Hailing from the Philippines, Mika Reyes was one of fifteen members of Class of 2017 who vied to become Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) freshman representative in an election which took place between Sept. 16 and Sept. 20. After weeks of tireless campaigning, she was declared one of the winners and now she is serving as a member of the Student Budget Committee (SBC) for a half year term.
Mika, who is also the current Secretary of FASA, shares her experience and aspiration for Wesleyan in this inaugural edition of Student Achievements.
Q: Congratulations! It’s really exciting to know that you have won the election for WSA. Can you tell us a bit about your motivation to run as a freshman representative?
A: I’ve actually been involved in councils before and I guess, for me, the main reasons I want to be a part of these things is I feel it is one of the best ways I can give back to the organization or institution that has offered me the best educational services I’ll receive. And although I’ve been in Wes for just a short while and I may not love it as much yet, I can already tell how much I’ll be learning and experiencing. This is my way of giving back or saying thank you. I enjoy busying myself with this type of work and getting to know the school in an executive and official perspective so I hope I gain from it as much as I’ll be putting in.
Q: How did it feel like to carry out a campus-wide campaign?
A: The campaign system [at Wes] is very much different [from the one in my high school]. so it was kind of difficult to transition to a different type of structure. The best I was advised to do was put up posters, both online and outside. I personally found it difficult to be reaching out to students who I never really met. A lot of upperclassmen were telling me to just randomly go up to people and ask them to vote for me. However I found it superficial, in a way and I didn’t want to discomfort them. The campaign in general, however, was relaxed and I’m glad I was able to gain a lot of support from the international students.
Q: What are your hopes and expectations for the coming semester?
A: On a personal level, I hope to grow as a person, especially with the weekly deliberations and planning sessions we have in which I have the chance to practice many skills. So far, I’m having a great time. One thing I learned from campaigning was that a lot of people didn’t understand what services the WSA provided for or what exactly the WSA did. Coming from two already very productive weekly sessions, I can see that the WSA services much more than I had expected. It may not be as evident, but I hope that through the many activities that are being planned and the many forms of outreach we have been coming up with, the role of the WSA can be more evident and people can really understand the benefits they receive from this wonderful organization.