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Category Archive for 'First Year Matters'

Issue 3.6 of the First Year Matters Newsletter is now online. Featured articles include:




Health and Safety:


Filmmaker, eco-activist, and reality-TV survivor Shalini Kantayya, from 7th Empire Media, presents her film A Drop Of Life during this year’s Wesleyan University Earth Day Celebration.

Shalini Kantayya appeared on the television reality show On the Lot, created by Steven Spielberg to find Hollywood’s next great director. Out of more than 12,000 filmmakers, she was the only woman to finish in the top ten.

Her production company, 7th Empire Media, is committed to using media to give a powerful voice to the unheard. Her film, A Drop Of Life, a futuristic sci-fi flick about the mounting global water crisis, has been used by The African Water Network, as an organizing tool in more than 40 villages across Africa.

Set in the near future, A Drop Of Life is the story of two women, a village teacher in rural India and an African American corporate executive, whose disparate lives intersect when they are both confronted with lack of access to clean drinking water.

Join us for our annual Earth Day Celebration at Wesleyan University’s Center for the Arts Cinema on Wednesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m.   This filming is free and open to the general public, with a reception immediately following.

The Earth Day Celebration is sponsored by The Robert Schumann Lecture Series for the Environmental Studies Program at Wesleyan University, in collaboration with Feet to the Fire: Exploring Global Climate Change from Science to Art and the Environmental Organizer’s Network (EON).

For more information, please contact Valerie Marinelli at vmarinelli@wesleyan.edu or (860) 685-3733.

The 5th Annual Sexual Health Expo is this Friday!

Friday, March 27, 2009
12:00 to 5:00pm
Exley Science Center Lobby

Convened each year by WesWELL, the goal of the Sexual Health Expo to promote sexual health and responsibility and increase student knowledge of campus health resources. A variety of issues are addressed, including promoting healthy relationships, disease and pregnancy prevention, sexual violence prevention, current political issues related to sexual and reproductive rights, and more.

To reach that goal, we are offering:

  • Tabling & fund raisers with the WesWELL PHAs, FemNet, Clinic Escorts, ASHA, SGAC, HealthCAN, Sigma Lambda Upsilon, Health Services and Oh My! Sensuality Shoppe.
  • Workshops presented by the WesWELL PHAs, WesKink and Sign House.
  • And our first ever Sexual Health Art Show…you be the judge of Best in Show!!!

Bring $$$ for fund raisers, raffles and other purchases!

Click here for the complete schedule

Feet to the Fire is pleased to invite the Class of 2012 to the opening of “Of All the People in All the World, USA”, performed by Stan’s Cafe from Birmingham, UK.

This has become known around campus as “the Rice Show,” because we had to order and install 11,000 lbs of uncooked, long grain rice. The show demonstrates statistics about people, history, culture and science by representing a person with a single grain of rice.

This show is special from previous installations of the show because, as part of the Feet to the Fire Initiative, the show will also feature statistics about Global Warming and Climate Change generated by the students in E&ES/BIOL 197, Introduction to Environmental Studies class, last fall.

There will be many statistics about Wesleyan, its history, as well as statistics about Middletown, CT and the US — all done with the famous wit and artistic sense that is the hallmark of Stan’s Cafe.

So, come join us for the celebration this evening for the opening of “Of All the People in All the World, USA” (The Rice Show)

Zilkha Gallery, Friday, February 20, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Food and refreshment provided.

Issue 3.5 of the First Year Matters Newsletter is now online.  Featured articles include:




Health and Safety


Those of you who participated in the Common Moment dance at Foss Hill during orientation week might want to check out the short video which has been posted to the Feet to the Fire website.

More videos and images are available in the Feet to the Fire Gallery.

As a special welcome back program, Student Services and the University Center Activities Board (UCAB) have arranged for first year students to see one free movie on 1/20.  Students need to show their 2012 I.D. to gain free admission to the movie of their choice.  Students can use this privilege at any one show time on 1/20.

Show your 2012 Wesleyan I.D. at the ticket counter.  Tuesday, January 20, from first showing at 12:50 p.m. to final showing at 10:15 p.m.

Enjoy the show!

Issue 3.4 of the First Year Matters Newsletter is now available online.  Highlights include articles on the Musical Madness Class Competition, Winter Break Closing Information, and a profile of Michelle Myers-Brown, director of the Usdan Center.

Just when you think that there is already to much to do something else shows up.  Tonight we are screening a new documentary entitled Lumpur (“Mud”).  The movie is about the recent and ongoing tragedy in Indonesia associated with drilling for gas and subsequent mudflows that have covered a number of villages.  The question is whether the drilling was the cause of the fissures that gave way.  The film deals with both the scientific and sociological impacts of the event.

Following the film there will be a short panel discussion with the film makers, our resident vulcanologist (Prof. J. Varekamp) and a few others.  Refreshments will be served.  Tonight, December 2, 7:30-9:00 p.m., Usdan 108.

