Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Wabash student body presidents have been promising to reunite campus like before the pandemic, yet every year, students clamor for that pre-pandemic Wabash feeling. New Student Body President Bryce McCullough ‘23 is the last student body president to remember Wabash before the pandemic. With a cabinet and student senate ready to get stuff done, McCullough has no intentions of letting things stay the way they’ve been.
In his campaign announcement last spring, McCullough and his cabinet, made up of Benjamin Sampsell ‘24, Ian Rollins ‘23, and Sarvik Chaudhary ‘25, wanted to get student senate back to work in a way that “spends your money well, empowers all voices on campus and leads the student body in conversations to make our Wabash experience more meaningful and leave a better Wabash for the next generation of students.”
The work that he and the senate have already done this summer show they mean it.“We did follow through on what we said with placing senators on committees so anyone who was elected to the Senate, either by class year or living unit rep, will be serving on a committee in the Senate,” said McCullough. “And it’s our belief that that will help the Senate be more involved in work, work to do something for the students.”Included in that are the plans for the new Wabash Supreme Court established in the most recent constitutional amendment process. Elections for its Chief Justice will occur early in the semester and the other two justices will be appointed by McCullough and approved by the Senate.
McCullough also promised to “revive student life programming, improve funding management and increase engagement.” McCullough and his team have made significant progress on that front as well. They’ve worked extensively with Coordinator of Student Success Vic Lindsay, including work with the new student events and clubs system the College is using, Engage. Their work on student events doesn’t stop at the new app, though. McCullough plans on coordinating many events throughout the year, and he is starting early. August 27, during the Student Activities Fair, the Student Senate plans on paying for a number of food trucks and setting up lawn games on the mall for students to enjoy. Cultural clubs will also provide foods from the nations and cultures they represent. McCullough hopes this event can “bring students together, show the freshman what we’re all about and get the year started off right.”
In addition to these early events, the National Act Committee has already begun work on National Act for the spring. As shown by the communication and polls by the National Act Committee over the summer, Senate hopes to have multiple talents to fit everyone’s tastes and ensure that all students enjoy the event. McCullough, who began Wabash in 2019, is one of the few students who knows what Wabash felt like before the COVID-19 pandemic, and he plans to use his term as student body president to bring back the Wabash from the early days of his freshman year. “I think people showed out more so for all events. That includes student-sponsored events and College-sponsored events you think about the events on the mall, but also the speaker series that are sponsored by faculty and the department. The seats were always filled,” McCullough said.
McCullough, a member of the class of 2023, is one of the few students who knows what Wabash felt like before the COVID-19 Pandemic and he plans to use his term as student body president to resurrect the Wabash from the early days of his freshman year. McCullough thinks that the most important role of the Student Senate in reuniting Wabash like in the pre-COVID times is ensuring a constant stream of events and spreading the word on what events are going on so that students know their options.
Jacob Maldonado ‘23, who runs social media for the Student Senate, is working with clubs and organizations on campus to create better coverage of events so that students do not miss out. McCullough mentioned Engage, the new student app being used by the College, as another way they plan to spread awareness of all the opportunities for students to participate in on-campus events.“Students will be able to check the app and see what’s going on on a day-to-day basis. We’re hoping that that could be useful for students as well to track what’s going on rather than trying to remember everything,” said McCullough.
McCullough’s campaign announcement said that his presidency wanted to “[empower] all voices on campus, and [lead] the student body in conversations to make our Wabash experience more meaningful, and leave a better Wabash for the next generation of students.”
Beyond having a diverse cabinet, McCullough has solicited the help of the Diversity and Inclusion committee to ensure that student events are comfortable for and accessible to minority students on a campus that often fails to represent them. Whether it be through food, music, or some other events, McCullough is ensuring that the post-Pandemic Wabash will be more welcoming to underrepresented students on campus.McCullough, looking back at Student Senate meetings in recent years, lamented what he saw as the failures of those convocations and the way they worked. “Usually, emails get sent out about students that are meetings and it’s like, ‘email me if you plan on attending.’ That sort of gives the impression that student senate meetings are closed, and we don’t want that. He made clear that his main goal is that he really wants the student senate to be an advocate on behalf of the student body and that the senate is open and available to everybody.”
McCullough ran for Student Body President to reclaim the Wabash that he came to as a freshman before the COVID-19 pandemic derailed his Wabash career. He has put together a diverse cabinet and a senate ready to do the work to resurrect that Wabash. They’ve planned events to bring the Wabash community together. And he has worked with the administration to make it easier for students to know about those events. The school year has just started, but Student Body President Bryce McCullough and his team have started the year off strong.