After being here for awhile, I’ve realize that there’s one, out of many things, that makes Bryn Mawr really special: the people. College is such an important chapter in life; it’s when you’re surrounded by people, women, who are striving for the same thing as you – to be enlightened, challenged and educated about our increasingly globalized society… how we can have a voice, and have it heard.
Syona Arora, SGA President ’14-’15
This belief has inspired me to take some time to get to know some of these amazing women i’m surrounded by – individuals that are younger, older or in my very own year. And so, I got the chance to ask our SGA president, Syona Arora, ’15 some questions – about herself, Mawr, and whether or not she had any pieces of advice for her fellow Mawrters (current and future!)
Other than Bryn Mawr, where do you consider “home”? What’s your best memory about it?
I moved around a lot during grade school - 11 houses in 18 years. Because of the constant change in location, it’s hard to pin down a “home”. I was born in Boston, but I live in India now. In that case, home to me is my extended family, people in places all over the world. My favorite memories always consist of gigantic family reunions at my grandmother’s house in New Delhi. All of these various affairs have blended together in my mind. But seeing my cousins and aunts and uncles whom I see so rarely make for the best memories.
2. Do you remember the moment you received your admissions packet from Bryn Mawr?
Since I live abroad, I did not actually receive the admissions packet – at least, that’s not how I found out that I got in! I received an e-mail notification that the results were posted online. It was six in the morning at home and I had lost my password, so I frantically made an international call to the Help Desk. I remember screaming into the phone at whoever was on the other end that I had gotten in!
It took me a few weeks to decide, but the initial excitement was a huge part of my decision. It was the one school i was really interested in attending, not only because of the academics, but also because people I communicated with said that the community was beyond compare, which, given my moving around so much early on in life, was what I was really looking for. I chose Bryn Mawr because I knew that it could be a place where I could settle down and that is exactly what happened.
3. How did you get involved with SGA? For those who don’t know what it is, what do you think makes it so special?
I did not know about Self-Governance until I stepped foot on campus. It was pretty simple – I attended the SGA event during Customs week, then attended SGA 101, and realized that self-governance is incredibly unique to Bryn Mawr. I say this constantly – it is so important that a women’s college was the first to institute self-governance because it shows that a generation of Mawrters were interested in collaboration. They took action and made a space for themselves on campus and where their voices could be heard and where they could make a change in the community, completely empowering them. This has translated over the decades. Students continue to use self-governance, and it is always changing to meet the needs of a changing student body.
Hell Week ’14
4. What is at the top of SGAs agenda and campaign for 2014-2015?
It is really important to me to have SGA function as a platform for collaboration this term. Some parts of Bryn Mawr are disjointed, and as self-governance is a part of everybody’s experience here, it is a productive way for different parts of campus to come together.
Students feel underrepresented in SGA for a variety of reasons, and as a student who has had SGA as a part of her experience since the beginning, I sometimes find it difficult to move forward with this matter. However, I have continued to grow over the past three years and have come to a greater understanding of the student body as a whole and personally hope to be able to effectively function as a true representative for the entire student body.
5. On a lighter note, in your opinion, if there are 3 things a Mawrter has to do before graduating, what would those be?
1. Skinny Dip!
2. Try all of the different ice cream flavors in Erdman.
3. Go to Plenary.
6. What’s your favorite tradition and why? Any fun memories in particular?
I love, love, love Parade Night. It is the first tradition of the year and all the upperclassmen are so excited to welcome the first-years to Bryn Mawr. It is always the best weather for step sing, and it is so wonderful to see first-years stay ’til the end. My favorite memory, as 2015 Songs Mistress will always be leading out class through the struggle that is “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”
Until Next Time!