Chances are you either have seen Arpita Vora ’16 as you walk through Sci Li or have even met her in one of the many organizations of which she is a leader. Even though she often doesn’t have time for herself, she took some time to sit down with The Argus to talk about her time at the University and her possible secret talent for singing.
The Argus: Why do you think you were nominated as a WesCeleb?
AV: I’m a pretty social person and I’m involved in a lot of different activities across campus.
A: So what are you involved with?
AV: I have multiple jobs and I’m involved in a lot of different organizations. I’m a senior manager at the WSA office at Usdan. I’m one of the front desk workers at Sci Li. I’m one of the co-presidents of Shakti, our South-Asian student organization here. I co-founded and co-captained Wesleyan’s first Bollywood dance team and WesMalai, and I’m social justice chair at Rho Epsilon Pi.
A: Of all the things you’re involved with, what are you going to miss the most?
AV: I feel like I’m going to miss different aspects of everything, but I’m probably going to miss Shakti the most. I’ve been involved with it from the very beginning. I didn’t join Rho Ep until sophomore year, WesMalai was created in sophomore year, and I didn’t start working at Sci Li until sophomore year. Ever since the student group fair in the fall during my freshman year, I’ve been involved in Shakti and it holds a really dear place in my heart.
A: So what is Shakti?
AV: It’s a culture group and we are known for putting on big events like Holi every year. We also put on Samsara, which is a culture show in the fall. We are trying to be more actively engaged with student of color issues on campus. Asian American Heritage month just started and we had a kick-off convocation dinner on Friday. Shakti and AASC are hosting the whole month together. We are trying to be more active and involved on campus affairs and being more engaged with the student body rather than doing our own thing and having people show up to our events.
A: When you have free time, what do you do for fun?
AV: I’m very lacking in free time. When I do get free time, if I’m not hanging out with my friends, I’m in bed watching Netflix.
A: So what’s on your Netflix list?
AV: I’ve been rewatching Scrubs, realizing that the show is pretty messed up. I started streaming Brooklyn Nine-Nine and I’m already twelve episodes deep which is pretty bad. It’s such a funny show. I use Netflix to rewatch old show I’ve already seen. I’ve seen The Office seven times.
A: Do you have any hidden talents?
AV: So I’m taking concert choir this semester. My professor is always so nice to me and encouraging. He says I’m so good at hearing these things or matching the pitch, and it has made me think that I may have some ability to sing but I also know that I’m totally wrong and I can’t sing.
A: What prompted you to take concert choir?
AV: I’ve always wanted to be in a class like that. It’s a full credit and I just need to show up to class. It’s a great class and I actually feel like I’m learning something. I feel like people take easy credit courses and don’t think they’re going to necessarily learn something out of it. I am learning a lot about how to sing and I wanted to take something that was going to be easy. A lot of my friends are also taking that class and we decided to take it together.
A: What have been your favorite courses at Wes?
AV: Not so much my favorite course, but a favorite professor. I’m taking my second class with [Assistant Professor of Government] Matesan. She’s a Government professor that specializes on terrorism. I took her “Terrorism and Film” class when I came back from being abroad junior year. This semester I’m taking her “Arab Spring and Aftermath” course. Both classes were so amazing. I’ve never felt like I’ve learned so much. The readings are also interesting and I have a weird interest in that part of the world. I recommend everyone to take a course with her.
A: Where did you study abroad?
AV: I was in South Africa in the fall. It was a wonderful semester. When people go to South Africa, they usually go to Capetown and take courses at the University of Capetown. I did an SIT [School for International Training] program so I was in Durban which is another city in South Africa on the east coast. I was hanging out with a group of other American students and we didn’t take classes in a university. We took classes in our office and I did homestay. I went away almost every weekend to different sites and it was a great experience.
A: Is there anything you would change about your Wes experience?
AV: One thing I wish I had done differently is that I wish I was more involved in the things I was doing. I wish I had shown more dedication in my first two years at Wesleyan. I spent a lot of time putting not as much effort as I could have been putting in. In the last year and a half I have been trying to make up for that and a lot has changed for me. I wish I had done that since freshman year but you know, lesson learned.