“Be-Friend” Initiative

What is be-friend?
BE-FRIEND aims to pair Wes students with each other to connect and share thoughts, ideas, and themselves. It is open to all Wed students regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or ability. We hope to foster connections in the midst of a time characterized by social distancing and disconnect.

How it works:
Interested participants will complete an initial survey designed to help the chaplain’s office pair you with someone based on your preferences, including faith or no-faith tradition, gender identity, race/ethnicity/ethnic identity, and any specific preference you might have.

The program will begin on March 22 and go through the end of April. If the pair of “friends” want to continue to meet, in-person or online, that’s up to them. We will gather safely outside in early May to enjoy a celebratory meal (provided by a local restaurant). For those participating from elsewhere, we will mail a care package to their preferred address. Each participant will receive a free t-shirt.

Here is the link to the survey: https://forms.gle/qE1HTwXpPQJMm9GZ8

Understanding, Validating & Healing From Trauma

You are invited to participate in a two-part series we will be offering to students in the Wes community regarding personal trauma and substance use on campus.

In the first part, Understanding, Validating & Healing From Trauma, Demetrius Colvin (SRC), Jami Carlacio (ORSL), and September Johnson (WesWell) will speak about various forms of trauma they have encountered and the coping mechanisms- both healthy and unhealthy- that they have used to deal with it. In the second part, Coping and Connecting in Crisis: Substance Use and Self-Care During College, the speakers will share their experience as it relates to substance use (in the family and personally) and again, how they found hope by using effective coping skills and seeking help.

The presentation blends storytelling with professional knowledge and aims to reach students through presenters personal accounts of trauma and substance use. The focus ultimately centers on coping, recovery, and resilience, with the message being that life is messy but/and that we can emerge from it whole when we have the right support and resources.  We ask that you promote these two events with students, staff, and/or faculty you know who may benefit from it, whether as a trauma sufferer/survivor or as a resource for anyone who might need help. To be clear, we hope to start a campus-wide conversation about the increased intensity of challenges facing college students today as they navigate illness, death, isolation, fear, and insecurity due to the pandemic and to the effects of structural racism.

The presentations will be held on:

Wednesday March 3 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Zoom Link: https://tinyurl.com/validatingtrauma
Facebook Link

Wednesday March 10 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Zoom Link: https://tinyurl.com/copingincrisis
Facebook Link

Please reach out to us if you have questions or comments, and thank you in advance for spreading the message.

Sincerely,

Demetrius Colvin, Jami Carlacio, and September Johnson

Zoom Dinner Party with WesWell Interns and Peer Health Advocates 10/1

First-year students, join the WesWell Interns and Peer Health Advocates for a Zoom Dinner Party on Thursday 10/01 at 7:30 pm. Meet your first-year friends across campus over a shared meal, get to know one another and play some games. We hope to see you all there and look out for next Thursday’s invite to see if your residence hall is invited! Remote students and sophomores living in joint residences are also welcome to join and get to know your first-year peers as well! We look forward to meeting everyone.

Zoom Link: https://tinyurl.com/y2a7umgh.

Bring your meal to your computer screen and come meet your peers across campus! Thursday, October 1st at 7:30 pm. Any questions please email rberke@wesleyan.edu.

Academic and Personal Support Resources

Wesleyan offers a variety of academic and personal support services for students. With the semester about to begin, you should familiarize yourself with these resources so that you will know where to go when you or someone you know needs to ask for help.

Student Academic Resources
Student Academic Resources (SAR) coordinates programs for intellectual enrichment and academic support.  SAR staff members are available to meet with any student individually throughout the year. Staff members can assist students in developing academic skills or connecting with other resources on campus.

Academic Peer Advisors
The APA Program provides students with a well-informed resource about the course registration process and academic resources beginning with New Student Orientation and continuing throughout the year. Peer advisors are juniors and seniors who work during New Student Orientation (NSO) and throughout the academic year to enhance student access to academic resources.

Deans Peer Tutoring Program
Peer tutors provide supplementary course-content instruction for students who request them. Peer tutoring is provided free of charge; students can receive up to two hours of tutoring each week per course for which they are matched with a tutor. Peer tutors are employed by the University, and paid by the Deans’ Office.  Tutor-tutee matches are made as quickly as possible. While students may be referred to use the Deans’ Peer Tutoring Program, tutees are self-identified, and must complete a request for tutoring in order to be matched with a tutor.

Math Workshop
The Math Workshop is open Sunday through Thursday from 7-10pm. The staff members on duty are either experienced undergraduates or math graduate students. The staff offers a drop-in tutoring service, available to all members of the Wesleyan community. Staff members provide a friendly, relaxed atmosphere while answering questions about mathematics.

