This just in from the WSA, addressing some of the concerns and misunderstandings expressed earlier on Wesleying and in the Argus:
Myth: The WSA is barring Senior Class President Ravid Chowdhury ’09 from speaking during commencement.
Fact: The proposed resolution would not go into effect for the Class of 2009. Ravid would still speak during the 2009 commencement. Future Senior Class Presidents would be eligible to speak during commencement, as would all other graduating seniors.
Myth: The WSA will not allow future Senior Class Presidents to speak during commencement because committee members cannot apply.
Fact: When the resolution goes into effect in 2010, all Senior Class Officers will have the right to apply to speak during commencement, including the Senior Class President.
Myth: Unlike other schools which allow any senior to apply, the WSA only wants WSA members to be in the running to speak during commencement.
Fact: Any member of the senior class would be eligible to speak during commencement, and the committee would be required to consider all applications.
Myth: The senior class president is currently elected to and has the right to speak during commencement.
Fact: The resolution would potentially alter the tradition of the senior class president speaking during commencement. However, this tradition is an expectation and not a right laid forth by the WSA Constitution, which clearly states that “the officers of the Senior Class shall be the search committee for the Senior Class’s commencement speaker”. Furthermore, Senior Class Presidents rarely make mention of commencement during his election campaign. Many juniors have never been to a commencement and are unaware that in electing their senior class president they are also choosing a commencement speaker.
Myth: The WSA is creating a small, undemocratic committee of WSA members to choose the commencement speaker.
Fact: The committee would be democratically elected by the Senior Class when they vote to elect the Senior Class Officers (including President) at the end of their junior year. Senior Class Officers are elected to represent their entire class and are separate from the WSA.
Myth: The Senior Class will lose their voice in selecting which of their members speaks during commencement.
Fact: The Senior Class commencement speaker would be selected by the Senior Class Officers, who are the democratically elected representatives of the Senior Class.
Myth: The WSA was hoping to sneak this change by without anybody noticing.
Fact: The WSA has not yet held a vote or even a discussion on the proposed resolution. The proposal is a working draft and it was emailed to all students on campus, and it is also accessible in your e-Portfolio and on the WSA home page. The WSA is also reaching out via Wesleying and going door-to-door to raise awareness about the proposal.
Myth: The WSA doesn’t want your input on the resolution.
Fact: The WSA has consulted with current Senior Class President Ravid Chowdhury ’09 on multiple occasions about the resolution. The WSA is paying very close attention to what people have to say about the proposal and has invited the entire campus to participate in the first discussion of the matter, which will occur at the next General Assembly meeting, Sunday at 7pm in Usdan 108. You can also talk to any WSA representative or email your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input will determine the contents of the resolution as it moves towards a vote, as well as the outcome of that vote!