WSA Winter Election Results

    Jan Carlos Pinales        173

    Tiler Wilson        163

    Aditi Shenoy        157

    Maximo Lipman    148

    Anthony Price        144

    Steven Kidder        141

    Janna Yousef        139

    Justin Campos        133

    Sherly Francois    130

    Phie Towie        118

    Dominic Vasquez    116

    Aaron Cheung             31

Food Over Winter Break: No Hungry Student Act

When we come to Wesleyan, we are sold on the promise that we will be supported and that our basic human rights will be respected and our needs met. We are told that as long as we are on campus our community will care for us and our administration will ensure our health and safety. Yet the University has neglected the 5 week-long winter break when campus is desolate, barely anything is open, the weather is brutally cold, and the closest affordable grocery store is a 30 minute walk. Students who stay over winter break are not being supported, provided for, and their basic need of access to food goes unacknowledged by Wesleyan. International students are given a plane ticket to get to Wesleyan to begin their studies, and a plane ticket to get them home when they conclude. However, during breaks, the university does little to help international students.  Leaving them on their own to feed themselves with the work study money they are supposed to be using to pay tuition and books.  If the University essentially requires these students to stay on campus, why do they not take care for them during the most isolating time? Many need-based international students cannot afford to go home over winter break and some other students have exceptional circumstances that require them to stay as well. Staying on campus over winter break in these situations is not a choice.

 

No Hungry Student Act is a collaboration between WSA members and the administration. It seeks to act as a starting point to resolve this issue and relieve students of the burden of paying for food over winter break. This act outlines a stipend program for all international students on need-based aid and domestic students with exceptional circumstances who are staying for the entirety of winter break to receive a cash stipend for food over the break. During the two weeks during winter break that Usdan Marketplace is open, students will be placed on a free meal plan to allow them to eat on campus. This program will begin as a pilot this year, 2016-2017.

 

Food is a right. The University must live up to its promise to provide for its students. While the No Hungry student act does not resolve this issue in its entirety, it gives us a starting point from which we can address the issues plaguing those neglected during breaks.

 

By Emma Austin ‘19, Claudia Kahindi ‘18, and Jacob Maiman-Stadtmauer ‘19

 

Discussion on this resolution will happen in the WSA Senate Meeting on Sunday, November 20th, 2016 at 6:00pm in Boger Hall, Room 114. We invite all community members to come and voice their opinions on this matter and ask questions.

 

Hate Speech Statement

We are deeply distraught that the results of this election have emboldened many on our campus and around the country to engage in hate speech. The hate speech we have seen in the past few days, including threats of physical harm, challenges the values our community holds: safety and inclusivity among them. We will not stand by nor tolerate racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, Islamophobia, or xenophobia on this campus.

In moving forward, we are looking at better ways to report and communicate instances of hate speech on campus--that could mean bringing back the Campus Climate Report. Beyond speech, many members of our community fear for their physical safety and immigration status in addition to the safety and status of those they love. Thus far, we have called for Wesleyan to become a Sanctuary Campus, and are eager undertake further supportive actions.

If you have ideas for how the Administration could respond to protect the needs of our student body, please let us know. We will continue to advocate for our community in this time of hurt and uncertainty.

WSA Representative to Sit on Intra-Greek Council Press Release

Both the WSA and the Intra-Greek Council recognized the lack of a direct or formal connection between their two organizations and thus decided to institutionalize a liaison position that would enhance communication and deepen understanding. We acknowledge that the experience of being in a the Greek community is unique and that having that intimate knowledge allows for one to better understand the specific needs of the Greek community. Therefore, this position will be filled by a member of the WSA who is Greek, to be elected by the members of the Student Life Committee on the WSA. Greek life is an aspect of student life on this campus and seeing as though many other facets of student life have existing pathways of communication with the Student Life Committee of the WSA, this position will work closely with the Student Life Committee.

 

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact Emma Austin at eaustin@wesleyan.edu or Elizabeth Shackney at eshackney@wesleyan.edu

Ammendment to the Minutes Resolution Press Release

After years of having the right to strike statements from the minutes, this practice was finally questioned by many senate members following the October 9th General Assembly meeting. Much to the surprise of the WSA, there was no language surrounding minutes and the specific guidelines for these minutes within the bylaws of the WSA. This discovery led to an extensive discussion at the October 16th meeting regarding the ethics of striking one’s statements from the minutes and the implications that subsequently follow. Overwhelmingly, senators think that the act of striking statements from the minutes reduces transparency and contradicts the very sentiment that having open meetings conveys. Thus, this resolution institutionalizes both a protocol for taking minutes as well as a strict ban on striking statements from the minutes. The WSA is committed to transparency. The minutes of every meeting are posted on the WSA website and we ensure that they are authentic and accurate. Any member of the Wesleyan community has the resources to be informed on the work the WSA is doing and hold senators accountable.

