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Student Declaration of Rights

Byline: by the Wilson College Student Body

Posted: November 16, 2012

We, the students, declare that our student body is rightfully entitled to a safe, educational, and empowering life during our time spent here at Wilson College.

On March twenty-fourth, 1869, a charter was granted by the Pennsylvania Legislature to allow the founding of Wilson College - an institution founded with the intent of providing an education for women. In the following one hundred and forty-three years, the college has largely succeeded in that mission; helping educate and empower young women, many of whom have gone on to do great things after graduation. Most importantly, they became a Wilson Woman - a woman who stands up for what she believes in, is determined to succeed, is strong and confident, and is empowered as a woman to fight and take charge in a world too often dominated by men.

Over the past one hundred and forty-three years, the college has also had to adapt to changing circumstances in order to continue with its founding mission, and to continue to help students find their inner Wilson Woman. While many changes have been necessary, and have even helped the College to grow as an institution, in recent years changes have been made that infringe upon our natural rights as students. These changes are impeding the education and personal growth that students find at Wilson. Not only that, these changes are causing the College to become unrecognizable from the place that we have come to love - the place that has helped us find our true inner selves, and to discover the Wilson Woman within us. Therefore, on this twelfth day of November, 2012, we, the student body of Wilson College, announce our declaration of our rights.

We the students declare that our student body is rightfully entitled to a safe, educational, and empowering life during our time spent here at Wilson College, with specific guarantees regarding: accurate representation in all decisions regarding the student body, respect for the Honor Principle and Blue Book, the sovereignty of our student government, an adequate and fulfilling student life, and financial security.

We have a right to accurate representation in all decisions regarding the student body.

We believe that students are an integral part of the Wilson community, and as such, should have equal representation in matters that impact student life in any way. One student is currently sitting on the Commission on Shaping the Future of Wilson College. One single, solitary student is expected to represent the 695 members of the student body. One student, who because of her ultimate reason in attending Wilson College - to receive an education - is unable to attend all meetings, and so is unable to fully represent students and make sure their voices are heard by the other members of the Commission, as they make decisions that will have a significant impact on Wilson student life.

We have a right to community-wide respect for the Honor Principle and Blue Book.

All members of the Wilson community should be expected to uphold the policies outlined in the Blue Book, not just the student body. Violations of Blue Book policies have been made by administration, and yet nothing has been done to remedy such infractions.

We have a right to a sovereign student government.

We believe that the Wilson College Government Association (also known as WCGA) has the right to both govern and represent the student body as outlined in the Blue Book. Such rights should not be taken away or circumvented by administration, but followed as they are outlined in the Blue Book.

We have a right to an adequate and fulfilling student life.

We students have the right to a rewarding student life outside of the classroom - one where activities are supported by the College and members of the community, both demonstratively and financially. We also believe we have the right to a pledged student center - a space dedicated to help encourage personal growth and foster the personal connections that are a fundamental part of the Wilson experience in shaping a future Wilson Woman. Furthermore, we as students have a right to continue our traditions as they were intended, with limited interference by the administration, whose independent creation of rules has restricted our traditions so severely that student participation has greatly declined.

We have a right to financial security.

We students have the right to receive bills and other financial information in a timely manner, and not be threatened with the possibility of not being able to receive· an education because of complications within the business office - complications entirely within the College's own range of control. These are affairs that a student is unable to do anything about, yet the student is the one who is punished for the issue.

As Wilson Women, we seek the best ways in which to allow ourselves to fulfill our potential, but to do so we require that our rights are upheld and remain intact. While lapses have occurred in recent years, we look forward to a time when these rights are restored, and the College can continue with its mission of education, and help nurture the Wilson Women of the future. Therefore, we the students of Wilson College declare and reaffirm our basic rights as students.

Last Updated: February 24, 2013

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