Quest Scholars Advocacy Committee kicks off


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Students discuss issues of income inequality at a talk hosted by the Quest Scholars this past April. Quest Scholars’ newly formed Advocacy Committee will meet for the first time Saturday to discuss socioeconomic issues.

Olivia Exstrum, Assistant Campus Editor

The Northwestern chapter of Quest Scholars will host Saturday the first meeting of its newly formed Advocacy Committee, a group devoted to discussing socioeconomic issues on campus.

Members of the committee do not have to be a part of Quest Scholars and simply have to be “passionate about socioeconomic status at NU,” said Amanda Walsh, Quest Scholars president.

“The interesting thing about the committee is that it’s an entirely separate entity from Quest Scholars,” the Communication junior said. “Members do not have to identify within the network, so everyone feels comfortable doing whatever they want.”

Although the committee does not have specific projects planned out yet, Walsh said initiatives to ensure inclusivity within student organizations and providing sensitivity training for Greek organizations, faculty and administrators are potential ideas the committee wants to support. This is the first group of its kind created by the NU chapter of Quest Scholars.

In Winter Quarter 2014, Quest Scholars hosted “Money Matters,” a week of programming dedicated to socioeconomic issues that included the creation of a Tumblr, “NU Class Confessions,” where students could anonymously post about their experiences.

Rajan Negassa, Quest Scholars vice president, said the committee was partly created in response to the issues brought up through the Tumblr and other initiatives during the week.

“Some people suggested solutions to these issues and we hope to bring them alive on campus,” the Communication junior said. “We want to address any socioeconomic issues students might be facing that’s making it harder for them to be on campus or anything like that.”

The committee comprises seven members, with Walsh and Negassa as co-chairs. Walsh said Quest Scholars reached out to members within the network as well as the broader campus through flyering and Facebook and Twitter campaigns.

Walsh said she and Negassa looked for committee members who were available and had the ability to discuss socioeconomic issues. She said often at NU, students want to be very involved but do not have the time to do so. Walsh said “every single student” on the committee is comfortable discussing status.

The committee is open to students outside of Quest Scholars because it is important to represent different socioeconomic backgrounds, Walsh said.

“In Quest, we are all low-income students, but at the same time we don’t have the perspectives of middle- and high-income students,” she said. “We want to make sure we have diversity of experience so we are advocating for all students.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @olivesocean

Previous stories on this topic:

    Quest scholars create advocacy committee
    NU Quest Scholars launch website to promote discussion on economic backgrounds