Welcome from the VSA

Greetings and welcome to Vassar! We are so excited to have you all in the Class of 2019 joining us. You’ve all worked so hard to be here, and you’ve finally made it.

Vassar College is a truly unique place. One of the unique parts of Vassar is our student government, the Vassar Student Association (VSA). The VSA has been around in some form or another since the 1800s, and has gone through many transformations. Currently, the VSA Council consists of 24 elected student representatives who work to bridge the student body and the administration through advocacy and other efforts. Each residence and class has a representative on the VSA Council, and there are six members of the VSA Executive Board. The Executive Board consists of the VSA President and five Vice Presidents, each representing a different functional area; Student Life, Operations, Academics, Activities, and Finance.

Josh Tempro, The VP for Finance, oversees the VSA’s budget of approximately $900,000. This overall budget is comprised of the student activities fee paid by each student each semester. The budget supports the 130 student organizations and 20 preliminary organizations on campus. The VP for Finance manages the budgeting process, along with supporting org treasurers. Additionally, the VP for Finance is one of the student representatives of the Campus Investor Responsibility Committee, which makes decisions on the college’s investments.

Kevin Pham, The VP for Activities, works with the 150 student organizations mentioned above. He oversees the processes of certification and decertification for all orgs and pre-orgs. Additionally, the VP for Activities works closely with the Campus Activities Office to approve all events put on by student organizations. He also plans the Activities Fair, Pre-Org Fair, and other events for orgs.

Logan Hill, The VP for Academics, is the chief liaison to the Dean of the Faculty division of the college and works to represent the academic interests of the student body. In this role, he serves as a student representative on the Committee on Curricular Policy, which approves new courses and considers changes to the Vassar curriculum. The VP for Academics also provides support to the Majors Committee and Peer Advisors. He plans the annual Majors Fair and Peer Advising Dinner.

Ruby Pierce, The VP for Operations, oversees the day-to-day operations of the VSA and keeps things running smoothly. Additionally, she serves as the student observer to the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College (AAVC)’s Board of Directors and as a student representative on the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid. The VP for Operations coordinates Tasty Tuesday and the Saturday Shuttle, as functions of her role as the chief liaison to the Poughkeepsie and off-campus communities. Finally, the VP for Operations serves on the Seven Sisters Coordinating Board and maintains regular contact with the Seven Sisters schools.

Chris Brown, The VP for Student Life, is the chief liaison to the Dean of the College Division and works to improve the welfare of the student body. Some of the offices that he works with include ResLife, Campus Dining, Safety and Security, SAVP, the ALANA, LGBTQ, and Women’s Centers, Religious and Spiritual Life, International Services, Health and Counseling Services, Campus Activities, and many others. Additionally, he serves as a student rep on the Committee on College Life, which oversees college policy and the student handbook; the Committee on Inclusion and Excellence, which works to improve the experience of marginalized groups; the Bias Incident Response Team, which responds to incidents of bias including graffiti and hate speech; and many others.

Ramy Abbady, The VSA President, has no specific area that he oversees, and has immense flexibility in his work. He is the student observer to the Board of Trustees, and as such he represents the student body to this group. Additionally, the VSA President meets regularly with many administrators, including the Senior Officers of the college. He also chairs the VSA Council and VSA Executive Board, and generally takes the lead on guiding these groups. This year, the VSA President will also oversee a newly created Cabinet, consisting of students directing VSA training, public relations, research, and a liaison to activists on campus.

The VSA works to represent student interests and advocate on their behalf to administrators, faculty, and trustees. We are firmly committed to working with students to better our student experience and helping to amplify student voices that may otherwise go unheard. The VSA Executive Board holds regular office hours, and you can always get in touch with your class or house president if you have a concern. We are here to help!

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