agora-society-wellesley-college-political-society-about

About

Meaningful Action

Our mission is to promote an intelligent interest in political questions of the day by translating thoughts into meaningful action, and providing platforms for political advocacy. In executing this mission, the sisters of Agora uphold the pillars of Sisterhood, Citizenship, Politics, and Service.

Each year we vote upon a political and/or social issue that we believe is relevant both domestically and internationally–dedicating the fall semester on the domestic aspects of the topic and shifting to an international focus in the spring. During each semester, we seek to make a difference with regard to our chosen issue by fostering discussion, hosting lectures, organizing a fundraiser, and performing community service.

A  gora, Wellesley College’s Political Society, was founded in 1890 as a freshman club named “The Cottage Street Political.”  In 1892 the founding members applied to the Academic Council and were granted recognition as a Wellesley College Society alongside the Shakespeare Society, Alpha Phi Sigma, Zeta Alpha, and Tau Zeta Epsilon.

First led by Abigail Laughlin ‘1894, who later led the first successful fight for women’s suffrage in California, the society focused solely on political issues of the time including a protective tariff, free trade, and women’s rights. The society discussed political issues of the day and, over time, developed an interest in social welfare. Thus in 1896, the society began addressing issues of social justice in addition to political affairs.

In 1898, Mr. Capen, father of Agorite Mary Capen ‘1898, donated funds to build the Agora house, which has since been renovated on multiple occasions. Later in 1918, General John J. Pershing, whose wife Frances Warren also an Agorite, was made a member of the society and sent his staff flag to Agora. Each academic year, the sisters of Agora focused on a different political and/or social justice issue, including “Our Relations with England” (1898), “Labor Problems in the U.S.” (1924), “Facism in Germany & Italy” (1935) and recently, “The Prevalence of Hunger.”

Agora disbanded in 1971 due to both financial strains of maintaining the house and a changing political climate in which women were gaining and exercising more political rights. The members donated the Agora house and its contents to the college, and the building is now the Slater International Center, a vibrant component of the Wellesley College community. In 2011, Agora was revived by 7 sophomores concerned with the lack of non-partisan political discussion in combination with meaningful action and sisterhood at Wellesley.

Today, Agora embodies the same virtues of the its original predecessor of 1892: Sisterhood, Citizenship, Politics and Service. Reviving its original mission, the society continues to promote intelligent interest in the political questions of the day by translating thought into meaningful action, and providing a platform for advocacy.

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pillars

Sisterhood | Citizenship | Politics | Service

team

Members

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Madeline Whitesell

President | Class of 2017 | Los Angeles, CA

Baker’s Dozen
Political Science

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Chris Wang

Membership Coordinator | Class of 2018 | Manchester, CT

Dimes
Media Arts & Sciences

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Shannon Brown

Special Events Coord. | Class of 2018 | Salt Lake City, UT

Cloud Nine
Computer Science

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Izzy Tighe

Social Chair | Class of 2019 | Kinnelon, NJ

Half Baked
Int’l Relations-Political Science

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Anna Page

Class of 2017 | Mt. Clemens, MI

Baker’s Dozen
History

IsabelleMichel

Isabelle Styslinger

Class of 2017 | Santa Cruz, CA

Baker’s Dozen
Political Science

lizaarias

Liza Arias

Class of 2017 | Silver Spring, MD

Baker’s Dozen
Int’l Relations-Political Science

BridgetWalsh

Bridget Walsh

Class of 2017 | Austin, TX

High Five
Music (Pre-Med)