 

If you have questions or comments please feel free to contact Emma Austin at eaustin@wesleyan.edu

 

WesWell Director Search Committee

Joyce Walter, The Director of the Davison Health Center, has just announced that Seirra Fowler will be joining Wesleyan as the new Director of WesWell! Fowler will be responsible for coordinating a comprehensive health promotion program, working closely with the staff of health services and CAPS, and facilitating a variety of health and wellness programming initiatives. Walter tells us that Seirra is currently finishing her work at Louisiana State University as Assistant Director of Wellness and Health Promotion, and she will begin her time with us on January 3, 2017. Seirra has expertise in Bystander Intervention implementation and training, as well as sexual violence prevention, advocacy and outreach.

Many students were involved in interviewing Seirra, and played important roles in the selection process. Students from the WSA, peer health interns, residential life and more all gave detailed feedback on each candidate. These student representatives include:

·      Isabel Bartholomew

·      David Lopez-Wade

·      Joie Akerson

·      Colby Sangree

·      Breanna Ellis

·      Maxine Gibb

·      Aliya Shecter

·      Caitlin O’Keeffe

Seirra Fowler will be a wonderful addition to our Wesleyan administration. If you have any questions regarding the student role in the WesWell director search committee, please reach out to me (ashecter@wesleyan.edu) or any other student representatives.

 

SALD Director Search Committee

This past week, Michelle Myers-Brown, Director of the Usdan University Center, announced that Joanne Rafferty will be taking up the position of Director of Student Activities and Leadership Development/New Student Orientation. Some background on Joanne, as well as some additional updates, from Michelle’s e-mail:

Joanne has been with Wesleyan since 2007 in the role of Associate Director of Operations in the Usdan Administration Department.  She brings a great deal of experience to the table from her work with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Connecticut through experiences in event planning, student activities, orientation and leadership development! I am as excited for Joanne to begin her new role in SALD as is she!  Joanne will begin her new role on November 1st. Joanne and I will be working together to jump right into the search for the SALD Assistant Director search as well.  In the interim, please continue to contact me for anything related to the responsibilities of this position.

Students played a key role in the selection process, and their feedback was heavily factored into the final decision. Leadership from various areas of campus sat for lunch interviews with four candidates. The student and SALD representatives at these interviews included:

  • Kayla Schlenz

  • Taylar Clark

  • Nikolas Ortega

  • Yael Horowitz

  • Grace Wong

  • Lizzie Shackney

  • Hailey Broughton-Jones

  • Gili Lipman

  • Kelly D’oleo

  • Aleyda Robles

  • Victoria King

  • Tova Weisel

 

If you have any questions about the student role in the SALD director search committee, please feel free to reach out to me (eshackney@wesleyan.edu) or any of the other student representatives.

Voter Accessibility

With only one month to go before Election Day, the WSA has created a Voter Accessibility page so students can easily access voter registration forms, absentee forms as well as any other information needed in regards to the voting process. The WSA along with the Allbritton Center will provide stamps as well as envelopes in order to send registration forms as well as absentee request forms. Because state deadlines are approaching, make sure to print out forms so you can send them out as quickly as possible. The envelopes and stamps will be available in the WSA office by early next week. Also, throughout next week, tabling in Usdan will happen where students can print out forms as well as ask any questions about the voting process. Staff from the Allbritton center as well as WSA members will be able to answer questions.

 

This action is in accordance with Resolution 20.37 or the Voter Accessibility Act (VAA) passed last semester.

 

Here are additional voting resources:

 

Rock the Vote

Campus Vote Project

TurboVote

Wesleyan Registrar Voting Page

WSA Press Release on Scott Backer

The members of the WSA, like other students, are trying to process the news about Scott Backer. We are sad, shocked, and outraged. 

Scott Backer was entrusted to handle cases of sexual assault. After many students complained about his disposition, it took the unearthing of previous allegations of sexual misconduct to terminate his employment at Wesleyan. Even still, the Administration waited until the Globe article was published to be forthcoming with the student body about the reason for Backer’s termination, instead of being fully transparent as soon as this came to light.

We stand in solidarity with survivors who now question whether or not they had a fair hearing. We stand in solidarity with survivors who are now even more reticent to report their assault to the administration.