Middletown is much more than a nice place to walk around and pick up the laundry basket you forgot on Main Street. It’s definitely worth taking time to explore your new hometown during your first few months at college. This list contains just a few of the places off campus that can brighten your time at Wesleyan.
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  1. Food! Middletown boosts an impressive array of restaurants. Some of my favorites include Puerto Vallarta for generous portions of Mexican food, Forbidden City Bistro for upscale Chinese fusion and tasty desserts, and, of course, Udupi Bhavan which serves delicious and inexpensive vegetarian Indian food in an unassuming setting. It’s totally worth the short car trip. And no night spent dancing until the wee hours would be complete without a trip to O’Rourke’s Diner for the cheesy omelettes and a chat with Brian O’Rourke.
  2. Farms. The trip to Lyman Orchards by bike is pleasant, but also check out High Hill Orchard at 170 Fleming Road in Meriden, a lovely small organic alternative with heritage apple varieties and hay rides. Connecticut is an agriculturally rich state and you can find farms and farm tours nearby using LocalHarvest. Also, through October there is a farmers market on the South Green in town on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm.
  3. The Roller Skating Rink. This place is such a blast and probably hasn’t changed much since it was built with vinyl flooring and a disco ball. You can even bring your own cds to play over the sound system.
  4. Coffee! Middletown has not one, but four independently owned coffee shops. Go to Klekolo for the sweet chai, Brew Bakers for the tasty black bean sandwiches, Cafe Ology, across the street from the High Rise parking lot, for pineapple pizza, and Javapalooza for the pastries and Italian soda.
  5. Vinnie’s Jump and Jive. Featuring a variety of dance classes, including country line and breakdancing, and monthly swing dancing nights, this place is perfect for mingling with Middletown residents and boogieing to grooves not often heard on campus sound speakers.
  6. Wadsworth Falls. This state park has a mossy mini-waterfall and hiking/biking trails, making it a nice mini-campus getaway.
  7. Destinta Theaters. When you want to see a new film before it gets to the Film Center, this theater is the place. You can pick up discount vouchers from the box office at Usdan. The large popcorn boxes come with free refills, which is perfect for when you bring a large group to a midnight showing.
  8. Veterans Memorial Park. It’s fun to walk around barefoot in the mud and moss near the Coginchaug River. You can bike to this 41-acre park in under 15 minutes.
  9. Green Street Arts Center. Started as a collaboration between Wesleyan, the city of Middletown, and the North End Action Team, Green Street offers all sorts of arts classes. Wesleyan students volunteer at the After School Program, but there are also neat performances including a Salon Series of mini-lectures and arts events on Sundays.
  10. The Russell Library. Located five minutes away from Fisk, this is the local public library. It has a great dvd/vhs collection and is a fine place to study when you want quiet and no distractions. Getting a library card only takes a few minutes.

Will Thanksgiving be your first time home since August? For many students and their families, the first trip home can be a contentious experience. As a student, you’ve become accustomed to maintaining your own schedule, not having a curfew, and eating, studying and playing whenever you want. Furthermore, while you may be looking forward to catching up with your friends from high school, you may not realize that the only quality time you’ve scheduled for your family is between the wee hours of 3:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Some of you may find that your parents have left your old bedroom completely intact as a shrine to your existence, others may discover that it was turned into a craft room the day after you left for college. Just remember that your transition to college has also been a transition for your family.

Here are some tips to make the first trip home go a bit smoother:

  • Make compromises with your time. Spend time visiting high school friends, but let your family know about your plans well in advance. And make sure to set aside time to spend with your parents and siblings–they need time to “catch up” too.
  • Sit down with your parents to renegotiate house rules. While they may not be able to grant all of your requests, if approached beforehand in a rational and mature manner, they will be more open to change.
  • Empathize. Remember that while you have changed during your three months at college, your family has changed too.

  • Reading Strategies and Retention Workshop.  Tired of reading the same paragraph fifty times over? Confused about how you could forget what you just read? Come meet with a SARN peer advisor and learn some strategies to get the most out of your reading. Bring some course syllabi, paper and a writing instrument.  Sunday, September 28, 7:00 p.m. – 08:15 p.m., Usdan 136.
  • Exam Preparation Workshop.  Midterms are here or close at hand! How are you studying to optimize your recall of the course information? Come to an exam preparation workshop and craft a plan for studying for your exams. Bring your course syllabi and notes for a class with an upcoming test. A peer advisor will talk to you about exam prep strategies.  Monday, September 29, 7:00 p.m. – 08:15 p.m., Usdan 136.

Dr. J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Studies and host of “Indigenous Politics: From Native New England” on WESU FM 88.1, will be interviewing Winona LaDuke, the internationally respected Native American and environmental activist on her show this evening from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.  LaDuke, who serves as Program Director of the Honor the Earth Fund, works on a national level to advocate, raise public support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups.  On September 3, she welcomed the Wesleyan community to campus with an address on “Indigenous Thinking about a Post Carbon, Post Empire Economy.”

During New Student Orientation, Randy Haveson shared his take on keeping your alcohol consumption at a low risk level, if in fact you choose to drink at all. Most Wesleyan students consume nothing or at a low risk level which results in few, if any, problems. Just as a reminder, here’s the Code again:

0 — Sometimes ZERO is the best option. Listen to your instincts!

  • If you are under 21 (there are more consequences if you drink underage)
  • If you are drinking to “escape” or deal with stress
  • If you have an exam, job interview, important appointment or project due the next day
  • If you are on medication or have taken any other kind of drug
  • If you haven’t eaten, are sick or are tired
  • If you have a low tolerance or are an alcoholic
  • If you have a strong family history of addiction
  • If drinking causes a change to your personality
  • If you are watching or responsible for children or are pregnant

1 — No more than ONE drink per hour. That’s all your liver can handle at any one time.

2 — Limit your drinking to no more than TWO times per week. Studies show that high risk drinkers consume alcohol three or more times per week.

3 — No more than THREE drinks in one day. That’s a 12 oz. beer, a 4 oz. wine or 1 oz. shot of liquor.

The Student Activities Fair will take place be on Friday, September 19, 2008 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. in the Spurrier-Snyder hockey rink located in the Freeman Athletic Center. It will be a great opportunity to see the many student groups that you can get involved in on campus. Sports, activism, identity, greek life, music, performance, volunteer, program house, and publication groups will all be featured at the event. Each group will have a table where group leaders will be happy to talk to you about their student group involvement. All first year students are strongly encouraged to attend and start getting involved in student groups on campus.

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