Wheaton College’s Student Government Association (SGA) confirmed the Wheaton Leftist Union(WLU) as an SGA-recognized club following a presentation by Jonny Raymond ’21, who is in charge of Public Relations for the club. Raymond mentioned that the group hopes to “improve the lives of the student body,” as well as “uphold Leftist ideals” and that the club holds “equality, equity and egalitarian in politics” as its core ideals. Raymond also mentioned that the club does not hold a traditional structure within its executive board and up to two individuals can hold the same role within the organization to encourage “more collaboration.”
Raymond mentioned that while the Leftist Union was born out of a previous Wheaton club called the Young Democratic Socialists, it has been active only recently. The club’s first meeting took place at the start of the 2020 academic year. Raymond mentioned that many other clubs on Wheaton’s campus have reached out to collaborate with WLU. Carlos Corrada, Class of 2022 Member at Large, suggested an expansion of the non-standard executive board format, stating “that there should be more availability to do [that] on Engage.” SGA Advisor, Nicole Lombardi, mentioned that this functionality already exists, but one needs to be SGA-recognized to do so.
SGA also confirmed a Regalia shipping reimbursement for seniors at Wheaton College, having noted that those who are off campus due to Covid-19 are being asked to bear the shipping costs for their graduation wear. This discussion was led by SGA President Aba Lypps and Class of 2021 Chair, David Palumbo. Palombo said that the program would cost 950 dollars to cover the cost of seniors, called the fact that seniors are being forced to cover this unexpected cost “inequitable,” and noted that there are currently 122 seniors studying remotely.
Class of 2022 Communications and Marketing Member, Sofie Weston suggested that the proposal be reevaluated during the spring semester. Lypps responded by saying that “a lot of seniors already had their regalia shipped [to them].” SGA Secretary, Sophie Waters, called the proposal “great” and said that they believe it is “important to support the seniors during this time.”
Mason Willix, a Member at Large for the Class of 2024, led a discussion about food waste reduction in Chase. Willix mentioned that she has recently seen a “lot of waste at Chase” which has been exacerbated “by Covid” and suggested SGA invest in “composting methods.” Weston mentioned that “in the past, there has been a composting bin [in Chase].”
Delia McLaughlin ’22, Sustainability Board Chair, said “Wheaton already has a sustainability program,” which was carried out through theme houses such as “WheaFarm.” She called a composting program “unfeasible” in Covid times, though she noted that something does need to be done regarding waste. McLaughlin suggested a collaboration with the Sustainability Board to bring attention to the issue. Waters noted issues in these programs, noting that “[SGA] has to work with Aramark” on this issue, as well as alluding that the “pig farm” that waste is sent to doesn’t actually exist.
SGA had a different leader for this meeting, with Accessibility Board Chair Mikaela Savarese ’22 taking over for SGA Vice President Abby Cook after video communication with Cook disconnected. Lypps had previously noted concerns about the power going out during the SGA meeting, stating that “it’s always a war between our advanced electrical system and those leafy bois.” Lypps was referring to a storm that started that day at 2 p.m. with strong winds blowing leaves around throughout the day.
The SGA Outreach Committee plans to hold a Halloween event for Wheaton students – called Halloween at Hanno’s. Part of the event will be a spooky walk through President Hanno’s backyard, with “2 gallons of M&M’s” in the possession of SGA for this event. Waters mentioned that they plan to hold the event earlier on in the day.