We are committed to action, but, like other students, are still trying to sort out what our goals should be at this time. We are eager to listen: we’ll be attending the WhoRunsWes Town Hall on Tuesday to listen and think about next steps. Afterwards, we’ll look at how the WSA can take action.

Rebecca Hutman '17, President

Nila Ravi '16, Vice-President

WSA Student Group Update

Hello Wesleyan Community!

Today, the Community Committee of the WSA updated the student groups that exist on OrgSync. Your group currently exists if you attended one of the student group registration sessions at the beginning of the semester. Below you will find a spreadsheet with all groups whom have been deleted. If you would like to re-register your group for the semester, please navigate to http://www.wesleyanstudentassembly.org/coco/ and follow the steps for registration. 

WSA Elections

At-Large Election (Top 7)

Alessio Larios  151

Jackie Manginelli 143

Keishan Christophe 41

Olivia Cai 136

Justin Campos 125

Dominic Vasquez 121

Steven Kidder 111

------------------------------

William Maldonado 91

Class of 2020 Election (Top 8)

 

Aliya Shecter 150

Kimberly Ortega 142

Jack Ginsberg 119

Justin Ratkovic 117

Christopher Jackson 95

Jan-Carlos Pinales 94

Maximo Lipman 89

Eugene Smith 87

------------------------------

Sajirat "Bright" Palakarn 84

Livia Wallick26 83

Nikhil Ghosh 78

Gad Licht 70

Cormac Chester 59

Daniel Rodriguez 56

Kevin Liu 56

WSA Publication Fund Referendum

Appreciating the unique role of student journalism at Wesleyan and recognizing the inherent complications that arise when a student government directly funds campus media publications, Resolution 15.37 (passed by the WSA on April 3, 2016) seeks to resolve some of the conflicts which arose in the 2015-2016 school year. The solution is the creation of a "Media Publications Fund", which will act as the principal body allocating funds to media publications on campus. Starting in the 2017-2018 school year the Media Publications Fund will be supported by a $13 per-semester student voluntary opt-out fee modeled after the Green Fund. 

Note that any student who wishes not to pay this fee, for whatever reason, does not have to: anyone may anonymously opt-out at any time. 

The Young Invincibles Talk Student Loans at Wes

 

On Wednesday, July 20th, the WSA’s Student Life Committee hosted a roundtable discussion with Young Invincibles (YI) Advisors, a social impact firm that focuses on Millennials and is a project of Young Invincibles, a nonprofit that advances economic opportunity for young people. YI Advisors is working with Great Lakes, a loan servicer that works with students to help them pay off their debts after graduation. They’re developing tools and resources to make the loan repayment process easier and to improve upon the education and information that students receive when they consider taking out loans and as they approach repayment. Before Great Lakes and YI Advisors can create new resources, they’re gauging student knowledge and opinions on issues surrounding student loans, and that’s where the strategists at YI Advisors and students at Wesleyan come in.

Areeba Hasan came in from DC to lead the discussion, asking a set list of questions while also encouraging frank conversation. Bob Coughlin, the Director of Financial Aid, attended the session to improve upon his office’s outreach efforts and understand students’ perspective of the loan process. Even though campus emptier over the summer, we were still able to bring a few students together to chat and learn. For those of us who took part, the event proved interesting, and Areeba challenged us to assess our own financial literacy. Plus, there was pizza.


As advocacy groups perform research and ensure that student voices are part of the research process, we’re thinking about ways that we can reach students as well. We’re looking forward to more solutions driven by conversations with you in the upcoming year!

Summer 2016 Presidential Leadership Conference

From Rebecca and Kate --

Hi Everyone! A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to attend the 5th annual Presidential Leadership Summit in Washington, DC. The Summit brought together 180 incoming and outgoing student body presidents from across the country to share common campus challenges across the country and highlight places where they are being addressed successfully.

Reflecting on our needs at Wesleyan, we chose to attend sessions on Title IX policy, approaches to combating food and housing insecurity, improving equity and inclusion, and activism for racial justice by student body president of Mizzou. We also had the great fortune to visit the White House and speak with Valerie Jarrett and Tina Tchen about the It’s On Us campaign, campus rape culture, and college affordability.

While the schools in attendance were all quite different -- public and private, large and small -- we learned a lot from other campuses that we hope to bring to Wes. We are going to work to increase accessibility of academic accommodations for survivors of sexual violence, increase sexual assault education during NSO week, and use innovative platforms from the University of San Diego and Cal State to help address end-of-semester food insecurity.

