This article is also available in print: Quaker Campus, Volume 19 — Issue 8, dated April 14, 2022, on the Whittier College campus.
The Associated Students of Whittier College is rolling out an exciting new opportunity for interested students beginning Fall 2022!
On behalf of ASWC, fourth-year Amber Brost, Vice President of ASWC, announced via email that all first, second, and third-year students, including transfer students, are invited to participate in shadowing a board member. This program will help candidates better understand what ASWC is all about. Students who apply must be returning to Whittier College the following year — so, if you apply now, you must be attending WC through the 2022 – ‘23 school year.
Sitting down with Amber Brost was very enlightening. Brost has been a member of WC’s Senate since October of 2018, and has remained in the organization through all four years of her college journey. “I hope that this program can provide students at Whittier with first-hand experience of each of the positions they are interested in before they apply for them in the elections,” said Brost. “I want students to feel comfortable in their decision to apply for a position, and this program allows them to do that.”
As students feel inspired to take leadership with a position on the board, it is beneficial for the student body to know that they are able to fully prepare themselves for the responsibilities that come with it. Not only are the positions vastly different in the ways in which they operate, they are different in application versus theory as well.
In order to fully gain the first-hand experience that would inspire confidence, students will attend all meetings that their respective position attends or hosts. This can be anywhere from weekly senate meetings to committee meetings, yet “much, much, more,” said Brost.
There is plenty to learn from this opportunity — more than meets the eye. “It also shows the students the ‘behind the scenes’ of what each person does for their position. For example, I work with the library to archive the Senate’s documents. A student would learn that by shadowing me, and I would show them how I do it,” said Brost. Students who participate in this shadow program will not only attend and host meetings with the board, but will make lasting changes that will be noted for the future course that Senate takes. Brost has heard members talk about how they understood the magnitude of their own positions before taking them, after realizing it truly was not only weekly board meetings. The requirements are much more broad, deeming the education on them inherently necessary to make certain everyone remains happy and comfortable in their positions.
ASWC is very excited for the shadowing program. Past tables have talked about this program, and it was finally brought into action this year. Brost said, “I am also excited because this is the first time students will be able to shadow a position and to learn more about it before they decide to apply for it in the upcoming elections,” making sure they will appreciate the work that goes into it while knowing they will enjoy it just as much — the good and the bad.
“I hope to educate students about the position they are interested in before they decide to apply for it in the upcoming elections. I want students to ask the current person in the position they are interested in questions about it, even bad ones. [For example], ‘What do you like about being a Senator? What is the most difficult thing about it? Be honest, would you do this again?’ I feel like those are important questions so that the student feels more comfortable to make a decision on whether or not to apply for [certain positions],” said Brost. “I also hope to help students decide which position is more suitable for them when they are tied between two.” Brost explained that this is a way for candidates to understand what is to come and to help make the best decision possible, ultimately advocating for comfort, clarity, and certainty.
All positions are available to shadow, and more than one student may shadow any ASWC member who is currently in their preferred position. To make the opportunity even sweeter, students are encouraged to shadow multiple members in order to help persuade their decisions, if split between multiple positions. The shadowing program was arranged with future members in mind — to make sure they know exactly what they are campaigning for when it comes to ASWC. An informed decision is the best kind, and this certainly makes it easier to get informed.
All it takes is a short application on Engage with your name, contact information, and the positions you are interested in shadowing. After the brief application, you are on your way to finding what position best suits you. So, if you were debating on it before, test the waters now and see what Senate life is all about!
Featured Photo Courtesy of ASWC Senate Instagram