With four years of high school student council experience under her belt, freshman Colleen Whiting is one of the newest members of DePauw’s Student Government. Her Campus sat down with Colleen to find out more about her high hopes to make positive changes around campus and beyond.
HC: What position were you elected as for this year’s DePauw Student Government?
Colleen: I was elected as a freshman senator. So, there’s five senators represented from each class and I was elected as one of the five in the freshman class.
HC: That’s awesome! What made you decided or inspired you to run?
Colleen: Well I was really involved in student government at my high school back home in Indianapolis, and I really like the feeling of knowing you can help change the school for the betterment of the students and helping the school adapt to the current needs of the students. That’s just something that is really important to me.
HC: Along with that inspiration stemming from your past experience, what are you most excited for in your position as a freshman senator this year?
Colleen: I’m really excited about the change we’re making in the way students can register for courses. It will be way more interactive, similar to something like online shopping. This way you know what your courses will be as soon as you’re done “shopping,” and won’t have to wait a long time to get your schedule. I think this will be a great change, and I’m really excited for that.
HC: I mean who doesn’t enjoy online shopping? That sounds great. What are some personal goals you’d like to accomplish this year on student government?
Colleen: I just would like to get a good handle on what student government here at DePauw does, and this way for years to come I can really make sure the student’s needs are being met and important issues to those students are being considered, as opposed to just what the administration believes are important issues.
HC: Do you have any goals for student government in the future?
Colleen: Something really cool I’m on the committee for right now is called Campus Climate. This is all about how students interact with each other on campus and trying to foster a better sense of “home” throughout the campus. I think this is so important, especially for freshman to feel like DePauw is a place where they’re welcome. This is something I for sure would like to continue to work on and improve through student my role in student government in the future. I want to make sure people on campus know that if they’re homesick or having a rough time that there are people here who care and people they can talk to.
HC: You seem really dedicated to making sure other people’s voices are heard and that people feel comfortable. Do you see a future for yourself involving your experience on student government beyond DePauw or have aspirations to incorporate these experiences into a potential career?
Colleen: My dream is to go to D.C. and be a lobbyist for children’s rights. That is something really important to me. I would like to take the skills I use in student government like talking to others, learning about others opinions, and learning how to present my thoughts and ideas in an organized way. I know those will be useful skills no matter where I end up in the future.
Not only is Colleen clearly a celebrity here at DePauw, but with her big dreams and obvious passion about making sure other people’s voices are heard and valued, it seems like it won’t be long until she takes our nation’s capital by storm.