Leaders of the 70 student-run organizations of Dwight Hall elected the 2005 Student Executive Committee yesterday evening.
The new committee includes co-coordinators Laura Huizar ’06 and Ben Staub ’06, Ednet Liaison Amelia Page ’06, Social Justice Network Liaison Emily Jones ’06, Financial Coordinator Charlie Friedman ’06, Public Relations Coordinator Ryan Patap ’07, Community Based Learning Coordinator Carolynn Rachel Molleur- Hinteregger ’07 and At-Large Members Erica Greenberg ’06 and Brian Wayda ’07.
The nine new members, which came from a variety of the student groups, will shape the policy of the Dwight Hall Organization for the next year. Outgoing co-coordinator Brian Goldman ’05 said he is confident the new committee will provide strong leadership.
“It’s a great group of people; we were happy to have a good number of the positions contested and see the interest out there,” Goldman said. “They absolutely have the ability to lead the organization.”
Three of the positions were contested, but no one ran for the Membership Coordinator position. The outgoing committee will assign someone to the position at their last meeting.
Several members of the new committee expressed eagerness to get started at their first meeting the Friday after reading week. Staub said he hopes to continue the basic mission of Dwight Hall.
“We’re going to continue making Dwight Hall a place to learn and grow, where people can feel respected and see how all our work is for a common cause,” he said.
Both co-coordinators said their first goal will be to increase communication between the diverse organizations.
“We really want to work on Dwight Hall unity, on increasing communication between groups,” Huizar said.
Staub also said that through greater unity, the committee will be able to continue the outgoing board’s commitment to increasing political involvement.
“We seek to give people a space to learn each other’s work while encouraging service and activism, because they really complement each other,” Staub said.
Goldman said he admires the time and effort the new members are willing to put forth for the organization.
“It’s tough to make the decision to spend less time out in the community and more in the critical work to make Dwight hall run,” Goldman said. “Because it’s such a large commitment for people, to join [the executive committee] usually means sacrificing something else.”
Following the election, Edith Cecilia Barja-Chamas, world fellow and former consulwoman in Bolivia, gave a short speech to the cabinet members. After congratulating the newly elected committee members, she talked about the move from volunteer work to politics.
“You can make changes through activism and volunteer work, but the big decisions are happening above you,” she said.
After working as a volunteer for many years, Barja-Chamas said she wanted to become a part of those bigger decisions. She encouraged others to keep in mind the political aspects of working for the community.
“I am not pushing you to be politicians, but to be great leaders in America,” Barja-Chamas said.
The new committee will begin discussing policy decisions and future plans during their first meeting. In the meantime, Patap said he is ready for the coming year.
“I’m just excited to get this thing going,” Patap said.