Aba Lypps ’21 ran for Student Government Association (SGA) on a whim, trading a campaign of memes and their sparkling, charismatic personality for the position. Whimsy dissipates into strong, powerful plans and opinions, with Lypps carefully mapping out their idealistic plans for student government and their last year at Wheaton.
“I wanted to fall in love with Wheaton all over again,” said Lypps, alluding to the changes the college made as a result of the pandemic. “Wheaton has always had a strong community, and I want to do whatever I can to make sure everyone feels like a part of it, even with the new developments. I ran back when I was naive enough to believe that we’d all be on campus together come fall. Every single meeting I’ve had this summer, however, convinced me that we’d not only be able to do this remotely, but do this remotely and well.”
Lypps goes on to describe their summer meetings with the “Core Four” of SGA – Abby Cook ’22, Vice President, Sophie Waters ’23, Secretary, and Guthrie Hartsfield ’23, Treasurer. According to Lypps, a focus on “transparency” was a key facet of these meetings, with Cook and Lypps both dropping the word when asked individually about their core aims for the semester.
Cook has previously sent out “Progress Reports,” a document containing rosters, passed proposals, proposal templates, and an overview of events, which she plans to continue doing. She pointed out that valuable information central to SGA, like voting records or meeting minutes have not been previously available to the campus, which they plan to change, with Waters and Cook currently focusing on figuring out effective strategies to effectively disseminate information through social media.
“I’m hoping it slowly becomes more clear that SGA is here for the students – whether remote, commuters, or on campus, and anyone can propose legislation,” said Lypps.
“I want people to know we’re approachable,” said Cook. “It doesn’t matter to any of us if you don’t know the exact terminology or perfect protocol – email one of us and we’ll help you figure it out.”
Cook has set up office hours that any student can take advantage of, and Lypps plans to follow Cook’s example. Lypps added that one of their personal goals is to simply get more trash cans installed on campus.
“I want to help people achieve their goals,” said Lypps.
Both Cook and Lypps are directing comments to first-year students, encouraging them to run. They have both been consistently highly involved in Wheaton, with Lypps a part of WCCS, Cafe Theatre and several D&D campaigns, while Cook is a Lead Preceptor and a member of the women’s rugby team. Though Cook has been a part of SGA since her first year at Wheaton, this is Lypps’ first foray into student government. “Take a chance!” Lypps encourages first-year students.
“Even if it’s not SGA, the trips I took to Ireland and Hawaii with Wheaton were the best things I’ve ever done – say yes to something new!”
The tentative final date to send in a declaration of candidacy is Sunday, Sept. 13.