In this review of my term as WASA president, I reflect on the past year. WASA has had a successful run, welcoming a large class of eager, bright, and brilliant incoming first year students at the beginning of the year. This year, WASA reinstated the three large events that should occur every year- the Mamaland cultural show, Africa Week, and Spring Film Festival. WASA has hosted well attended parties, mixers, and meetings with the common goal of celebrating the African presence and existence both on and off campus.
As I contemplate the events of this year, as well as the outstanding achievements of my executive board, several words come to mind: duty, legacy, and strength.
First, duty. During my time in WASA, I feel a tether to this grand organization. There is a comforting and empowering quality to WASA that drives me to serve it to the best of my abilities. I like to think that my sense of duty to WASA inspires others to keep it alive and successful, not unlike protecting a flame so as not to let it die out. I believe that as we are dutiful to WASA during our time at Wellesley, it will only grow in its influence and its fostering of community and support.
Secondly, legacy. In wrapping up this presidency in addition to my time at Wellesley, I aspire to transmit all that I have learned to the next presidents and executive boards. I think a lot about including all information so that WASA members decades from now can see that WASA has progressed as a direct result of the people involved in it- the people who love it. The WASA legacy is indicative of those who founded it, sheltered it, fought for it, and fostered it. It preserved because of its members’ need to preserve it. I am eager to see how magnificently the WASA legacy will prevail.
Thirdly, strength. By strength, I do not refer to the strength it take to be a Wellesley student. Instead, I refer to strengthening of each other within WASA by taking care of and providing for each other. I refer to the strength it takes to listen to one another, to validate each other, and to love each other. By strength, I remember finding a home in WASA and feeling so instantly comfortable in a space that I felt I could grow in. My sense of myself in a homogenous space became synonymous with pride and perseverance, my sense of self strengthened by discussions and kinds words of my fellow WASA siblings. By strength, I mean strength in numbers.
As new eboard begins their term, I have full faith that these words remain in the hearts of WASA members. They will not let the flame die. They will fight for WASA, foster it, and strengthen it. And with time, they will transmit these principles onto newer members. WASA will persevere because they will need it to persevere. They will stand tall because they stand on the shoulders of those who came before them. Thank you.
Fatoumata Bah ’18 | WASA President 2017-18