Writing Workshop
The Writing Workshop supports Wesleyan students in all aspects of their academic writing. Writing tutors strive to meet writers where they are in the writing process.  That may mean brainstorming a new assignment, reviewing the structure of a draft, tinkering with the details of an essay before it is submitted to an instructor, or mastering important skills. The Writing Workshop supports students with particular writing tasks while also cultivating spaces on campus for students to develop their voice, perspective, and values as writers.

The Resource Center
The Resource Center (RC) seeks to support, empower, and engage students with underrepresented and marginalized identities at Wesleyan University. The center’s areas of focus include promoting dialogue and coalition building around the intersections of race, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, disability, gender, sexuality, sustainability, spirituality, and social and political activism.  Whether you want to reserve one of our homey meeting spaces, need help with a personal or organizational issue related to social differences, looking for employment opportunities, have a great program idea, want to promote some of the great work that you are already doing in the community, or just want to know what is happening in the center, please reach out to the Resource Center.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
CAPS provides comprehensive short-term mental health services through multidisciplinary integration with Davison Health Center and WesWell. Students who utilize CAPS psychotherapy services may discuss in confidence any worries, distressing feelings, or difficult situations they are currently experiencing. The goal of CAPS is to assist students as they navigate through life’s challenges within the context of a highly rigorous and demanding academic environment.

Office of Religious and Spiritual Life
The Chaplains from Wesleyan’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life have been appointed by the University to ensure and promote the spiritual and religious well-being of the campus community. We do this by providing leadership, counseling, and programming that promotes holistic student development and by nurturing many diverse and vibrant religious communities at Wesleyan. The Chaplains are committed to welcoming students of all genders and sexual identities, of all secular and religious traditions, and from all cultural backgrounds. Please feel free to e-mail/call us to schedule a visit or attend one of our programs.

WesWell
WesWell, the Office of Health Education, is an integral part of Wesleyan University’s Health Services. WesWell understands the impact of student health on academic performance and is committed to providing services that are designed to develop healthy behaviors and prevent health concerns that may interfere with academic and personal success.  Health initiatives are evidence-informed, based on Standards of Practice for Health Promotion in Higher Education and data collected from Wesleyan University students.

SHAPE
The Office of Support, Healing, Activism, and Prevention Education (SHAPE) is dedicated to reimagining a world without interpersonal violence, through supportive resources for those who have experienced harm, trauma-informed, healing-centered prevention education programming and trainings, self-care and wellness workshops, and supporting student activism within the Wesleyan University community.  This mission is in service of a larger vision to dismantle intersecting systems of oppression which create conditions for interpersonal violence to occur, and to educate the greater Wesleyan University community about these acts of violence and responding to them in a healing-centered way.  This vision is realized through courageous actions of self-reflection, intervention, and empathetic action.

Top Ten Recommendations for the First Year and Beyond

  1. Make Wesleyan yours: Find or create your spaces at Wesleyan, whether by joining an a cappella group or by loving your Physics lab. We have over two hundred student groups that you can sign up for. There are also jobs on campus.
  2. Build relationships: Seek out your instructors during office hours. This can be intimidating, but it is how you build a relationship and come to understand the course material better. Get to know your faculty advisor, work supervisor, your class dean, etc., as it’s important for you to know people; it’s also very important for them to know you!
  3. Learn from your classmates and try new things: Your peers have had a vast array of experiences, so make sure you’re supporting one another and growing together. Upperclassmen will be an invaluable resource as you transition to Wes. Also, make sure you try new things! Explore a new language, study abroad in a different part of the world, select a course with a topic that is completely new to you.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help: Wesleyan has an abundance of resources, whether the Writing Workshop, Academic Peer Advisors or Peer Tutors, as well as your Faculty Advisor, instructors and teaching assistants. Asking for help is hard, because it means being vulnerable, but it is essential to your success. First-year students sometimes see asking for help as a sign of weakness, but it is not. Asking for help is really a sign that you can make savvy use of your resources that will enable you to thrive.
  5. Wesleyan has its own culture with its own language: I have built a list of acronyms that might be helpful to you.
  6. Use your time wisely: You will suddenly have lots of unstructured time. Given the COVID situation and the need to practice social distancing, it will be challenging to to find ways to manage your time. High school is extremely structured, down to the minute, which is not the case in college. Now it’s up to you to be mindful of how you’re using your time, whether studying for a test, writing a paper, doing homework, getting to class, etc. Most students use a planner, whether electronic or paper. For example, once you have all of your courses set, you should look over all of your syllabi and then plan out all of the assignments across the semester, as you’ll know when your intense weeks will be. If those weeks include papers as well as tests, try to get those papers done earlier so that you can focus on just the tests during that week.
  7. Make sure that you’re having fun! Find ways to connect with friends.  It’s hard to be social when practicing social distancing, but with a little bit of imagination and determination it can be done. Practice mindfulness.
  8. Take care of yourself. Sleeping and eating well, avoiding as much stress as possible, all of these are important aspects of self-care. WesWell offers self-care education, programs and workshops, as does CAPS. We have at Wesleyan the Rule of 7, a guideline that recommends that you can pursue four courses and three activities, but really no more than that.
  9. Don’t let a disappointing grade derail you. If you don’t do as well on something as you had hoped, go see your instructor and discuss where you went wrong in order to improve your performance on the next assignment. A disappointing grade does not mean that you aren’t capable or that the Admissions Office made a mistake (they do not make mistakes!). Make sure that you’re reaching out for help in this moment rather than pulling back, as this has happened to countless students before. Check out the Wesleyan Resilience Project for stories of students who have gained from their moments of challenge.
  10. Your dean is here to help: Dean Phillips is available to you via email or zoom this summer and once the semester is underway.  You can schedule a drop-in appointment with him through his Google Calendar, or you can an email him at dphillips@wesleyan.edu to schedule a meeting if drop-in hours don’t fit your schedule.

