It’s usually taken for granted that the senior class president will give a speech at graduation each year, but the WSA is apparently entertaining a motion this week to turn over selection of a student speaker to a committee composed of senior class officers, who would choose from a pool of applicants and be barred from applying themselves.
Which seems kind of arbitrary. If someone’s being chosen to represent an entire graduating class, they should be chosen by more students in the class than just a few WSA members.
But I’m surprised that the article and Wespeaks in the Argus about this issue neglect to mention the likely reason that this resolution was even put forward – last year’s senior class president gave a speech to mixed reactions, and it was kind of embarrassing to have someone like Barack Obama (not to mention everyone else present) witness the Wesleyan student body represented by one somewhat erratic speaker.
Which isn’t to say that would be the case this year – by at least several accounts, 2009’s class president Ravid Chowdhury is deserving of the privilege, and it would be unfair to take it away when he was ostensibly elected by seniors last year with the knowledge that he’d be speaking at graduation.
But the Argus doesn’t have a bad idea in proposing that in addition to the class president, who is elected mainly for being a good organizer if not necessarily a good speech-maker, another student be chosen to address the class based solely on their ability to deliver a great speech.