Since I last wrote for the President’s Column, a lot has happened that has impacted the Wellesley community both directly and indirectly, particularly pertaining to the presidential election. This elections cycle has been an emotionally, physically and mentally taxing one for many, especially our siblings who hit the campaign trail for various candidates during the primaries and the general election. The commitment and dedication demonstrated by all engaged in political discourse and canvassed tirelessly during the past year is commendable and speaks volumes about the leadership that is to graduate from this institution. As PresidentElect Donald J. Trump begins the transition process, I have heard many question what his presidency will mean for them and their loved ones. Though the answer to this question is unclear, it is certainly evident that there is a sense of fear and apprehension present within our community as we inch closer toward Trump’s inauguration. This fear became increasingly evident to us last week when two Babson students drove through campus and harassed community members. Many of our siblings, especially our siblings from marginalized communities, felt a loss of their sense of security. This past Monday, we had Chief Barbin join us at Senate to share the increased security measures undertaken to prioritize students’ safety. Please look through the minutes to read what steps have been taken by the police department.
I have seen tremendous strength displayed by the Wellesley community during this difficult time. Under the guidance of President Johnson, the community came together in what was an unforgettable and historic moment for Wellesley College. Emotions ran high during the walk as we all gathered in solidarity with our siblings of color. Together, we will not let bigotry win. Together, we reclaimed our space. In our work to creating a more inclusive society and being allies, let us continue to act in a manner consistent with the principles of the Honor Code: honesty, integrity and respect.
After the forum for healing that College Government hosted, we put up a poster in Lulu that asks students to share their hopes for the future. I hope that you are able to visit the poster to not only share your hopes, but to read what your siblings shared.
In regards to updates from Cabinet, this past weekend we attended the 7 Sisters Conference hosted by Bryn Mawr. Cabinet was joined by the two Senator representatives who presented their report at Monday’s Senate, which can also be found in the minutes sent out by Megumi Murakami, Secretary-Treasurer. The conference was a great opportunity to meet members of the Student Governments of the other schools and to learn about how they structured their government. We each attended student-led workshops that touched on various topics including, but not limited to, traditions, inclusivity, liberal arts elitism and instituting racial justice. During each workshop, we discussed best practices and how we can learn from each other’s’ work as we think of solutions. I left the conference with some ideas that I have already began discussing with my mentor, Dean Bate. Should these projects be viable, I hope to provide updates as soon as possible.
As we approach the end of the semester, I hope that you all are taking care of yourselves and each other. While we are students, our mental, emotional and physical health should not take the backseat to our academics. I wish everyone an enjoyable and relaxing break next week and safe travels to all those travelling!
Zainab Younus, ‘17
College Government President