Beyond the concrete ideas we got from the meeting, we’re excited to be part of this dynamic network of leaders, organizers, and activists all working to make campuses across the country more equitable and inclusive. We benefitted by learning from other campuses and we plan to make this network accessible so that all activists and students leaders at Wes -- within and beyond the WSA -- have the same opportunity to learn from other campuses and allow that to inform their work at Wes.

Tell us what you think at wsa@wesleyan.edu. More info on the conference here

Pulled out the blazers and dresses for our big trip to the White House. 

The whole group outside the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

WSA 2015-2016 Newsletter

To our fellow Wesleyan students and friends, 

A year ago, a new Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) leadership was elected in on the promise of bringing equity, inclusion and compassionate community building to the core of an aging student government structure. Reflecting on a challenging year for our campus and our nation, various WSA members have taken initiative towards these goals, surpassing even our original intention. The work is never over and as we transition to a new leadership, with Rebecca Hutman ‘17 as President and Nila Ravi ‘18 as Vice President, we want to ensure our goals and achievements are well communicated to the greater community.

Below is an infographic with our main initiatives and further information on other projects. You can also find here our official letter in response to the Final Report of the Presidential Equity Task Force committing to expand our efforts related to the Task Force’s recommendations.

Through our diverse life experiences we have all seen the cruelty of the world and more specific to Wesleyan, the challenges of realizing our progressive ideals at an institution built on elitism and exclusivity. The national media continues to portray a millennial moral conviction and campus activism as that of a “coddled” generation that “chills” open discourse. Struggling to see this reality in our day-to-day experience, this does not need to be the defining narrative if we don’t let it. The path towards a more tolerant Wesleyan community requires honest and deliberate engagement from all parts of campus, willingness to listen, and the conviction to take real action. We all came to this university for a reason and growing a vibrant and compassionate community is our responsibility to work towards together.

As always, feel free to reach out to us at wsa@wesleyan.edu with your thoughts and reflections from the semester. Thank you.

Our final sign off,

Kate and Aidan


 

WSA Leadership Board 2016-2017

Congratulations to the newly elected WSA Committee Coordinators for the 2016-2017 academic year!

Academic Affairs Committee - Azher Jaweed '19

Community Committee - Key Session '17

Student Life Committee - Lizzie Shackney '17

Student Budget Committee - Izzy Linzer '17

Chief-of-Staff - Emma Austin '19

They will be joining incoming president, Rebecca Hutman '17, and vice president, Nila Ravi '18, to form the 2016-2017 WSA Leadership Board.

WSA Spring 2016 Election Results

Class of 2017

Elizabeth Shackney - 89

Josh Prywes - 87

Serene Murad - 79

Write-In

Aidan Martinez - 25 

 

Class of 2018

John Henry Vansant - 84

Justin Liew - 75

Henry Prine - 71

No write-in candidates met the minimum of 25 votes

 

Class of 2019

Emma Austin - 129

Josh Nodiff - 113

Noah Kahan - 99

Azher Jaweed - 92

Jacob Maiman-Stadmauer - 88

 

Media Resolution

In order for this resolution to be enacted, the vote total must surpass a supermajority (two-thirds).

Yes - 46.8% (126)

No - 15.6% (42)

Abstain - 37.5% (101)

Result: Not Adopted

 

Press Release for Resolution to Promote Fair Labor Practices and Sustainability in Wesleyan Construction and Maintenance Projects

On Sunday, April 24, the Wesleyan Student Assembly introduced a resolution calling upon the administration to hire unionized, non-exploitative, diverse labor for all upcoming construction projects. A number of projects are slated for the next two years, mainly to be completed over the summer when students are not on campus. Currently the university does not make unionized labor a priority in the hiring process and, while it espouses principals of nondiscrimination, it does not actively aim for the labor force to be diverse. 

The resolution aims to ensure that labor practices for construction projects at Wesleyan are to the highest possible standard. It includes a clause requiring racial, gender identity, religious, and sexual orientation diversity among those hired. It also calls upon the university to ensure that information on payroll and on sexual harassment reporting procedures is freely available and transparent to workers. Because work done on Wesleyan’s campus should be not only equitable but also environmentally sustainable, the resolution recommends that the university make sustainability a priority both in renovations of old buildings and in new construction projects. Amid the bidding process and the selection of contractors for construction projects, the university has many concerns including cost, speed, and safety. Through our resolution we hope to remind the university to make fair labor a top priority.  

The full text of the resolution can be found by clicking here.

Voting will take place on Sunday, May 1st. All are invited.