Thank you so much to everyone who participated in College Government’s (CG) first ever Ideafest last Monday. It says a lot of good things about Wellesley students that 150 of them would spend three hours of the night before Tanner hammering out ideas to make campus a better place. As this was the first time we had ever done something like this, we had no idea what to expect, and we were blown out of the water by the fantastic ideas that you came up with. College Government is excited about all of the winning projects and looks forward to turning them into reality before the end of the year. Everyone who attended should expect a quick feedback form via email in the next week, so that we can make this event even better for future generations.
Ideafest wasn’t the only recent CG event of note. Also last week, we hosted our first ever Halloween Co-op Crawl and the first meeting of the Multicultural President’s Council, attended a meeting of the Board of Trustees and received confirmation of the student representatives to the President’s Advisory Committee on Gender. Congratulations to Kayla Bercu ’16, Agnes Rieger ’17, Sam Mincheva ’17, Anna Thomas ’17 and Sofie Werthan ’18, who will serve as the student voice to that committee. I encourage any students with questions about the committee’s work to reach out to these students.
This week is also a busy one, beginning with the Seven Sisters Conference, which will take place at Wellesley this weekend. The Seven Sisters Conference is a yearly gathering of student government members and Seven Sisters representatives from the remaining Seven Sisters schools: Wellesley, Smith, Mount Holyoke, Barnard, Bryn Mawr and Vassar. We will spend the weekend getting to know one another and sharing stories and lessons from our respective campuses with the end goal of being better able to serve our own.
Additionally, this issue of the Wellesley News contains an article on the results of last semester’s mental health survey, but this will certainly not be the last time that you hear about the survey or the ensuing work around mental health on campus. I think it is particularly important to underline that everyone has a role — and an important role — in improving our campus culture and institutional resources. The Stone Center will be an important part of these conversations, but they are not the only part.
In the next few months, College Government hopes to work to normalize talking about mental health on campus among students. We will also to work with ResLife to expand discussions among student leaders about handling mental health concerns and helping residents access accommodations, as well as with peer health groups and Senate to fill in gaps in student knowledge. On the administrative end, we are planning to speak with Provost Shennan to improve mental health competency for faculty and with Dean Tenser to ensure that mental health and mental illness are more fully addressed during first-year orientation. CG attends all of these conversations and plans to work holistically and collaboratively to ensure that students are able to access the care and support that they need when they need it most.
As always, please feel free to reach out via email or in person with any questions or concerns. My office hours this week will be Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the College Government/Bursar’s Office.