WCGA stands for Wilson College Government Association. Its members serve to uphold the democratic ideals and values that our country was founded upon. Yet, a lack of support from the student body threatens to undermine WCGA’s goals. “I do not know anything about the student government and I’ve lived on campus for three years,” admitted Jenna Curran, ’13.
Rumor of WCGA Disappearing
If the students do not care enough to become at least semi-familiar with their student government, how can they be expected to care enough to actually participate? This apathetic attitude has surfaced in a rumor that many feel as though the WCGA is not needed and that the organization may not be around in the future. President Mistick denies that there is any legitimate proof that the administration or student body would like to see the WCGA disappear. “There is no truth to this rumor,” said Mistick.
Role of the WCGA
Jessica Masilotti ’13 holds the WCGA position of Constitution and By Laws Chairperson. Her main duty is to comb through the student constitution and bylaws that are found in the student handbook and determine if they are constitutional. She hopes to keep WCGA fair with this rigorous inspection of the ruling doctrine. “We are the voice of the students,” said Masilotti. “We are the starting point for any grievance between faculty and students or students and the administration. We practice joint governance, which means that we work closely with all the other members of our campus to maintain a democratic government.”
Assoc. Dean of Students Rebecca Hammell feels that students underestimate the power that joint governance allows the student body to wield. “By participating in the WCGA, students have direct access to the Board of Trustees,” said Hammell. “Members are obligated to sit on many committees. All the policies concerning residential life in the Blue Book are decided by the WCGA. With the coming of co-education, this will be very important to all students.”
Reconnecting the Wilson Community
Recent events surrounding the Commission on Shaping Wilson’s Future has caused student issues to be sidetracked and resulted in students feeling disconnected from faculty, their government and each other. WCGA’s campaign titled, “Persist Until Something Happens” (PUSH), aims to reconnect the entire community by bringing student issues to the forefront.
“We all want to move forward from here. As WCGA members, we will remain completely neutral. We do not want to exclude any member of our community from our goals,” said Masilotti. As our student body becomes more diversified, WCGA’s efforts for a democratic student government become more important. Students in the Adult Degree Program expressed their concern about being underrepresented when it comes to campus affairs. “I hear from other ADP students that they feel left out. Not just that they aren’t able to participate in activities, but that they are not even aware of the resources that are available to them,” said Christina Barclay ’16.
Ways to Connect with WCGA
Pizza Talk is one of the events created by WCGA to connect with students. Masilotti describes these meetings as “open to all and a fun, relaxing way to see what’s on everyone’s mind.” Aside from seeking out their constituent’s concerns, WCGA also is responsible for many other functions that promote a satisfying student experience.
Any student who is interested in getting to know the WCGA better and who wants to participate in student government is invited to attend a WCGA meeting. Meetings are held on Monday evenings in the WCGA office in Lenfest Commons and Tuesdays at 11am in the Bowl side of the dining hall. All members of the Wilson community are welcome to attend WCGA meetings.