October 31, 2011
As you probably know, the weekend’s snowstorm has wreaked havoc with many of the power systems of the region. In particular, the Connecticut Light and Power electrical grid has sustained unprecedented damage, and the Middletown area has been without electricity since Sunday afternoon. This has left Wesleyan without power in the central campus area for the first time in memory. We have backup systems for emergency lighting and for our servers, which have functioned properly. Medical services are available at Middlesex Hospital, and Public Safety is available to any students in need of assistance. We have provided a shelter area at the Science Library and have been serving meals at the Usdan University Center. Sandwiches will be available at Usdan today from 2 to 4 pm, and we will provide further information about meals pending restoration of power.
We are working with local officials and our own engineers and are hopeful that power will be restored to the central campus area sometime this evening. This will happen in stages, and there likely will be interruptions — a normal part of the process. Supplying electricity to the wood frame houses and the surrounding area will take longer, and we will send information in this regard (including places on campus where students may stay) in the next 24 hours.
We do anticipate that classes will be held Tuesday.
The aftermath of the storm has been challenging, and I am grateful to the staff, faculty and students who are all pulling together.
Michael S. Roth
Officials from Connecticut Light and Power have informed us that Wesleyan won’t have power or heat for at least 24 hours and perhaps longer. Therefore, we are canceling classes on Monday. Faculty and staff are requested to stay home, except for essential personnel. It will be cold tonight in Wesleyan’s residences. Students may wish to leave campus; alternatively, if you expect your housing to be unreasonably cold, you may bring blankets and a pillow to the Science Library beginning at 4 pm. A continental breakfast will be available at the Usdan Center Monday starting at 9 am., but no food services will be available before then.
If you stay on campus, please remain inside with the windows closed. Please stay away from downed power lines and trees. Do not use candles or anything else that would create a danger of fire. We will provide another update early Monday afternoon.
Wesleyan Head Baseball Coach Mark Woodworth ’94 and Barbara Jan Wilson, Vice President for University Relations, are quoted extensively in an ESPN piece about the new general manager of baseball’s Chicago Cubs, Jed Hoyer ’96. Woodworth and Wilson recount Hoyer’s experiences as an undergraduate and employee at Wesleyan before he went on to an entry level position with the Boston Red Sox.
ABC News reports on a ground-breaking study by Ruth Striegel, Walter A. Crowell Professor of the Social Sciences, professor of psychology, that shows men engage in binge eating. Published in the latest copy of the International Journal of Eating Disorders, the study examined 46,351 people overall: 24,608 women and 21,743 men; 2,754 women (approx. 11.2%) and 1630 men (approx. 7.5%) reported behavior consistent with binge eating. There had been a widespread assumption in many areas that only women were affected by eating disorders of this kind. One implication of the study: researchers and health care providers may have to rethink their approach to eat disorder studies and treatment strategies worldwide.
Separate stories on this were also reported by NPR, Fox News, The Daily Mail (UK), UPI and several other outlets
President Obama has been talking a lot tougher about Iran lately but don’t expect any substantial action, says Douglas Foyle in a recent Christian Science Monitor article. Foyle, the Douglas J. and Midge Bowen Bennet Associate Professor of Government, said this is typical of politicians who have moved into campaign mode, selecting topics that can’t hurt the candidate and pushing them harder. “Can’t hurt” usually translates into very little action, Foyle says, but in Obama’s case this doesn’t dilute his message as he has several foreign policy successes.
In an opinion piece for The Faster Times, Elvin Lim, associate professor of government, examines President Obama’s “leading from behind” approach and where it has and has not worked. The results may surprise you.
Jazz pioneer and Professor of Music Anthony Braxton is profiled in a feature by NPR (National Public Radio) that discusses his career as a music innovator, teacher, recording artist, composer and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient. Braxton has recorded more than 200 albums and though his music is often called challenging, it’s also approachable; he refers to his audiences the “friendly experiencers.” The piece includes clips of Braxton’s music. Braxton has additional samples on his website.
A recent piece in The Hartford Courant details the work done documenting more than 300 years of pollution in a local cove by Johann Varekamp, professor of earth and environmental sciences, and his graduate students. The study examined at Wethersfield Cove, which is located just south of Hartford off the Connecticut River and was cut off from the river by a violent storm in 1692. The researchers found high levels of mercury, which was used extensively by industrial manufacturers until the early 20th century. The study resulted in a paper titled “Wethersfield Cove, Hartford, CT – A 300 Year Urban Pollution Record,” which Varekamp presented at the annual national meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) this month in Minneapolis.
The newly formed Campus Activities Committee is hosting two events – FREE for Wesleyan staff and faculty – the only requirement is that you register!
Wesleyan vs. Bates – Free Tickets and Lunch
On Saturday, October 15, join members of the Wesleyan community, their families and friends for a home football game. Game tickets and lunch are free – hot dogs, pizza and cold drinks will be available at the varsity sports team concession stands, and raffle prizes will be awarded at half-time! Please register by noon on Thursday, October 13, by completing this form.
Taste of Middletown on Campus
On Thursday, October 20, you are invited to a complimentary “Taste of Middletown” from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Beckham Hall. You can sample the flavors of more than a dozen Middletown eateries and will have an opportunity to win one of many gift certificates at local restaurants and hotels, as well as a home office task chair from WB Mason. There is no charge to attend a “Taste of Middletown.” The Committee will be collecting non-perishable food items at the door for donation to the Amazing Grace Food Pantry. We need to let the vendors know how many guests we are expecting, so we ask that you register here.
You can read more about the Campus Activities Committee and its efforts in the recent Wesleyan Connection story here.
A feature in The Hartford Courant profiles Robert Patricelli ’61, P’88, P’9 and the gift by the Patricelli Family to establish the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which supports students who want to create programs and organizations serving the public good anywhere in the world. Among his own entrepreneurial ventures, Patricelli founded three different health care organizations.
More on the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship can be found here.
The BBC reports on a new study that suggests water on a nascent earth could have come from comets, a conclusion that James Greenwood, research associate professor, Earth and Environmental Sciences, says could have broad implications for our theories of how the planet and life here evolved. Greenwood recently proved through a study of rocks brought back by the Apollo missions that the moon holds water.
A report for NPR (National Public Radio) on nationalism in America cites Professor of Government Peter Rutland. Rutland says that, from President Obama on down, Americans embrace nationalism on the left and right. However, because many Americans see nationalism as a “dirty word,” we often refer to our nationalism as “patriotism.” Rutland has a blog devoted to the issue, which can be found here.