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rabbandm-medium2014 Friends of the Wesleyan Library Constitution Day lecture by David Rabban ‘ 71

“Free Speech, Academic Freedom, and the American University”

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 – 7:00 pm
Smith Reading Room, Olin Memorial Library, 252 Church Street, Middletown
Free and open to the public.

This talk will cover the judicial treatment of free speech and academic freedom at American universities from the 1950s to the present.  It will explore the First Amendment rights of professors, students, and universities as institutions, and the tensions that arise when these rights conflict.  Topics will include the regulation of classroom speech, the constitutionality of campus “speech codes,” student political expression and association, the relationship between academic freedom and affirmative action, and the extent to which general First Amendment principles have been modified in the academic context.

David M. Rabban graduated from Wesleyan in 1971 and from Stanford Law School in 1974.  After working in a labor law firm and as staff counsel for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), he joined the faculty of the University of Texas School of Law in 1983.  He served as general counsel of the AAUP from 1998 to 2006 and as chair of its Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure from 2006 to 2012.  His book, Free Speech in Its Forgotten Years, 1870-1920 (Cambridge 1997) was co-winner of the Morris D. Forkosch Prize presented by the Journal of the History of Ideas for “the best book in intellectual history published in 1997” and winner of the 1998 Eli M. Oboler Award of the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Round Table for “the most significant work in intellectual freedom published in 1996 and 1997.”  His most recent book is Law’s History:  American Legal Thought and the Transatlantic Turn to History (Cambridge 2013).

Email libfriends@wesleyan.edu for more information.


Reblogged from: Wesleyan Media Project. (Go to the original post…)

 Dems Hold Advantages in Air War in Senate and House;
GOP Airs More Ads in Gubernatorial Races

(MIDDLETOWN, CT) September 16, 2014 – In the past two weeks, advertising in federal and gubernatorial races has not only increased in volume compared to the same period in 2010, but is more negative as well. Democratic advertising has outpaced Republicans advertising over the past two weeks in House and Senate races, while Republicans hold an edge in gubernatorial races.

Table 1 shows that over 34,000 pro-Democratic ads aired during that time period in Senate races compared to just over 29,000 pro-Republican advertisements. Slightly over 30 percent of total ads were sponsored by interest groups, a percentage that was similar for both Republicans and Democrats. Advertising in Senate races over the two weeks ending on September 11 is quite intense. The 63,000 ad airings are over 13,000 more than the over 49,000 ads aired in Senate races during the same time period in 2010, a 27.5 percent increase.

The Democratic lead on the House side is even greater over the past two weeks, with pro-Democratic ads outnumbering pro-Republican ads by almost a 2 to 1 margin, 20,554 to 10,855. This finding stands in contrast to an earlier report from the Wesleyan Media Project that showed a substantial Republican ad advantage over the entire election cycle. (Those cycle-to-date numbers also included primary ads in the early part of the year.) This recent Democratic ad advantage in federal races was led by Democratic candidates, who sponsored 70 percent of pro-Democratic airings over the past two weeks.

“Clearly, Democrats are starting to reverse the early Republican lead in the ad war,” said Travis Ridout, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project. “Forecasts of House races suggest that the Republicans will keep control of the chamber, but Democrats are working hard to hold on to–or tip—every competitive seat,” he added.

In the various races for governor, however, Republicans held an ad advantage over the past two weeks.  There were about 5,000 more pro-Republican than pro-Democratic ads.  Outside groups (including the Republican and Democratic Governors associations) have both aired upwards of 8,000 airings, but groups make up a slightly larger proportion of the pro-Democratic airings (nearly 26 percent compared to nearly 22 percent) while party sponsored airings are slightly higher proportion on the Republican side (22 percent compared to nearly 18 percent for the Democrats).

Figure 1 depicts which party held the ad advantage in each media market over the past two weeks, with separate maps for House and Senate advertising.  Blue, which indicates a Democratic ad advantage, is much more common than red, which indicates a Republican ad advantage.

Figure 1: Advertising Balance in US House and US Senate Races (Aug 29, 2014 – Sept 11)


Negative Ads More Common than 2012 Cycle and 2010 Midterms

Much of the advertising over the past two weeks has been negative, and that has been especially true in races for the U.S. Senate (Table 2).  Fifty-five percent of the ad airings in Senate races were negative, and another 17.5 percent were contrast ads; that is, they mentioned both a sponsor and an opponent.  Only 27.5 percent of ad airings were positive ads, those that focused solely on a favored candidate.   Gubernatorial and House ads were both over 40 percent negative, and  negativity totals for all three races are up in comparison to the same time period in the 2012 elections and in 2010, the previous midterm cycle.  In 2012, 23 percent of gubernatorial ads were negative as were 32 percent of House ads and 44 percent of Senate ads.  In 2010, 34 percent of gubernatorial ads were negative, as were nearly 27 percent of House ads and 44 percent of Senate ads.

