New Palaeopitus '03s are eager for service

by Sarah Betts | 5/21/02 5:00am

Palaeopitus, a senior society that advises administrators and facilitates communication between campus organizations, has announced next year's members from the Class of 2003.

Each year, the group's current members choose 20 rising seniors from different backgrounds to be a part of the society, which was formed in 1899 with the goal of advising the College's Dean and President.

This year's new '03 members are: Oliver Bernstein, Paul Cathcart Jr., Ann Chang, Robert Cotto Jr., F. Farrar Evans, R. Patrick Granfield, Brian Greenough, Melissa Hammerle, R. Ivan Hernandez, Kellyanna Johnson, James Joun, David Morse, Jason Ortiz, Michael S. Perry, John Teti, Cara Wallace, Alan Washington, Leah Wright, Paloma Wu and Mia Yocco.

Three of the positions are ex officio -- Ortiz is president of the Class of 2003, Hammerle is the Intern for the Office of the President and Teti is the president of The Dartmouth. The student body president is also an ex-officio member if a rising senior, but next year's president, Janos Marton, is an '04.

The other 17 members were selected from a wide pool of applicants, according to current member Molly Stutzman '02. The group began with a broad list, blitzing out to the entire '03 class for nominations and self-nominations.

"We had the charge of coming up with a group of 20 people who knew about the College and could serve as advisors," Stutzman said.

In order to narrow down the list, current Palaeopitus members read material sent in by friends and candidates and discussed each student.

"We were looking for a wide range of attributes," Stutzman said. "What you want is a group of people who look beyond their own experiences." She termed the new group "incredible."

New member Bernstein called the selection process "stress-free and enjoyable."

"I was contacted by a senior who told me that I was nominated and asked if I would like to be a member, and I said yes," Bernstein said.

He chose to join because of his high opinion of present and new members. "I have tremendous respect for the current members, and the fellow [selected] students are excellent, dedicated people I want to work with," Bernstein said.

Chang said that she knew a handful of the current members through different organizations she has been involved with. Chang is currently the Panhellenic Council president.

When originally approached with an offer of membership, Chang was hesitant due to numerous other commitments.

"Considering what I already do, and trying to double-major, I didn't think I would have time," Chang said.

She was convinced, though, when a member told her how much she could bring to Palaeopitus and how much the organization could bring to her.

According to Stutzman, the group aims to "encourage working harmony among other organizations." Palaeopitus recently organized a panel on white identity as part of the Community Hour lunches in Collis. The group also met with administrators the day after last term's swastika incident to discuss possible reactions and is working with the Student Assembly to create a student activist guide to the college.

"We try to come together and see what different groups are doing," Stutzman said.

During his year in the organization, Bernstein hopes to improve administrator-student communication and make the student body feel less alienated from administrators. He said that Palaeopitus should be a group that can "say what works for students."

"It is an important role since students are the driving force of the community," Bernstein said.

Chang hopes that the group will "bring together different views." Because of the varied backgrounds of the Palaeopitus members, Chang said that it is important that they remain "rational, neutral and open-minded."

"A lot of communications will fall apart if we don't drop our titles," Chang said.