For weeks the Vassar Student Association (VSA) was in search for a Jewett House Vice President, a Jewett House secretary, a Davison House Vice President and Founder’s Day Co-chairs.
A House VP is in charge of social events that their House sponsors, which includes study breaks and all-campus parties. A House secretary records minutes at meetings, and is responsible for House communication. The Founder’s Day Co-chairs-usually two or three people-are in charge of all things that goes on during Founder’s Day, including food, music and alcohol. House officer positions are typically elected during the spring, but for various reasons the spots are occasionally vacant when the new school year starts.
Class of 2016 President Max Moran explained that the reasoning behind this process, as opposed to the regular general voting, is mainly for time purposes. Moran said, “The general body voting usually takes three to four weeks to process. This method cuts down the time to one to two weeks, so we can fill up the spots as soon as possible. Missing spots in House Team need to be filled in as soon as possible as each member plays an important role within the House.”
Those interested first fill out an application which consists of questions that asks about leadership ability, communication skills and experience in the position they are applying for. The applicants are then all asked to meet with the Operations Committee. Once the committee has received adequate information about what the house teams are looking for and who the applicants are, they make a recommendation to the VSA Council, who then make the final vote. As the VSA website states, “One of their main purposes as a committee is to review applications to vacant VSA positions and make recommendations to the VSA Council for approval.”
During this process, the Operations Committee also meets in the house the position is vacant for and receives input from that House Team. Main 2016 Representative and member of Operations Committee Joshua Tempro noted, “House teams have to work very closely together, so it’s important when appointing a new member to not only consider how well they are qualified for a position, but also how well they will fit in with and work with the other members. That being said, we very much take the house team’s input into consideration. For any body position, the leaders are usually very close to the process, suggesting questions and qualifications to look for.”
Tempro also commented on what they look for specifically in applicants. “Availability, experience, team-mindset. Appointments usually happen after the majority of the body has been elected, and sometimes that means a new person will have to adapt to the new groove, so again, that’s very important to consider,” he said.
The appointment process for these vacant positions is quite extensive in the hopes of ensuring that the best candidate inevitably holds the position on House Team or VSA.