Class of 2016 Participates in the Common Moment
The Center for the Arts hosted the annual Common Moment for first-year students on Aug. 31. The event is part of Wesleyan’s Feet to the Fire initiative, which examines critical environmental issues from science to art. As part of the Common Moment showcase, the Class of 2016 divided into groups to learn traditional folk dances from around the world. One group of students performed a folk dance from North India, which was taught by visiting artist Rachna Agrawal.
First-year students sprawled over Andrus Field to participate in the Common Moment. This movement was coordinated by Dance Department Artist-in-Residence Iddrisu Saaka.
Professor Barry Chernoff, CFA Director Pamela Tatge and Artist-in-Residence Iddrisu Saaka led a student showcase of international folk dances as part of the Common Moment. Chernoff is the chair of the environmental studies program, director of the College of the Environment and the Robert Schumann Professor of Environmental Studies.
To represent the folk traditions of New England, students were lead in a Contra dance by visiting artist Amy Cann as caller, accompanied by Olin librarian Rebecca McCallum on fiddle and Avi Fagan on keyboard.
Chernoff conducted the Class of 2016 into creating a physical representation of a line graph, showing the distribution of student responses to a survey taken as part of the First Year Matters readings. Students gave answers to “the most important way that I can promote environmental justice,” with the results showing that 32.3 percent of the incoming class would “demand goods and services that generate less environmental waste,” 44.4 percent would “promote recycling and waste disposal within my own city or town,” 14.1 percent would “be willing to pay more for goods in order to cover the environmental costs of clean,” and 9.1 percent would “be willing to increase my taxes in order to reduce the number of people living in environmentally poor conditions.”
View more photos of the Common Moment in this Flickr photo gallery.