Due to low numbers of applicants, the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs (WCSA) has added 14 Residential Representatives and eight other representatives, but was not able to hold elections.
The Residential Representative applications were due on Jan. 24, but only 11 applications had been received for the 14 positions.
The full body consists of 32 elected members – the representatives and the executive committee, comprised of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and six class representatives.
“I feel like a lot of people are put off by having to run (election) campaigns, so this year only 11 people signed up,” said junior Lauren Holler, president of WCSA.
One of the 11 later had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, leaving four open residential positions and the eight others, which include at-large, Small Living Unit, off-campus and fraternity representatives.
Applications for those positions were due on February 1. Positions were also decided by appointment rather than election.
Holler said the role of a residential representative is to “voice concerns of students” to the full council body and administration.
Sophomore Ruchi Kansal, a residential representative for the Academic Committee, said she chose to get involved in WCSA, because she wanted to “hold a leadership position in a respected club on campus and get involved with schools affairs.”
Kansal said running for residential representative gave her the opportunity to connect to a lot more people on campus, however, she said, “the competition was quite tough making it more stressful.”
“People underestimate residential representatives,” she said.
“There are two sides to it, you can go without doing anything the whole year, or you can do a lot. People complain about the school affairs, and do not know how to operate through it, so we definitely need more campaigning and advertising.”
Kansal said currently her goal is to get more involved with the affairs and listen to what students have to say, because “hearing out people is the best way to improve an issue.”
Holler said WCSA is involved with a lot of projects currently, for example, the Residential Affairs committee working with Chartwells in providing them with more feedback from the student body.
“The role of our (committees) is a little difficult to pinpoint sometimes, because we deal with so many different organizations on campus,” said Holler. “WCSA’s main role is to communicate issues,”
WCSA needs students to voice concerns
Junior Yasmin Razdi, a current residential representative said as students we are here not only in academic pursuit, but also “to form relationships, to find maturity and professionalism, and to most importantly be happy.”
Razdi said her main goals while on the committee are to improve the food quality of s to Chartwells and work on improving the dining hours.
Junior Erica Shah has served as residential representative during the fall and spring of 2013.
“I wanted to bring change on campus and solve student issues,” she said. “As WCSA is a medium that links the students to the administration, I wanted to be bring effective and transparent communication between the two.”
Shah has also served on the Budget Committee and as an assistant treasurer. She said there are some challenges to holding positions on an organization like WCSA.
“You can’t make everyone happy,” she said, “You need to focus on how it benefits the entire campus rather than a selected group.”
Shah said one of the primary concerns is that a lot of students don’t know what WCSA is or the work that they do, so it is imperative to reach out to more students and advertise the changes done by WCSA “like wireless printing, more vegetables and fruits in Thompson store, spring and fall funding and lessons to use Orgsync.”
Holler, who has held other positions in the past such as Class of 2015 representative, co-chair of Residential Affairs committee and treasurer of WCSA, said students are always encouraged to apply for the various positions within the wider WCSA body.
Kansal said contacts for all residential representatives are available on the WCSA website if students want to reach out to any of them.
“Students tend not to raise their concerns so (the) school thinks everything is perfect,” said Kansal.
“But if they want the issues to be resolved they need to raise their voices officially because we can help them in any way.”