Student Trustees Jerimiah Booream-Phelps ’12, Caroline Dosky ’12, Kees Nordin ’13 and Loren Marshall ’13 organized the first Student Leadership Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
The idea for the Forum was born after Dosky and Marshall attended the William Smith Summit hosted by the William Smith Deans last spring. “We used the format of the Summit, but combined both Hobart and William Smith, making sure that there was equal representation of class years and gender,” explains Dosky.
Attended by 40 student leaders, the Forum offered participants the opportunity to collaborate with the Student Trustees, who act as liaisons between the Board of Trustees and Student Life Committee, and the students of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Selected by the deans, the participants represented a wide range of interests, having distinguished themselves academically, athletically or in some other remarkable way. “We only invited 40 students in the hope that they would feel comfortable expressing their concerns,” explains Nordin.
Encouraging honest and dynamic conversations about student life, the Forum challenged the students to think critically about the future of Hobart and William Smith College and imagine how they would like to see the Colleges evolve over the next decade. “The four of us are committed to seeing these issues through,” says Marshall. “Although the results may not be visible this year, someday we’ll have made an impact. It is something to look forward to.”
During the Forum, participants were divided into four distinct groups based on their interest in the topics: the defining attributes of HWS, the relationship between Geneva and HWS, academics and social life. Within these groups, members were tasked with identifying several key topics or issues within their category and suggesting solutions to the student trustees.
Beyond the usefulness that this Forum had in generating student concerns that could then be discussed with the administration and the Board of Trustees, the Forum also acted as a catalyst for a proactive student response. “The biggest impact that we saw from the Forum was that students’ concerns inspired the participants to think about what they could do to affect change,” says Dosky.
After the Board meeting, the student trustees plan to reconnect with Forum participants through e-mail and their newly created Facebook. “Carolyn and I hope to leave the institution with a more impactful student trustee position. Our goal is not one that has an end in sight; instead, our intention is to make the position one that is constantly evolving and better able to act as an intermediary between the students and the Board of Trustees,” explains Booream-Phelps.
Booream-Phelps and Dosky were both elected as student trustees during their sophomore year, and have since served as student trustee elects. As seniors, they are entitled to vote in the deliberations of the Board and are deemed Trustees of the Colleges. Booream-Phelps, a double major in economics and environmental studies, is a member of Campus Greens, an Economics Department Student Representative and a member of the President’s Climate Commitment Taskforce. He is also the vice president of Phi Sigma Kappa. Dosky, a psychology major and child advocacy minor, served as the 2011 Orientation Coordinator. A Hai Timiai Senior Honors Society member, Dosky is the vice president of Koshare and a member of the William Smith Mentoring Program.
Following in their footsteps, Nordin and Marshall now sit on the Board as student trustees elect and will serve as full voting members during their senior year. Nordin, a political science and English double major, is a resident assistant in Sherrill hall and works as a tour guide for admissions. A member of KA fraternity, he plays on the Hobart football team and serves on the Student Court. Marshall, an architectural studies and urban studies double major, is on the board for the Architecture Society, a choreographer and performer for Koshare and a member of the Laurel Society. She is also a member of Campus Greens and Arts Collective.
If you would like to give the Student Trustees feedback or bring up an issue, you can contact them on their Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/groups/200600620011106/, or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.