Vassar Today

Student Life: 24 Hours in the Life of the Senior Class President

Shequila Jacobs ’00—senior class president, student manager of the ALANA Center (formerly the InterCultural Center), member of the Vassar Student Council, and student—wants people to think she is ordinary. “I’m not a special person,” she said in an interview last fall. “I’m just a common person who does special things.” Yet Ms. Jacobs invests an uncommon amount of energy into her campus community. She figures that her extracurricular responsibilities, which she accomplishes in addition to her academic obligations, her friends, and daily exercise, require that she spend an average of 12 hours per week in meetings and countless more hours running errands, checking e-mail, making phone calls, and attending myriad events.

Why does she do it? “I want to feel that I have ownership in Vassar—to feel that I can run for anything and talk to anyone. And I want my classmates to feel that way too, that they have access to the institution,” she said.

The magazine asked Shequila to keep a diary during one 24-hour period in November. She begins at 9 p.m, with hours of meetings, work, and play still ahead of her.

MONDAY 9:00 pm Peter Pope (my class secretary) and I have to interview one last candidate for the daisy chain who was not able to interview during the six interview sessions this weekend. (Two groups of people interviewed candidates Fri.-Sun., three hours each day.) Thank goodness this is it! 10:00 pm Senior Class Council Meeting. Today we have reserved the entire meeting for selection of the daisy chain. We have managed to select the chain with consensus from the entire 19-member council, so far… 11:00 pm We have finally figured out the daisy chain, almost. Since we are sticking to unanimous consensus it is extremely difficult. 11:30 pm We are done. Thank God! I am going to the Mug!

TUESDAY 12:10 am I am realizing that I forgot to read something for class tomorrow. Happy I live in Main Building. I crack open Rethinking Schools and read an article for my education class. 1:00 am I do 100 stomach crunches, stretch. I then look over some class notes one last time for an exam I have today. 2:00 am Alright, time to go to bed. Sleep. 8:00 am I wake up before my alarm does (9 am), so I figure I should get up and exercise. I stretch for 10 minutes, do 100 lunges, 100 squats, 100 crunches, and 50 push-ups (my upper body is not strong enough…yet!). I stretch for about 15 minutes. 9:05 am I turn on the radio to Isaac Hayes’ morning show so I can start my day with laughing and music. I get ready to shower. 10:02 am Issues in Contemporary Education class. Oops! I am a couple of minutes late! 11:15 am First class is over. Time for my favorite class, Race and Ethnicity, a sociology class with Dr. Diane Harriford. Today we have an exam which actually counts toward our grade as two (exams). 1:15 pm I just finished my exam, and I feel very good about it. I was told that I will lead a discussion next class. A surprise, but it’s alright. 1:30 pm I go to work at the ALANA Center. I am working on my assignment, planning the annual holiday study break for the center. I am thinking a “Think Warm” theme with tropical drinks and other things. 4:00 pm I go to the registrar to hand in my last pre-registration form I will ever turn in at Vassar. Yeah! 3.5 units! 4:30 pm Meeting with Professor Diane Harriford about Independent Study for next semester. 5:00 pm E-mail Linda Perkins, a professor at Hunter College, and ask her to come to Vassar to speak about the history of black women at Vassar. I also ask her if she would be willing to help me with my project. I am trying to study the history of black women at Vassar from 1950–present (for next semester). I also answer some e-mail. 6 pm I am taking a nap! 7:15 pm Wake up and wash my face and brush teeth. Decide to eat cereal so I do not have to walk to ACDC. 7:45 pm I read Bell’s Faces at the Bottom of the Well (for my sociology presentation) until my class executive board meeting. 9:00 pm I realize that I must call my mom. I talk to her until 9:25, then run to the Senior Class Office for my executive board meeting.