at 8:15 p.m., RAs will prepare new students for the Common Moment with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange that will be taking place on Friday, August 29, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., by taking polls and helping them create wish ties.

Arrival Day

fym banner

The First Year Matters newsletter is published by the Deans’ Office and features news about academic and community life at Wesleyan; events and happenings on campus; health and safety information; and profiles of people and their work. The latest issue provides information about New Student Orientation and the Feet to the Fire program, news about environmental initiatives and events on campus, a link to the PingMyHealth health assessment questionnaire, and a profile of Jessica French Smith, the lead student intern in the New Student Orientation office.


College life, as exciting as it is, can be significantly different from your past experiences. New environment, new friends, new classes, new ideas, new experiences are yours for the taking! There is familiarity with being a student since you’ve been doing that most of your life, but you may need to adapt your study habits to a less structured and more demanding academic environment. And you may be living on your own for the first time, responsible for everything from getting up on time for class to doing your own laundry to budgeting your money. A few suggestions for managing the transition:

  • Talk with friends and family members who have recently attended college about their experiences transitioning to campus life — the challenges, the joys, the things they wish they knew starting out. You may be able to glean some words of wisdom!
  • Make a plan with your parents/guardians for how frequently you will talk and email. Strive for regular, but not daily, contact. It will help you concentrate on adjusting to Wesleyan while still reducing the likelihood of feeling homesick.
  • Once on campus, seek out opportunities to get involved in one or two activities outside the classroom. Focus on quality, not quantity. You have plenty of time over the next four years to try out everything!
  • Being a college student does not have to equal being unhealthy. Strive for balanced eating habits, a regular sleep pattern and a manageable workload.
  • If you are of age and choose to consume alcohol while on campus, party with a plan! It will greatly reduce your risk for problems related to your own consumption. Learn more about how to do this with Randy Haveson during New Student Orientation.
  • Keep up your exercise routine at Wesleyan’s great athletic facilities, with WesWELL’s non-credit fitness classes, or on your own. Physical activity greatly helps with reducing stress levels and with mental acuity.
  • Ask for help if you need it academically or personally. We want to help you succeed!
  • Pick up more tips for adjusting to campus life here.

peer advisor blog

Peer Advisors provide students with information about the curriculum and course registration and also serve as a source for academic resource referrals. During New Student Orientation, Peer Advisors will be available in residence halls and at different sites throughout campus to help new students prepare for individual meetings with faculty advisors. Peer Advisors will be maintaining a regular presence in the residence halls during the academic year where they provide information and referral to academic services and resources, and can be contacted via email to schedule individual advising appointments at sarnadvisor@wesleyan.edu. The Peer Advisor blog provides useful tips and information about academic life at Wesleyan. Anyone can browse the blog, but only authenticated members of the Wesleyan community may post comments to it.

faculty and student advsing handbook

As you plan for your arrival at Wesleyan at the end of this month, please review the Faculty and Student Advising Handbook. The Handbook is designed to help you achieve your educational goals by providing advice on how to get the most out of your relationship with your faculty advisor as you build your program of study over the course of your Wesleyan career. The Handbook also provides information about academic departments and programs, graduation requirements, study abroad, the major declaration process, academic support services for students, and the procedures of the Honor Board and the Student Judicial Board.

Feet to the Fire logo

Feet to the Fire combines the teaching power of art and field science to help students and the community better understand the implications of global climate change. Feet to the Fire has partnered with the First Year Matters during New Student Orientation to bring the following programs to you:

  • Common Readings. Four articles on the topic of climate change– Suketu Mehta, “Lost Horizons” (2007), Edward T Nickens, “Walden Warming” (2007), T. Root, et al., “Fingerprints of Global Warming on Wild Animals and Plants” (2003), and Juliana Spahr, Unnamed Dragonfly Species (2002)–are available through the Wesleyan Library eReserve system (password: fym001) and should be read before you arrive on campus.
  • Faculty Lectures. On Thursday, August 28, from 4:00-5:30 p.m., four different lectures on the topic of climate change will take place: “Changing the Moral Climate” (Professor Elise Springer, Philosophy), “Climate Policy and Interdisciplinary Scholarship” (Professor Gary Yohe, Economics), “Decision Time: A Scientist and Humanist Discuss Energy Scarcity and Global Climate Change” (Professor Brian Stewart, Physics, and Professor Krishna Winston, German Studies), and “Social Knowledge and Climate Change” (Professor Paul Erickson, History).
  • Common Reading Discussions. On Thursday, August 28, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., faculty will be in the residence halls to lead discussions of the common reading assignments and the faculty lectures. This will provide students with an opportunity to share their ideas with faculty and other community members in a relaxed setting, and to begin preparing for the Common Moment the next day by taking polls and creating wish ties.
  • Common Moment. On Friday, August 29, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. join the world renowned Liz Lerman Dance Exchange as they stage a once-in-a-lifetime movement happening on Foss Hill for all new students. You’ll embody the results of a residence hall poll. We need your participation to make this historic collective expression about climate change a success.
  • Field Trip to the North End Peninsula of Middletown. On Saturday, August 30, from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., Professor Barry Chernoff (Biology and Earth & Environmental Science) will present a lecture on aquatic conservation efforts along the Coginchaug and Matabesset rivers entitled “The North End Peninsula of Middletown: Conservation, Ecology and Sociology.” The lecture will be followed by a field trip to this spectacularly beautiful and unique aquatic and riparian ecosystem that contains a converted sanitary landfill and the remnants of a munitions plant from World War I.
  • Welcome Address. On Wednesday, September 3, at 4:15 p.m., Winona LaDuke, and environmental and political activist who is the founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, will welcome the Wesleyan community with an address on “Indigenous Thinking about a Post Carbon, Post Empire Economy.”
  • Jazz and Dance Performance. On Friday, September 5, at 8:00 p.m., award-winning dancer/choreographer Drika Overton and musician/composer Paul Arslanian will present a work inspired by Rachel Carson, founder of the modern environmental movement, entitled “Off the Beaten Path: A Jazz and Tap Odyssey” in collaboration with renowned tap dancers Brenda Bufalino and Josh Hilberman.

New Student Orientation


New Student Orientation introduces new students to the Wesleyan community and assists with the transition to university life. The full Orientation programs consist of International Student Orientation for new international students (August 22-25) and New Student Orientation, for the Class of 2012 as well as new transfer, exchange, and visiting students (August 26-September 1). As you get ready to arrive at Wesleyan, look through the New Student Orientation website to find more information about Orientation week activities. The Orientation office is staffed with five Orientation Interns who are happy to answer questions. They can be reached at (860) 685-6667 or at orientation@wesleyan.edu.