“I came for the free Chipotle and left planning to run for office next year,” said one student to Robin Emmons ’19, a representative for Campus Council (CC). The student was referring to Campus Council’s 50th anniversary celebration, which was held this past Friday, April 26 in the CoRE. Approximately 75 students, faculty members and administrators gathered to reflect on the effect that Council has had on the campus community since its inception, as well as to look to the future of the organization. Prior to the celebration itself, an art wall in Lowry was displayed to showcase the history of the organization with both written descriptions and photographs.
The celebration began with a welcoming address from Chair Annabelle Hopkins ’19, who explained that the event was conceived this past June by Hopkins and Halen Gifford ’21 after they discovered old Voice articles detailing the founding of the organization. Hopkins also shared how serving on Council has impacted her personally, commenting that the group has “changed [her] life for the better by inspiring [her] to grow as a leader.” She also emphasized the importance of having a legislative organization made up of students on a college campus, as few institutions “allow students to have so much power in their own legislatures.”
Hopkins’ address was followed by former CC Chair Jordan Griffith ’19 and Dean of Students Scott Brown, who each highlighted the importance of the organization and the vital role that it plays within the campus community. When considering the structure of the organization, Brown remarked, “I’ve worked at many types of schools for nearly 30 years in my career; how Wooster leads is both very unusual and very desirable. And what is different, as Jordan talked about, is the fact that one of the most influential policy-making bodies is led by students, along with elected representatives of faculty and staff.”
Emmons then discussed the degree to which outreach efforts have improved in the past year, citing new initiatives such as “Coffee with a Councilmember,” accessible descriptions of Council positions and an increased presence on social media. Finally, Gifford unveiled an exciting new project, the interactive Campus Council Digital Archive. The archive was conceptualized as a way to learn more about what Council has done over the past 50 years, as well as to keep alumni updated and engaged with events on campus. “I think [the archive] will be a great resource for future policymakers to have a plethora of Council’s constitutional history at their fingertips,” said Emmons, adding that it “sets a standard for transparency and record-keeping.” In progress is a web interface designed to aid in effective use of the archive.
Incorporated into the 50th celebration was the Council’s focus on sustainability; customized CC M&Ms were served in reusable containers, and the art wall in Lowry was set against a tablecloth as a way of finding a more eco-friendly substitute to paper and plastic backgrounds. Members of Campus Council credit Hopkins for the success of the event. “The 50th was made possible by the diligence and initiative of Campus Council chair, Annabelle Hopkins. We have been so lucky to have a leader who is just as present at the ground level working behind the scenes as she is for every other aspect of her job title,” said Emmons.
When considering the work that CC has done within the last year, Emmons stated, “Council is currently at a pivotal point in time. We have become increasingly more effective, productive and transparent. As we look back to our history and celebrate our previous accomplishments, we also can look towards a bright and long-lasting future. We are up to good things and I look forward to what is to come.”
very other aspect of her job title.”
A political science and history double major graduating this spring, Hopkins plans to pursue a career in policy and advocacy. When considering the work that CC has done within the last year, she stated that “Council is currently at a pivotal point in time. We have become increasingly more effective, productive, and transparent. As we look back to our history and celebrate our previous accomplishments, we also can look towards a bright and long-lasting future. We are up to good things and I look forward to what is to come.”
(Photo courtesy Annabelle Hopkins)