“So far the 2014 midterms are seeing increased volume and increased negativity over 2010, which is going to make citizens even less happy with the tone of the airwaves,” said Michael Franz, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project. “Evidence from political science suggests, however, that citizens may be more informed as a result of the negativity.”


Table 3 shows that candidates in U.S. Senate battles this year are taking different negative strategies, with Democrats far more likely to air pure attack ads (42 percent) and Republicans airing more contrast spots (42 percent). Group-sponsored and party airings continue to be the attack dogs for both parties, though group-sponsored airings have been even more negative on the Democratic side of the aisle. In the House, candidate-sponsored airings have been overwhelmingly positive from both sides (71 percent for Democrats and 78 percent for Republicans), but parties and interest groups have been overwhelmingly negative. Overall, over half of pro-Republican airings (52 percent) were negative while only slightly over a third of pro-Democratic airings (36 percent) were negative thanks, in large part, to the abundance of positive Democratic candidate airings.


More Democratic Ads in 9 of 10 Top Senate Races and All Top House Races

Table 4 shows the top 10 U.S. Senate races, ranked by the total volume of advertising over the past two weeks.  In many of the races, the Democratic candidate holds a small ad advantage, with larger Democratic advantages in Michigan, Colorado, Arkansas and Georgia.  The one state in the top ten in which pro-Republican ads outnumber pro-Democratic ads is Alaska.  The table also shows the percentage of ads in each race that are group-sponsored, along with the percentage of pro-Democratic and pro-Republican ads that were sponsored by groups.  Group-sponsored ads as a percentage of total ads are high in many of these races.  For instance, in Michigan, 58 percent of the total airings in the past two weeks were sponsored by groups, and fully 73 percent of the pro-Democratic ads were group-sponsored.


The top U.S. House races, ranked by total ads aired over the past two weeks, are shown in Table 5. In all ten of these competitive races, the Democratic campaign holds an ad advantage. The race with the most advertising was the contest for Georgia’s 12th congressional seat, which saw 3,300 ads in the past two weeks. Arizona-02 and West Virginia-03 both saw more than 2,000 ads in the past two weeks. Many of the most competitive House races saw little interest group activity, but there are some exceptions, including Arizona-02, Florida-02 and California-07.


Democratic ad advantages in the Senate and House, however, do not carry over to gubernatorial races, as Table 6 shows. In the past two weeks, pro-Republican ads have outnumbered pro-Democratic ads in Florida, Texas, Michigan, Kansas and Arizona, while Democratic ads have been more common in Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maine and Rhode Island. Interest groups are most heavily involved in the races in Kansas, Maine and Wisconsin.


Table 7 reveals that Denver television stations aired the most ads over the past two weeks, some 5,600.  Denver is followed by stations in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Boston and Providence.  Over the entire 2013-14 election cycle, the most ads aired in New York City, almost 42,000.  Next on the full cycle-to-date list are Denver, Little Rock, Washington, D.C., and Norfolk-Portsmouth, Virginia.

Figure 2 shows how the volume of House and Senate advertising has varied considerably by media market over the past two weeks, with intense pockets of activity in Colorado, Iowa and Kentucky.

Figure 2: Volume of Ad Airings In House and Senate Races by Media Market (Aug 29, 2014 – Sept 11)

Republican Governors Association Top Group Advertiser

The top group advertiser in the past two weeks was the Republican Governors’ Association, which aired almost 6,400 ads (Table 8). The ads were aired in eight different gubernatorial races. NextGen Climate Action Committee, which wants to make the issue of climate change central to campaign discourse, aired almost 4,000 ads in the past two weeks in the Florida gubernatorial race and four U.S. Senate races.


A Wesleyan Media Project analysis, in partnership with the Center for Responsive Politics, speaks to the extent to which those groups advertising disclosed their donors (Table 9). In gubernatorial races, fully 80 percent of ad airings over the past two weeks were sponsored by groups that fully disclose their donors, while fewer than half of airings in Senate races were sponsored by groups that fully disclose. In House races, full disclosure was even rarer, at only 27 percent. Over 60 percent of ad airings in House races were from dark money groups that do not disclose their donors. Overall, across House, Senate and gubernatorial races, 35 percent of ad airings were sponsored by groups that did not disclose.


