To the Editors:
As a first year student, I am sure I never considered what it would be like to be an alumnus of Oberlin College. I am equally certain I did not notice alumni who visited campus throughout the year, let alone make it a point to engage in conversations with them to hear their stories, learn about their career paths or seek their advice. I am delighted that the Alumni Association is committed to changing this perspective.
Your Alumni Association actively seeks ways to engage with students both on and off campus. We want to learn what life is like at Oberlin today to discern ways in which alumni can help students succeed at Oberlin and beyond and to forge new intergenerational relationships. We learn so much from the students we meet and are inspired by their creativity, vision, intelligence and passions.
One mechanism for changing the student-alumni dynamics recently implemented by the Alumni Leadership Council was to add student representatives. There are three seats on the 27-member ALC, the governing body of the Alumni Association, reserved for students. Your current student representatives are College senior Sakina Lavingia, College junior Grover Neville and Conservatory junior Rachel Liss. From their first meeting, they have made their mark in a positive way. Each representative has made constructive contributions to the discussions about campus issues, to the programs we develop for students and alumni and to our understanding of what students need and how alumni can help with their post-Oberlin goals.
I write to invite first-year students to consider applying for a seat on the ALC for the 2016–2019 Term. This is a terrific opportunity to get engaged with alumni and make a positive contribution to campus life. If you care about Oberlin and want to join a vibrant community of Obies like you and are willing to commit to attending meetings on campus three weekends [per] year in addition to working on committees and task forces between meetings, then please consider applying. Diverse candidates, broadly defined, are encouraged to apply!
To learn more about the position, visit the Alumni Leadership Council website and/or speak with your current ALC student representatives. To apply, submit a cover letter, résumé and 2–3 letters of reference to Dale Preston, OC ’83, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, no later than Monday, May 9.
– Lorri Olán, OC ’87
President, Oberlin College Alumni Association