Warm wishes to all reading this column – spring is almost here! April is probably the most difficult month of the spring semester, so hang in there!
I write this week encouraging all to vote in the referendum on the College Government restructuring proposal, which will take place today, Wednesday April 10, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting takes place via electronic ballot which will be sent personally to your wellesley.edu emails; students will have the option to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Please encourage your friends to vote as well, and more information about the proposal can be found on bit.ly/restructuringfaq. For voting, I would urge everyone to look specifically at the proposal itself, and also consider its impact on the wider student body at large.
I understand that much of this referendum has been pegged as incredibly dramatic, and has been fodder for much gossip. As made clear during our senate discussions, there is so much personal investment in this process for multiple reasons. To be clear, there are missteps that have been made (for example, I found that I had rounded down quorum!) which have had consequences we did not intend. However, we are also working to resolve many of them in the coming weeks (for example, clarifying attendance policies and how quorum for a vote is met).
In terms of how College Government has worked as an organization this year, our aim is not to create drama: that takes away from what we really do, which is to represent students and govern particular aspects of student life. At a small college like Wellesley, news travels and things can get out of hand quickly. This distracts from the things College Government has been doing and wants to do for students, but more importantly, it can get really unkind and unforgiving. If we have a culture of unforgiveness, this makes it difficult to create an active and engaged Wellesley community, and makes it hard for us to build a community based on good faith. To make mistakes is incredibly human: we are still multi-faceted people, and and we are still learning! But above all, we are still students, still largely young people trying to navigate incredibly complex systems both here at Wellesley.
That being said, we as Wellesley students need to be accountable for our actions and need to understand that we have the capacity to make the right kind of impact on our campus community. We need to have the courage to face up to our mistakes, make amends and change our behaviors. Through this referendum and through what we’ve done over the course of this year, I hope that College Government is modeling that kind of courage by shedding light on some of our imperfections and working through them.