Wesleyan Student Assembly — Wesleyan University
The Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA), an annually elected assembly of students as per required by the Student Body Constitution, represents the entire student body and functions as an advocate for the interests of Wesleyan students in its dealings with college faculty, staff and administration. Funds collected through the Student Activities Fees provides the WSA with financial opportunities for campus clubs and organizations as wells as activities, events and programs for students. Members of WSA serve on the various committees held at the university that enhance the campus experience. All interested students are encouraged to visit the WSA Office located on the first floor of the Usdan University Center or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Student government originated as the College Body Senate in 1903. "The College Body of Wesleyan University" was formed in 1963 in response to a desire for better organization and was directed by the College Body Committee, comprised of five elected undergraduates. In 1975, the Wesleyan Students' Union was to fill the need for an organization to lobby specifically on behalf of student interests. A $1 membership was required. In 1978, 89% of the voting population approved a campus-wide referendum and the Wesleyan Student Assembly was formed. The Assembly was comprised of seven standing committees with 45 members serving during the fall term and 38 members during the spring term. Membership was distributed across the geographic boundaries of the campus stretching from In-Town to Butterfield.
The WSA has undergone a number of changes in composition throughout its history. In 1980, the Assembly had 37 members; in 1981 the membership was 27 members. The Assembly was again altered in 1984 to 28 members and persisted in this form until 1992 when the organization was expanded to 40 members. Representation has been changed from geographically based to year based and the leadership was shifted from the Coordinator position to a President, Vice-President format during the 1990s. In 1997, the WSA underwent its last iteration and now stands at 37 members.
The WSA enjoys a storied history of successes, reforms and restructurings as well as dramatic resignations and heated debate. In 1994, the Assembly experienced the "comedy of errors" when WSA elections were invalidated when an inadequate number of representatives were elected. In 1998, the absence of funding for the Film Board sparked the Film Series Controversy. Over the previous two academic years, the Assembly has played an integral role in the University's recent efforts at curricular renewal and reform of graduation requirements as well as influencing party policy, residential life issues and supporting efforts at responsible investing.