The extent to which interest groups have dominated advertising varies from one media market to the next, as Figure 3 shows.


Figure 3: Percentage of Total Ad Airings Sponsored by Groups (Aug. 29, 2014 – Sept 11) 2014_Release3_IG-notitle

Affordable Care Act Attacks a Consistent Focus, Increasing in Number

In the last six weeks, 37,544 ads criticizing the Affordable Care Act have aired, which is only 1,620 fewer political attacks than aired during the entire six-month enrollment period in which a grand total of 39,069 attacks aired (Figure 4). Furthermore, references to the health care law (including both attacks and oblique positive references) have increased in number along with the increase in campaign ads generally, staying at a steady 16-17 percent of all campaign ads over the last six weeks.

“It may not be the overwhelming campaign issue many predicted, but attacks on the Affordable Care Act are not going away. In fact they are increasing in volume as we head into the upcoming enrollment period,” said Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project. “How those attacks collide and interact with marketing ads will be interesting to watch with potentially important consequences for citizen attitudes, information and behavior.”

Figure 4:  Volume of Ads Mentioning Affordable Care Act   2014Release3Figure4 1

About This Report

Data reported here do not cover local cable buys, only broadcast television and national cable buys. All cost estimates are precisely that: estimates. Content information is based on ongoing Wesleyan Media Project coding and analysis of Kantar Media/CMAG video. Disclosure categorization information on interest groups comes from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Wesleyan Media Project provides real-time tracking and analysis of all political television advertising in an effort to increase transparency in elections. Housed in Wesleyan’s Quantitative Analysis Center – part of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life – the Wesleyan Media Project is the successor to the Wisconsin Advertising Project, which disbanded in 2009. It is directed by Erika Franklin Fowler, assistant professor of government at Wesleyan University, Michael M. Franz, associate professor of government at Bowdoin College and Travis N. Ridout, associate professor of political science at Washington State University. Laura Baum is the Project Manager. The Wesleyan Media Project is supported by grants from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and Wesleyan University. Data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG with analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project using Academiclip, a web-based coding tool. The Wesleyan Media Project is partnering in 2014 with both the Center for Responsive Politics, to provide added information on interest group disclosure, and Ace Metrix, to assess ad effectiveness.

The Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy. Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the organization aims to create a more educated voter, an involved citizenry and a more transparent and responsive government. CRP’s award-winning website, OpenSecrets.org, is the most comprehensive resource available anywhere for federal campaign contribution and lobbying data and analysis. Periodic releases of data will be posted on the project’s website and dispersed via Twitter @wesmediaproject. To be added to our email update list, click here.

For more information contact:

Lauren Rubenstein, lrubenstein@wesleyan.edu, (860) 685-3813


About Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Conn., is known for the excellence of its academic and co-curricular programs. With more than 2,900 undergraduates and 200 graduate students, Wesleyan is dedicated to providing a liberal arts education characterized by boldness, rigor and practical idealism. For more, visit www.wesleyan.edu.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

About the MacArthur Foundation

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at www.macfound.org.

Reblogged from: class of 2015. (Go to the original post…)


Sponsored by the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

Meets: Tuesdays at  7:00pm Location: Solarium (Room 201, on the 2nd floor of the Davison Health Center)

Intended to create a network of support for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. Please feel free to come and leave when it is convenient for you. For more information please contact: jmasand@wesleyan.edu or scorner@wesleyan.edu.

Reblogged from: Class of 2016. (Go to the original post…)

(Sponsored by the office of Counseling and Psychological Services)

Meets: Weekly, every Tuesday
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Solarium (Room 201) (2nd fl., Davison Health Center)

Intended to create a network of support for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. Please feel free to come and leave when it is convenient for you.

For more information please contact: jmasand@wesleyan.edu or scorner@wesleyan.edu.

Reblogged from: ENGAGE - Wesleyan University. (Go to the original post…)

IMG_8074Wesleyan’s Environmental Organizers Network (E.O.N.) is bringing some much-needed color to campus with “Wild Walls,” a series of vertical pallet gardens that will beautify campus, bring attention to the cause of green walling, and provide students and passers-by with free herbs and flowers. The exterior of WestCo 1 currently boasts the first three panels, which have been filled with succulents and sedums as a result of their short roots and hardiness. Earlier this month, Kate Weiner ’15 – a PCSE peer advisor and grant recipient – and Ellen Paik ’16 of the Green Fund led twelve volunteers in the construction, planting, and installation of the walls, and a new student group named Wild Walls will maintain them. To get involved in upcoming projects, contact Kate at kweiner[at]wesleyan[dot]edu.

