This will be the final president’s report I write in my term as college government president for the 2018-2019 year; I encourage you to check out Diana’s columns in the future! I know that this year’s College Government (CG) had a rocky start, but I hope we’ve shown great courage in being able to own up to our flaws and move forward productively.
Way back in spring 2018, College Government had to deal with the impact of a tumultuous election season resulting in the lack of an elected president going into the fall, as well as, very low trust in College Government as an institution. It was so clear to me and other cabinet members that we need to grow trust and relevance with the student body and the college, as well as strengthen our organizational partnerships and overall resilience so as to better face of the unexpected.
Rebuilding is thus the most fitting word to describe this cabinet’s legacy: we have taken the time to really focus on firming up foundations for the future. This meant a lot of soul-searching about whether our policies and processes reflected where we wanted to be in terms of student governance and representation. There are times in which we may not have gotten it right. Thank you for bearing with us as we learn from our mistakes and try to do better each day.
This year, we focused on streamlining policies, adopted consultative approaches to leadership and firmed up the CG and committee constitutions. There were many changes to organization recognition and funding processes, the Honor Code process was made more efficient and elections procedures were clarified. Remix was brought back, and we’ve had more intentional engagement with students doing political organizing both on campus and beyond (think: midterm elections!). Senate has also become a better space where dialogue and change can happen both within CG and for Wellesley at large.
I am incredibly confident that the work done this year has set College Government on a path to grow from strength to strength: we now have a better understanding of our core responsibilities and what we’re good at, and what more needs to be done! It is with that in mind that I will boast more gladly about our weaknesses as well – for it is only when we are able to courageously face up to our flaws do we develop an ability to continuously strive for excellence. Our mission here as CG is to actively shape the kind of inclusive, engaged and fun student body that we so desire. What that looks like will change over time – hence, the challenge is for CG to be excellent at doing so year after year, and to never lose our relevance to the student body.
My platform slogan for my CGP campaign was “winning together” and it is still my fervent desire for us as students to lean into this. Looking back at this year in my term as CGP, my hope is that together with CG, we will grow as a community to have thoughtful ownership over our student life at Wellesley and beyond. I trust that we can become a more collaborative student body that looks beyond our own interests to the interests of others. We can find ways to model the kind of radical love and grace we want to be extended to us when mistakes are made — where there is accountability, but also a deep well of empathy.
I hope my term as CGP is defined by modeling the strong value-centric leadership I bring to my work and life daily – I am all-in for a greater moral compass to guide what we do here at Wellesley. What keeps me going, even when times are tough, are the ideals of what it means to lead: leadership is service in the humblest of ways, and especially in the times where it is costly to the self that is the true definition of Wellesley’s mission of “non ministrari sed ministrare.”
There’s a lot of movement in this direction: under the leadership of President Paula Johnson, Wellesley as an institution is also relooking into what values will guide us into the future; in addition, in my four years here at Wellesley, I’ve seen beautiful examples of student action driven upon the idea of serving others, righting wrongs and standing up for truths – even if it means missed hours of work, sleep, health and other things we could have chosen to take care of. That’s leadership and service, and I trust that the incoming Cabinet will continue modeling such a vision of personal and professional excellence. I wish them all the very best, and to the outgoing cabinet: thank you for all your service and all you have thought me. And to anyone who has been reading my columns this year: I wish you all good things – the best is yet to come.
With all my best,
Kimberly Chia Yan Min ’19
College Government President 2018-2019
CG Cabinet 2019 – 2020
College Government President: Diana Lam ’20
CG Vice President: Felicity Pollard ’21
Chief Justice: Nimo Suleyman ’20
Organizations Chair: Sarah Sansón Hernández ’21
Secretary-Treasurer: Hollis Rammer ’20
Student Bursar: Madeline Carter ’20
CPLA Chair: Avery Restrepo ’20
Multicultural Affairs Coordinator (MAC): Calista Bullitt ’21
Director of On-Campus Affairs (DOOCA): Bella Virgilio ’20