First Year Matters (FYM) Seminars


The First Year Matters program will offer four faculty seminars during New Student Orientation that will explore this year’s theme of water from the discipline of the faculty presenter.  One seminar features a discussion between two professors, a humanist and a scientist, who will talk about issues connected to water contamination, ground water depletion and rising sea levels in the context of sustaining human and animal life on earth.  Another seminar will focus on the critical nature of fresh water in the western part of the United States, and explore possible responses to long-term problems there that range from the prolonged drought in the southwest to the mega forest fires in California.  The third seminar will explore the historical role that water has played in human development, focusing on the challenges that large bodies of water presented to early humans and how those barriers were eventually exploited for growth and economic expansion.  The fourth seminar will explore water’s role in modern development from a legal and economic perspective, and discuss the consequences of property and ownership rights for the natural environment. 

You get to choose one of these great seminars to attend on the afternoon of Thursday, September 3.  The seminars, along with the summer readings, will inform the discussions that take place later that evening. 

You can see the full descriptions for all four seminars on the FYM website ( and on the Blackboard course page.  There will be a bibliography of supplemental readings also posted on the Blackboard course page, if you choose to explore further.   The readings can be found through the Blackboard course page which you can access from the FYM website.  Make sure to read the common readings before you arrive on campus!

Taking Care of Yourself

Check out the latest and greatest online health promotion tools available from Health Services and WesWELL, the Office of Health Education. The Self Care Guide allows you to make informed choices about your health care, including information on how to prevent and treat various health concerns. Created by the American Institute for Preventative Medicine, it’s chock full of good information on being healthier. e-CHUG (Electronic Check-Up to Go) is a brief assessment tool that provides feedback on alcohol consumption and drinking patterns. Learn how to make small changes that can make a big difference!

Check out these tools today or any day…both are always linked from the Health Services and WesWELL websites. (Note: While you are required to enter your Wes email username and password to access both these sites, it’s anonymous browsing Your username is in no way connected to the information you enter into or gather from either site.)

Housing Preference and Placement Information

Student housing at Wesleyan is designed so that first-year students live together in residence halls near the center of campus.  As they move through their years at Wesleyan, students have an opportunity to choose an increasingly more independent living option from residence hall doubles to singles to program houses, and eventually apartments or senior houses.  All of these options are within a 5-10 minute walk from the center of campus.  Residential facilities vary by size, room type, and ratio of first-year to upper-class students.  Smoking is not permitted in any of the student residences at Wesleyan.

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to login to the Residential Life online housing preference form so that you can indicate your level interest in the various housing options that Wesleyan offers to first-year students.  In addition to indicating your preference for living in a single, double, or triple room, the form seeks your input regarding a variety of community-based living opportunities.   Your housing preferences must be entered into the system by 11:59 p.m. on June 7, 2009.  Until the deadline you may login to the system as often as you like and make as many changes as you need to make.  No changes may be made after the deadline, however, so that the Office of Residence Life can begin the process of making actual housing placements.

On July 22, you will be able to find out about your housing placement and roommate assignment by logging in to your e-portfolio.  In the meantime, you are encouraged to check out the suggested packing list of things that you may want to consider bringing to Wes.  It is also important that you consult Physical Plant’s housing guidelines and fines that have been developed to maintain the safety and integrity of Wesleyan residential facilities.  Any questions you may have should be directed to the Office of Residential Life at or 860.685.3550.

Peer Advisor Blog

The Peer Advisor blog is a student-authored publication that provides news and information about academic and co-curricular life at Wesleyan.  A service of the Student Academic Resources Network, the blog is a place where new students can get answers to questions before arriving on campus. Current posts cover topics such as What’s an FYI? and What are Essential Capabilities.  Future posts will discuss topics such as how to unpack the Summer Registration Form, how to read a WesMaps course catalog page, how to work with your Faculty Advisor, and life beyond the classroom.

The Peer Advisor blog is maintained by peer advisors (upperclass students with expertise in navigating the “Wesleyan system”) and is available at Anyone can browse the blog, but only authenticated members of the Wesleyan community may post comments.  If you will be posting comments (which requires login using your Wesleyan username and password) please be aware that there is bug in the blog software that may cause an error the first time you try to login. If this happens, just click on your browser’s Back button to login again and you should be OK.