Everyone can now officially register for Ideafest! Sign-ups went live this past Monday at 9 p.m. You all should have received an email or Facebook update containing the event details. Wellesley’s second annual Ideafest is on Dec. 2 at 5:30 p.m. in Tishman Commons. The email also contains some notes for how to get involved, as well as a few words about what we in College Government Cabinet as well as College Government President’s Council (CGPC) hope for Ideafest to look like this year.
It’s important to mention that folks don’t have to register in advance or be part of a pre-formed team to participate. In fact—especially in terms of teams—we hope everyone is inspired to come on their own! One of the primary goals of Ideafest is encouraging folks of all majors, interests and skillsets to come together in the spirit of innovation to spend an evening alongside folks they’d normally not come into contact with during their time at Wellesley. At the same time, we recognize that many might also work best when challenged as part of a team, and allowing folks to register with up to six people might also be a way to encourage folks to come to Ideafest armed with more fleshed-out ideas. All things considered, we hope this will be an opportunity in which folks will be able to strike a happy balance between those two working models to create something brilliant.
With this said, sign-ups will be more of a tool for my own committee to get a sense of how many people to expect—and, therefore, how much food we’ll need to order as well as roughly how many seats in advance to add or take away. As I’ve mentioned in Senate, reportedly 250 folks attended last year’s Ideafest kick-off, and this year we’re hoping for 300-350. I have a lot of faith that we can get there.
As we inch closer and closer to the day, I’d like to take some time to explain procedural details about the event as well as offer some suggestions for how students can get the most out of this evening in which they are surrounded by other multi-talented Wellesley students fiercely invested in the community.
A few words of advice:
Come to Ideafest with a radically open mind—both in terms of expectations for groups you’ll be seated with as well as what can be produced via such unexpected partnerships. Ideafest will be an evening of rigorous brainstorming and consulting with peers about what an ideal Wellesley can begin to look like, especially with regard to equity, wellness, sustainability, multiculturalism, social and interpersonal life, accessibility, music and arts, as well as technology. There will even be a few Choose Your Own Adventure tables—for those with radically open minds to generate proposals sans any sort of thematic guidelines.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is Ideafest’s spirit of self-sufficiency. One of College Government’s primary motivations for having an event like this is to encourage students to generate ideas and also to fund those ideas on a strictly student-run basis. This means coming up with creative proposals that can stand alone: ones that don’t rely on any sort of administrative or structural change in order for them to take form. This also means thinking more expansively about how to deliver those solutions—aside from, perhaps, our usual fare of panels or guest lecturers. I recognize that it might be difficult to do this without having a deeper sense of what would or would not require administrative backing, and so CGPC is working hard to bring administrators and faculty members into the mix for a portion of the evening. Our ideal scenario would be to allow students facetime with chairs of administrative committees and faculty members who can answer questions about how the College currently operates and what its rules are. This will hopefully be an opportunity for students to get a sense of how much their ideas can rely on student work rather than administrative work. If, for instance, our technology table wanted to create an app that gave students dining hall suggestions for every meal—with options to search by dietary restriction or protein preference—having a faculty member from the CS department or staff from AVI Fresh and Library and Technology Services might afford groups a better sense of what to include in their proposal before they pitch it to their peers.
If you have any ideas for solutions you’d like to see tables tackle and develop further, please take some time to fill out the Google form that can be found on our WC Ideafest 2015 Facebook page. My committee and I will be putting together those ideas on sheets of paper and providing them at each Ideafest table to serve as starting grounds for participants.
Aside from this, I encourage you all to attend Honor Code Council’s (HCC) first Community Discussion on Yik Yak tonight in Pendleton Atrium from 7:00-8:30 p.m. This event will be an in-depth exploration of how Wellesley’s Honor Code as well as our community at large are impacted by anonymous posts. Our HCC Chief Justice, Mayanka Kumar ’16 hopes that this will also serve as an introductory conversation into how Wellesley students can create a culture that allows everyone the privilege to voice their opinion but in such a way as to also prioritize respect and integrity. CG Cabinet and Senate will be attending this discussion, and we hope you will too.
And finally, I’ll be having my office hours this Friday, beginning at 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the CG/Bursar’s Office on the second floor of the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center. Feel free to drop in during this time to chat about anything CG-related or just to say hi. If you’d like to meet but have a previous commitment on Friday, you can always reach me via my positional email account, and we can look for another time.
All my best,