WESkim, a new service offered by the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA), summarizes the most important news from the latest WSA sessions and delivers it right to your inbox. The new service is the brainchild of WSA Vice President Sanam Godbole ’19, who realized that students don’t typically engage with the normal WSA emails.
“I knew very first hand how nobody opens the WSA emails because I never opened them before I was on the WSA,” Godbole said. “I thought, ‘I need to do something that’s kind of refreshing and something that would change the way that students feel about the WSA….’ In general students are interested and want to know what’s going on but just don’t know the platforms that are available to them.”
Godbole realized that if she could create a short document that was easier to read, people might actually open it.
“We’re all so busy,” she said. “That document, just looking it, it’s daunting. How can you make transparency the goal?”
Godbole found her inspiration in the Skimm, a daily newsletter developed by two former NBC producers. The Skimm aims to provide simple, quick, and easy-to-digest news, something Godbole wanted to provide to students.
Transparency and students’ interests are the top priority for Godbole. Calling WESkim her baby, Godbole spent a considerable amount of time creating it over the summer.
“I created this template in a really colloquial way to inform people about the things we talk about every Sunday,” Godbole said. “There are minutes of every meeting, but I wouldn’t expect people to listen to them.”
Godbole partnered with the University Marketing Director Deb Katz, who helped her develop the service. The newsletter is sent out by Wesleyan’s Communications team, as they already had a platform that fit Godbole’s needs.
“We have a very particular agreement, though, that [Katz] will not be reading or anything,” Godbole explained. “Her sole purpose is mediating this process.”
So far, WESkim has been received well.
“For the first one that went out, there was a 77 percent open rate,” Godbole said proudly. “[The rate for other WSA emails] must be like 15 percent, 10 maybe. I’m not even joking—nobody opens them! I was really shocked by 77 percent.”
Even though WESkim has been a success, Godbole is still focused on developing the platform and publicizing its existence.
“I haven’t really thought passing it down,” she said.“I just want to know how it reads to people, if it’s too informal or if it’s not colloquial enough. But I’d love for passing it down to be the goal and making it something that is either weekly or bi-weekly.”
Godbole is eager for feedback and encourages anyone to email the WSA with their thoughts, whether positive or negative.
Erin Hussey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter as @e_riss.