Twenty members of the class of 2015 vied to become Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) representatives in an election that took place between Sept. 12 and Sept. 16. Of the 20 candidates, nine were elected, with seven receiving a full-year term and two receiving a half-year term.

The Argus sat down with the nine new student representatives to discuss their plans for the coming semester.

Syed Mansoor Alam
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Alam: I’m from Connecticut–I do a lot of work in the non-profit sector. I run a non-profit called the Enough Foundation. On my eighteenth birthday I was appointed to a U.N. delegation for the Development of Economic and Social Affairs.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Alam: I ran for the WSA because I wanted to be a positive part of the Wesleyan community in terms of being able to help it out and being able to represent my classmates and their issues and their problems.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan that you feel strongly about?
Alam: From what I’ve experienced our class was almost a hundred over the average and there are a lot of issues over that like class sizes, getting the classes you want and forced triples. I also found the system for drop/add very complicated.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Alam: I was elected to the Community Outreach Committee and really found it enlightening hearing from the upperclassmen.

Nicole Brenner
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Brenner: I come from Weston, Mass. I was on the student government in my high school and I was very active in community service as well.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Brenner: It seemed a lot like what I did in high school. Being active, working with the administration, talking about issues at Wesleyan—it seemed like something I was qualified for, because of my experience at high school and it was just something I really wanted to do.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan that you feel strongly about?
Brenner: A lot of my friends have been talking about getting delivery service from Usdan all the time, changing the meal options, and someone asked me if there is some way to get sushi to be [sold as] a meal at Weshop. So I’m starting to take note and see what to bring up.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Brenner: I would like to be an active member and make changes if there are changes that need to be made. Personally I would rather be able to complete my goals or the goals people ask me about.

Silvia Diaz-Roa
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Diaz-Roa: My name is Silvia Diaz-Roa. I am from Bogota, Colombia. I moved to the US six years ago—to Texas, where I went to high school.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Diaz-Roa: In my high school, I was very involved in student government and I was vice president of my class. I also like meeting people and I feel like student government is a good place to meet people and help them in some way.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan that you feel strongly about?
Diaz-Roa: Something that would be nice to have would be a Usdan delivery service for food and packages. It would create more jobs for students, which would also be good.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Diaz-Roa: I look forward to getting to know the school better. There’s so much to do and I really want to help out as much as I possibly can.

Austin Dong:
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Dong: I’m Austin and I came from China about four years ago. I went to High School in San Jose. The reason I came to Wesleyan is that I really liked the philosophy of a liberal arts education and I liked the small community feel.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Dong: Because I feel very passionate about making sure that every person has a say. I also wanted to challenge myself, to be the representative of the class of 2015 so I can help solve the issues we’re facing.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan that you feel strongly about?
Dong: We have a class of more than 800 people, which is my main focus for now. What the administration did was not really enough for a large student body. I heard many people didn’t get into the classes they wanted to, so that’s one of the major issues we’re facing right now.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Dong: I want to try my best to represent my class and to find out who has ideas and then try to bring them to the floor.

Christian Hosam
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hosam: I am originally from Trinidad and Tobago, but was raised in Maryland with just my mom and my dog. I came to WesFest, I loved it, and now I’m here.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Hosam: I always like to be in a position to help other people. I think it’s something that’s really powerful in a good way in terms of what you’re able to do for others.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan that you feel strongly about?
Hosam: I was the only person from my school to apply to Wesleyan. So I’d like to see Wesleyan show more places and communities just how great we are.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Hosam: I’d like to see academic minors added. I have a lot of interests and so many of us come here with a multitude of interests and being able to minor would help that.

Sisi Miteva
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Miteva: I am an international student from Bulgaria. Before coming to Wesleyan, I attended a boarding school in New Jersey for three years. I loved it, so I decided to stay in the U.S. for college. I speak three languages fluently, and this semester I’m taking Chinese, which is hard, but very interesting.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Miteva: WSA appeals to me because it is a way students can have a say on campus. I love the idea that here at Wesleyan we can sit around a table with faculty and staff and work on issues with them. In all of my old schools, students didn’t participate in decision making regarding academic policies and administrative procedures, and I think it is vital that we, the students, are involved because most of the policies concern us directly.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan that you feel strongly about?
Miteva: The two main problems I have encountered so far are expensive books and inconvenient transportation.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Miteva: I hope to be a valuable asset to the Academic Affairs Committee. I work well with teachers and would like to help with implementing minors, working on a student-run book exchange for cheaper books, and improving advising.

Chloe Murtagh
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Murtagh: I am a freshman and I am from Montville, New Jersey. I live in Clark and I have an interest in Economics and Art History.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Murtagh: I really love Wesleyan much more than I did my high school. I am interested in getting involved in running it, and I don’t feel apathetic at all. I went to the meeting and by what they said it sounded like they had a lot of influence and were really productive, and because I’m part of the student body I’d like to collect ideas from everyone.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan that you feel strongly about?
Murtagh: There were two things that I ran on in my campaign. One was to have a much more cohesive Wesleyan book exchange. Also to have a more cohesive place for everybody to find what’s going on. I feel like there was a little bit of confusion with the freshmen because if you miss one flyer, you can miss a lot. Also it would be nice to make pre-registration easier for the freshmen.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Murtagh: I don’t know too much about whatever it is that they’re working on right now, but whatever it is, I love advocacy and I love getting things done, so I look forward to getting involved in it.

Rebecca Rubinstein
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Rubinstein: I am from New York City, I went to Dalton High School, I participated in student government there and was also the head of the Environment Committee, which was what prompted my interest in joining the WSA.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Rubinstein: I was very much impressed with the accomplishments of the WSA when I attended the information session and thought this would be a very good opportunity to get involved on campus and in the change that the body seems to instigate.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan about which you feel strongly?
Rubinstein: One of the issues I’d like to focus on is environmentalism and trying to make the campus as environmentally friendly as possible—trying to install motion sensor lights in the hallways and various reforms like that.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Rubinstein: I would like to be a helpful member and increase the efficiency of the body as a whole.

Zhicheng Wang
The Argus: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Wang: I am from China, this is the second time I’ve been in the US. The first time I went to music camp in North Dakota for half a month. It’s my first time in Connecticut. I love Wesleyan.

The Argus: Why did you run for the WSA?
Wang: I’m always interested in engaging in student government organizations. I like to be the voice of the student body, I like to talk to people and go over any of their concerns, comments, or worries to the student assembly, which hopefully we can work out.

The Argus: Are there any issues at Wesleyan that you feel strongly about?
Wang: One of my hall mates told me there should be more corn provided [at Usdan], the windows at Clark are super hard to open, and libraries should be open for 24 hours.

The Argus: What would you like to do as a member of the WSA?
Wang: Whatever I do, I’ll try to do my best.

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