Hello one and all dear friends, followers, slaves of neoliberal oppression–The Hermes is pleased to bring you a Special Edition issue for December, as Wesleyan students cringe at their desks in the various libraries, classrooms, and other glorified dungeons across this campus in preparation for final exams, essays, and more cringing at desks.
We bring you the highly publicized trans* controversy at Wesleyan U. as of late, as told through witness statements, letters and doodles related to a recent (12/4/13) Student Judicial Board hearing for the three trans*-identifying students (of five students stopped in Usdan, the two others cis-identifying) charged with removing gendered bathroom signs across campus, with a punitive fine of over $5000 on the line.
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December 2013, Special Edition!
The trial’s proceedings took nearly five hours, with a fluctuating crowd of twenty to forty students standing outside the door to the trial room in solidarity with the students on trial. The demonstration certainly made a convincing statement to administrators that the trans* community has a broad support base, and that trans* students advocating for inclusivity should not be singled out and punished for attempting to raise their voices in spite of administrative apathy to address the issues at hand.
dat back side
Until next time,
Press Release on The Youngist
Coverage by Auto Straddle
A Mention by Waging Nonviolence
Do you think about political and social justice issues but have no time to do more than that? Are you frustrated that the radical writing you’ve done for class is only ever really read by you and your professors? The Hermes blog is now going to be the new home of an exciting project, led by the University Organizing Center Coordinating Committee and other members of the Wesleyan University community. We will be posting online the academic papers of students who have written about anything social justice related as a way to share ideas and not let the work we all do to make sure the Wes machine keeps grinding away go to waste.
by Yael Chanoff
University of California students occupied their campus buildings after UC regents voted to increase student fees by 32%. The regents, who are appointed by California’s governor, are the equivalent of Wesleyan’s board of trustees in terms of financial management. At the November 18 regents meeting that approved the fee hikes, UC students, faculty and staff gathered at campuses throughout the state, demanding that the regents not increase student fees.
UC Berkeley is known for its activism, and although many students there feel that it has grown more conservative in past decades, over the last couple of months mobilization there has been strong. Over the summer, word began to circulate that the regents were considering severe restructuring of UC Berkeley’s budget. At news of a proposed 32% fee increase, students, faculty and staff began to organize. Existing groups, such as the faculty association SAVE the University and the student party CalSERVE (Cal Students for Equal Rights and a Valid Education), sprang into action. A new coalition of faculty, staff and students called UC Berkeley Solidarity formed in September to unite against the budget decisions.
by Paul Blasenheim
On November 20th, 2009, the first U.S. conference on the campus movement for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the Israeli Occupation took place at Hampshire College. This high-profile event brought together people from as far away as California, Guam, Mexico, and Canada to discuss moving forward in the BDS effort to nonviolently end the illegal occupation of Palestine and the gross human rights abuses which take place there on a regular basis. The conference received media attention, and was attended by around 200 activists, signifying an increase in awareness and action against Israeli apartheid and the companies and corporations which continue to fuel the occupation.
by Peter Myers
Barack Obama is a concept
The eye in the pyramid on the dollar bill, gazing, all-knowing and watching limestone melt as time whips fires of dust
Photo Manipulation by the Hermes
Barack Obama is a voice
Double-tracked, one that speaks words of wisdom in both your ears at once, in stereo
Barack Obama is the voice
in the back of your head that tells you to get up every morning, to turn off the water in your shower even though it’s cold outside and the curtained steam makes you feel warm, maybe even safe
Barack Obama is standing in line on July 21st, 2007, with a plastic wand and jet black wizard’s cap pulled snugly around his ears
Barack Obama is the photo of the sailor and the woman, an everlasting window into a subset of decaying time, one we thought we’d always know; the new America in retrospect
Barack Obama is what we saw twinkling at the edges of consciousness behind our eyelids when we squinted at the sun during an eclipse
Barack Obama landed a plane packed with three hundred million smiling faces on the Hudson, and gave the oath of office as the icy water pooled slowly around his ankles
The idea and the man can do nothing but slowly slide closer until the distinctions drift off: regression. Two slip into each other, twisting strings of DNA and rhetoric, verb arrangements and policy debates becoming one until hijacked angels crash into the river
Looks We Won’t Surrender by Katherine Bascom
Photo: Marta Pisarczyk
The drink bites my tongue. I drop my bottom lip and breathe fire. I usually don’t drink on Tuesdays, but the heart healthy reputation of once-daily red wine eases my mind. I drink a tall glass and think in the present.
Distance from past actions is usually necessary for meaningful perspective, but these days we’re caught in the Moment of Now. The ubiquitous presence of tele-communication charges us with a disorienting spectacle of instant input. To combat this, let’s move out of the muck and find clearer waters.