A Recipe for the Rule of Seven

By Makaela Kingsley, director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship

When I started college in the fall of 1994, we had the Freshman Fifteen and an all-you-can-eat dining plan (RIP Mocon). Now, there’s the Rule of Seven, cafeterias are thoughtfully called all-you-care-to-eat, and it’s our schedules and resumes that have become overweight.

Author’s note: I’m about to overuse a food metaphor, so you might want to grab a snack.

At Wesleyan, faculty talk to their advisees about “The Rule of Seven.” This time management strategy says college students should have no more than seven commitments at once. That includes classes, sports, leadership roles, volunteer commitments, work study jobs, relationships, hobbies, and anything else that regularly demands a student’s time and attention.

In this age of frenetic resume-building and schedule-cramming, keeping the number to seven is not easy. During the first two weeks at Wesleyan alone, new students attend an academic fair to learn about 1,000 courses offered in 46 departments and an activities fair that boasts 317 groups scrambling to collect email addresses and claim spots in the precious seven. And, all that’s for a campus of fewer than 3,000 students.

So let’s just admit it, most students don’t limit their list to seven. It’s like eating in a cafeteria: there are so many yummy classes (From Tea to Connecticut Rolls: Defining Japanese Culture Through Food!), extra-curricular activities (Food Not Bombs!), and things to do (Pancakes with PSafe!). And really, college is a time for trying new things. It makes sense to diversify before specializing. Seven just doesn’t sound like a big enough number, especially at the intellectual, cultural, activist, and social buffet that is Wesleyan. And therefore, while most students know about the Rule of Seven, few actually adhere to it.

The problem with this slippery slope of overextendedness is that it often leaves students stressed, distracted, and unsatisfied. They engage in too many things to truly benefit from any. They have so many things on their tray that they end up wasting food and getting indigestion!

And worse, they miss out on the learning that happens with a deep dive into a single topic, role, or project. Sure, there are glimpses of this during rigorous courses, varsity sport seasons, and executive roles in student groups, but even those deep dives have end dates, final exams, and long summer breaks.

An exception may be the senior thesis model. By senior year, many students have had their fill of the cafeteria, and they’ve discovered the subjects and roles that sit squarely at the intersection of their talent and passion. By working on a single project for at least one year and simultaneously limiting outside distractions, thesis writers have a deep intellectual and practical experiences. I believe that we can learn from this model and replicate it with other capstone experiences.

So, to students who are trying to find breadth, depth, and balance and become T-shaped Changemakers while still adhering to the Rule of Seven, I have the following advice:

  • In the first year of college, go for breadth not depth. When you find you have more than seven, practice the art of prioritizing. Commit yourself to each class, extra-curricular, job, sport, or key relationship for a period of time, but know that it’s okay to drop the things that are not a fit. Reflect regularly: What do I like about this experience, and what do I dislike? Am I fulfilling my responsibilities, and if not, why? Will I stick with this or give it up to make room for other experiences? Be proactive. Make changes in real-time, not months after you recognize an imbalance.
  • In the second and third year of college, start to specialize. You can make larger commitments that count as two of your seven. Four or more may relate to each other. Continue reflecting, but don’t be so quick to abandon commitments that don’t feel great. Learn to muscle through the hard parts. Chances are you’ll come out on the other side smarter, stronger, and better prepared for what comes next.
  • By senior year, consider shifting to a Rule of Less Than Seven (thank you, Ben Stiller). Take a deep dive into a project or field. Remain open to trying new things and building new relationships (last call before the Wesleyan buffet closes!), but devise mechanisms to prevent that openness from becoming too distracting. Say no to opportunities. Hit seemingly insurmountable roadblocks, and push through them. Get closer to finding purpose.

