On Wednesday, October 3, at 10:02 a.m., an email with the subject line “Updated Career Education RSVP and Appointment policies” was sent out to the student body. In the email, Associate Provost and Executive Director for Career Education Christine Cruzvergara detailed a new attendance policy for events and appointments with Wellesley Career Services. “We appreciated the opportunity to share this information with CG Senate, and for many of you, this will already be a repeat of information,” Cruzvergara stated in her email, before summarizing the new attendance policy.
For “highly-resourced” events, such as capped-attendance networking events, students will be required to RSVP for the event and will be prompted to confirm their attendance three to four days before the event. If the student does not show up for the event after confirming twice, Career Education will reach out to that student to check-in. Should the student not check in after a one-week grace period, there will be a freeze on the student’s Handshake account until the student meets with their College Career Mentor during drop-in hours. For appointments with Career Education staff, students will have to provide a 48-hour notification by email to cancel or reschedule the appointment. Career Education will also reach out if the student does not attend the appointment, and will send an email about “professionalism standards and the impact of absence” after three missed appointments. A lack of response from the student to this email after a week will also prompt a freeze on the student’s Handshake account until the student meets with their College Career Mentor during drop-in hours.
Career Education states that the purpose of the new attendance policy is to “ensure that as many students as possible are able to attend, and that employers and alumnae continue to come to campus to recruit and share their expertise,” according to Theresa Mattern, marketing and digital media manager at Career Education. She also added that, “Employers have shared that they are disincentivized to continue recruiting at Wellesley when attendance to events is unexpectedly low in comparison to RSVPs, and alumnae are also less likely to return to campus to give their time and talents.” As part of developing this policy, Career Education consulted with a Student Review Committee, consisting of nine current Wellesley students. “Christine Cruzvergara and Career Education definitely put in effort to include the student perspective in the final policy. For example, the part of the event policy that asks students to verify their RSVP a few days before came from one of the brainstorming sessions between the committee and Career Ed,” said Kate Dolph ’21, a member of the Student Review Committee. Additionally, Career Education consulted with College Government, Academic Council and Administrative Council before the rollout of the new policy.
Though students have been ensured that this policy will only extend to fewer than 10 Career Education events each year, there are still concerns that the new policy is too harsh on students. “I understand why they [made the decision], but at the same time I think banning students from Handshake can be a little intense,” Sandra Chung ’20 commented. “Sometimes students might have an urgent thing to take care of where they might not be able to inform Career Services 48 hours in advance.” Chung also added that, “Handshake is a pivotal resource that has guidelines for resumes and etc…but banning [students who violate the attendance policy] from all those resources is a little intense.”