This project was made possible by months of collaboration with Kate Ten Eyck (Visiting Assistant Professor of Studio Art and Art Studio Technician), Roseann Sillasen (Associate Director of Physical Plant), Bill Nelligan (Director of Environmental Services), and Jen Kleindienst (Sustainability Coordinator), and it has been funded by Wesleyan’s Green Fund.


Reblogged from: Class of 2016. (Go to the original post…)

Hey Class of 2016! Come get to know your neighbors in High Rise and Low Rise and meet your classmates at the Junior Picnic! Are a lot of your friends studying abroad this semester? Come to the picnic and make new ones! There will be music, free food (BBQ-style), and lots of fun to be had! Come to the Low Rise courtyard from 1-4pm on September 20th to enjoy these last few days of summer weather with your friends and classmates.  Check out the “Junior Picnic” event on Facebook and RSVP to the Google Doc if you can make it.

Hope to see you there!

Sponsored by Hi Rise, Lo Rise, and the 2016 Class Council.

Reblogged from: Wesleyan Photo. (Go to the original post…)

Wesleyan students, faculty, staff and community members participated in a “Freedom Summer” commemoration Sept. 12-13 on campus. he summer of 1964 saw thousands of young people — many from colleges and universities in the North – mobilize to register voters, educate citizens, and support other civil rights work in the Jim Crow South.

What came to be known as “Freedom Summer” is credited with ending the isolation of states where racial repression and discrimination was largely ignored by news media and politicians, despite the the landmark Civil Rights Act passed that July.

Wesleyan students joined the struggle. “Five Wesmen to Fight Voter Discrimination in Mississippi,” said a front-page headline in The Argus. That May, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. had given the baccalaureate sermon, and other civil rights leaders had visited campus. The commemoration not only celebrated Wesleyan’s participation, but the unique moment Freedom Summer occupies in American history. 

Reblogged from: Wesleyan Photo. (Go to the original post…)

The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) hosted the 21st Annual Student Groups Fair Sept. 12 behind Usdan University Center.

The campus-wide event allowed both new and returning students to learn about new and established student groups, network with different academic departments and interact with several vendors from the local Middletown community. About 70 student groups were represented at the event.

Reblogged from: Green Street Blog. (Go to the original post…)

The Heart Gallery is a traveling exhibit created to find forever families for children in foster care.


The Heart Gallery is a collaborative project of over 120 Heart Galleries across the United States designed to provide permanency for children needing homes in our community. Professional photographers have volunteered their time and talent to photograph the children in care. The Heart Gallery model is being replicated in many communities across the country. Although many of our children were removed from abusive and neglectful situations, they still have hope. They love to laugh, to learn, and to be with their friends. Most of all, they hope to find a stable home and family connection.

The CT exhibit is a collection of various photographs of children who are medically complex, have siblings or are young adolescents to older teens. These children all have one wish in common, to find a permanent connection with a family.

Opening reception will be on Thursday, October 2nd from 6-8pm

The exhibit will run from October 2- October 29, 2014

Gallery hours: Monday – Friday 9a.m.-3:00p.m.


If you would like to know more about foster care and adoption program, please email: Jacqueline Ford, Heart GalleryExhibit Coordinator, jacqueline.ford@ct.gov or, you may call 1-888-KID-HERO.


Reblogged from: Wesconnect News. (Go to the original post…)

By Aditi Kini ’13

[Bruce Eric Kaplan '87]Bruce Eric Kaplan ’87, better known as the New Yorker cartoonist BEK, is exceptionally versatile. In addition to his iconic cartoons, he has written at least ten books and worked in television – he is co-executive producer and writer for Girls, he was executive producer and writer for Six Feet Under, and wrote for Seinfeld (including the episode where Elaine – Julia Louis Dreyfus P’14 – is enraged by a cryptic New Yorker cartoon.)

Now the writer is expanding his relationship with HBO to include a half-hour comedy project Sing With Me. Both written and executive produced by Bruce, the musical will revolve around the lives of three generations of women in LA.

Writer Bruce Eric Kaplan is further expanding his relationship with HBO with a new half-hour comedy project, Sing With Me. Written and executive produced by Kaplan, the musical comedy, now in development, revolves around three generations of women living in Los Angeles. At HBO, Kaplan most recently wrote and executive produced the half-hour comedy pilot People In New Jersey. Before that Kaplan, who is also a well-known cartoonist, served as a co-executive producer on HBO’s comedy Girls and worked on drama Six Feet Under.

Read more…

Image: c/o Deadline.com

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