Time-management is not just about sleep schedules and to-do lists, it’s about making tough choices, reflecting and adjusting, and knowing when to stop snacking and settle down for a square meal.

Bon appétit!

Makaela Kingsley is director of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. You can read her thoughts on EntrepreneurshipNetworking, and Personal Branding on this blog.

Fall 2020 Student Intention Form

If you have not already done so, please login to WesPortal and submit a response on the Fall 2020 Student Intention Form by June 30.

WesPortal > New Student Checklist & Resources > Fall 2020 Summer Intention Form

Your response is non-binding.  Your response will help the university plan for the opening of campus for the Fall 2020 semester as we re-allocate campus and residential and instructional space resources in compliance with CT state and local COVID-19 mitigation mandates.

Optional Dental Insurance Information

Optional Dental insurance is available for Wesleyan Students.  An informational brochure can be found through this link.

Eligibility
Any enrolled student of Wesleyan University is eligible to enroll.

Plan Options
This is a standalone dental plan that utilizes a national network of providers and offers in and out of network benefits.  Please see the attached flyer outlining the High, Medium and Low offered plan options. Pricing is on the flyer as well as a synopsis of the coverage offered. This is dental insurance. It is not a dental discount plan.

Enrollment
Enrollment is open continuously throughout the policy year.  The Wesleyan University policy year is September 1 to September 1.

It’s not too late to enroll!
The plan uses a rolling open enrollment. Enrollments received before the 20th of any month would set the effective date as the 1st of the following month. (I.e. 10/15 enrollment=11/1 effective coverage) The premium cost is prorated based on the effective date selected.

Enrollment is completed on-line at http://Wesleyan.dental-enroll.com.   The system accepts credit card or bank draft information as payment. Please note: there is no early cancellation. Once enrolled each student is committed to the plan through to the end of the current policy period. The student can opt to not renew.

ID Cards/Policy Documents
When the online transaction is finalized a confirmation email will instantly be sent to you. In that email will be included links to printout your ID cards and policy documents. It is important that you save this email confirmation, as this is the only way to access your ID cards.   The email would come from Morgan White Administrators.

The Provider Network
The provider network is United Healthcare.  To search for in-network UHC providers go to: www.mwgdental.com

  1. Select: “Find a Dentist” (right hand side/green tab on screen)
  2. Click: “Find a Dentist” (right hand side orange “Links & Tools”)
  3. Click: “National PPO Options” (center of screen) There is no need to log-in to search for providers.  At this point you can enter your criteria for your search.

It is advised that you follow up with a call to the provider office to confirm that the in-network status is still valid, as contracts are subject to change.

Renewal/Continuous Coverage
Those students that elect to enroll in this student dental insurance plan will be automatically renewed for coverage upon the expiration of the current policy year.  The system is set up to post the renewal premium charge to which ever payment source was used at the time of enrollment, about two weeks before the current policy year expires. Notification will be sent to you via email when this will take place. That notice will include steps to take should you not wish to renew.

As long as the renewal premium has been paid, this dental insurance plan can continue indefinitely.  Even, if you should no longer be connected to Wesleyan University.

For more information, please contact.

Katie Kruszewski
860-430-3338
KKruszewski@SmithBrothersUSA.com
Smith Brothers Insurance
377 Main Street, Niantic CT 06357

Annual Health Insurance Requirement for 2020-2021

Wesleyan requires all students to have health insurance

  • All students must comply annually to this request.  All students will be charged upfront on July 13 for the school insurance and students with private insurance will have charges reversed once an online waiver form is accepted. An FAQ provides for more specific details of the insurance plan.
  • You must show proof annually of private insurance (waive) or enroll in the university-sponsored plan before August 12, 2020.  The only acceptable way to comply with university insurance requirements is by completing the necessary forms online, through Gallagher Student Health and Special Risk website at www.gallagherstudent.com/wesleyan and the online form is available now.  Please note:  You must use your Wesleyan email credentials to log in and once logged in you will be taken directly to the Gallagher site; no need to create a new user account.
  • If you know you want the university insurance plan please complete the online enrollment form at www.gallagherstudent.com/wesleyan. Enrolling early will ensure there is no delay in coverage, which begins on August 12, and you will have access to your ID card promptly. If you enroll in the university plan, we recommend using your campus address/PO Box to ensure your insurance statements arrive to your campus mailbox.

If you have any questions, please send an email to healthforms@wesleyan.edu.