DelaneyUgelstad

Delaney Ugelstad

Class of 2018 | Seattle, WA

Cloud Nine
Economics

OliviaJoslin

Olivia Joslin

Class of 2018 | Cape Cod, MA

Cloud Nine
Environmental Studies & Economics

CarolineMorris

Caroline Morris

Class of 2018 | Atlanta, GA

Five Buds
Biology

SiobhanFinlay

Siobhan Finlay

Class of 2018 | Montclair, NJ

Five Buds
Architecture & Economics

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Adrianna Tan

Class of 2019 | Eden Prairie, MN

Dimes
Computer Science

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Karen Su

Class of 2019 | Queens, NY

Dimes
Political Science

mayanandakumar

Maya Nandakumar

Class of 2019 | San Jose, CA

Half Baked
Classics

AmyHsu

Amy Hsu

Class of 2019 | Taipei, Taiwan

Elevated Eleven
Psychology & Health and Society

KayliBalin2

Kayli Balin

Class of 2020 | Baltimore, MD

Elevated Eleven
Media Arts and Sciences & Psychology

MaggieUgelstad

Maggie Uglestad

Class of 2020 | Seattle, WA

Elevated Eleven
Computer Science

TatendaRamu

Tatenda Rameau

Class of 2020 | Syracuse, NY

Elevated Eleven
International Relations

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Alezeh Rauf

Vice President | Class of 2018 | Houston, TX

Cloud Nine
Int’l Relations-Political Science

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Lucy Tiblier

Membership Coordinator | Class of 2019 | Austin, TX

Dimes
Political Science

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Lauren Rondestvedt

Special Events Coord. | Class of 2018 | Minneapolis, MN

Cloud Nine
Psychology

MaggieDalton

Maggie Dalton

Secretary | Class of 2017 | Mahtomedi, MN

Baker’s Dozen
Economics

brookefieldman

Brooke Fieldman

Class of 2017 | Denver, CO

Baker’s Dozen
Computer Science & Mathematics

leighhunt

Leigh Hunt

Class of 2017 | Salt Lake City, UT

Baker’s Dozen
Economics

AnnaKennedy

Anna Kennedy

Class of 2017 | Rochester, NY

High Five
Psychology & Spanish

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Jackie McGrath

Class of 2017 | Washington, DC

High Five
Women’s and Gender Studies

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Jennifer Wang

Class of 2018 | Acton, MA

Cloud Nine
Political Science

SarahNealon

Sarah Nealon

Class of 2018 | Minneapolis, MN

Cloud Nine
Political Science & Women’s & Gender Studies

JessicaLee

Jessica Lee

Class of 2018 | Malden, MA

Five Buds
Economics

TaliaTandler

Talia Tandler

Class of 2018 | Denver, CO

Five Buds
Biology & Biomechanical Engineering

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Chika Egbuzie

Class of 2019 | Bronx, NY

Dimes
Int’l Relations-History

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Kelechi Alfred-Igbokwe

Class of 2019 | Lagos, Nigeria

Dimes
Economics

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Simone Archer-Krauss

Class of 2019 | Seattle, WA

Half Baked
Int’l Relations-Political Science & French

CarolineTaylor

Caroline Taylor

Class of 2020 | Rochester, NY

Elevated Eleven
Peace and Justice Studies

LillyArmstrong

Lillian Armstrong

Class of 2020 | Sydney, Australia

Elevated Eleven
Economics & Chinese

MaiaLee2

Maia Lee

Class of 2020 | Portland, OR

Elevated Eleven
Neuroscience & Music

TemaShongwe

Temantimandze Shongwe

Class of 2020 | Mahlanya, Swaziland

Elevated Eleven
International Relations – Economics

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Hannah Murphy

Treasurer | Class of 2019 | Medway, MA

Dimes
Computer Science

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Michaela Rhile

Membership Coordinator | Class of 2019 | Media, PA

Dimes
Economics & Cinema and Media Studies

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Emma Carter-LaMarche

Social Chair | Class of 2019 | Worcester, MA

Half Baked
History

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Amal Cheema

Class of 2017 | Sharon, MA

Baker’s Dozen
Biochemistry & Political Science

gracehu

Grace Hu

Class of 2017 | Hillsborough, CA

Baker’s Dozen
Computer Science & Mathematics

linnaeahs

Linnaea Honl-Stuenkel

Class of 2017 | Minneapolis, MN

Baker’s Dozen
Psychology

AnnaMynick

Anna Mynick

Class of 2017 | Saint George, ME

High Five
Neuroscience

Hannah Bledsoe

Hannah Bledsoe

Class of 2017 | St. Louis, MO

High Five
Women’s and Gender Studies

MadelenaCollins

Madelena Collins

Class of 2018 | Richmond, VA

Cloud Nine
Peace and Justice Studies

SydneyStewart

Sydney Stewart

Class of 2018 | Orangeburg, SC

Cloud Nine
Peace and Justice Studies

RachelDodell

Rachel Dodell

Class of 2018 | Phoenix, AZ

Five Buds
Media Arts and Sciences

MaddieConway

Maddie Conway

Class of 2018 | Boston, MA

Half Baked
Economics & Mathematics

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Danica Kim

Class of 2019 | Los Angeles, CA

Dimes
Cognitive Science & Environmental Studies

MaggieRivers

Maggie Rivers

Class of 2019 | Miami, FL

Dimes
Physics

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Tarini Miglani

Class of 2019 | New Delhi, India

Half Baked
Economics

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Julia Camilli

Class of 2020 | Eden Prairie, MN

Elevated Eleven
International Relations-French

LoogeeClaude

Loogee Claude

Class of 2020 | Miramar, FL

Elevated Eleven
International Relations-Political Science

MichalinaLerska

Michalina Lerska

Class of 2020 | Paris, France

Elevated Eleven
Peace and Justice Studies & Spanish

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Teaing

The sisters of Agora welcome all students to apply for membership. If you are interested in joining our society, you are required to partake in the process of “teaing.”

Historically, Wellesley College organizations have hosted teas as a way to come together and form a community outside of the classroom. At the beginning of each semester, societies on campus host their own open houses and teas as part of the application process.

During this period, prospective members are encouraged to visit all of the societies before deciding which are the best fit for them. As the political society, we discuss current political matters at our weekly meetings. Each semester we choose a specific charity that is related to our central theme for that year, and as a society, we dedicate personal time to take action in the community through fundraising, spreading awareness, hosting lectures, and providing services to those in need. Based on our commitment to turning thought into action, Agora seeks candidates who are passionate about politics as well as those willing to make a difference.

Together, we to provide a creative and positive environment that promotes teamwork alongside individual initiative. If Agora sounds like the society for you, please consider taking the following actions:

  1. Come to our Open House. Doing so will give you a chance to meet the current members, gain a better understanding of what do, and receive more information about the society itself
  2. Attend the teas. Not only is attendance of at least two of three teas required for candidacy, attendance at these teas will also allow the members to get to know you
  3. Complete the written application and the project. The written and project portions of the application are anonymous and together they will give members an unbiased look at your political passions, general interests, and creative genius. Express yourself!

*Note: You must be in your second semester of Wellesley (or higher) to apply. However you are still welcome and encouraged to attend the teas!

For individual questions, please email agorasocietywellesley@gmail.com