Wetherington appointed new Social Justice Committee chairwoman

The freshman was described by her predecessor, Young Kwon, as a hard worker with “fresh ideas.”
Portrait of Greer Wetherington, who was confirmed as the Social Justice Committee chairwoman of the Missouri Students Association on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015.

Missouri Students Association Senator Greer Wetherington was confirmed Tuesday night as the new Social Justice Committee chairwoman, replacing Young Kwon.

After being denied for the position initially on Feb. 4, Wetherington was given the opportunity to return and apply again. This time, she got it.

A freshman international business major from St. Louis, she worked closely with Kwon during the fall 2014 semester on SJC events, including Hate Wall and Swipes.

“She was a new member of SJC, so she had really fresh ideas,” Kwon said. “She knows the ins and outs, but if she doesn’t know, she knows how to go about it. She has that mentality of wanting to learn more.”

Wetherington first joined MSA Senate last semester. She said she attended all the committee meetings before choosing to join the one she felt most passionate about.

She said she chose SJC in light of the current events, such as the demonstrations in Ferguson, that the committee discussed.

“In the world, there are many human rights that are being overlooked or disregarded,” Wetherington said. “It’s a problem we need to address. It will be increasingly harder to solve, but it will make our world a much better place.”

Wetherington admitted she doesn’t face as many social justice issues, besides gender, as other students, but said she plans to empathize with her committee members by getting to know them personally.

“Everyone has a different background and perspective, so getting to know them not only as a committee member but also as a friend will begin to open them up and share their ideas and experiences,” she said. “My main goal for the committee is to be curious about the other way of life and to begin to show acceptance and recognition rather than showing ignorance and turning a blind eye.”

This upcoming semester, Wetherington said her main goals are to address women’s rights, international student rights, ethnic and race issues and incorporating the majority.

“Incorporating the majority is one of (my) main goals, because how else are you supposed to get people to acknowledge there are problems if you just keep it in one area?” Wetherington said. “We want to branch out more.”

She said she also hopes to bring the NoH8 campaign to MU and call it “NoH8 MU.” She hopes to gain the football team’s support for exposure.

“It will reach families who come into the games,” Wetherington said “It is a fantastic way of opening up avenues of acceptance.”

Wetherington said she hopes to build SJC’s connections by attending diversity events and getting into contact with administrators and professors who are interested in social justice issues to expand the committee’s outreach.

She said she would also like to reach out to other organizations on campus that aren’t as involved with social justice issues, such as the Panhellenic Association and the Interfraternity Council, to collaborate on spreading awareness of issues that affect the student body.

Wetherington also said she hopes to attract more people to SJC events by strategically phrasing the names and titles of events.

“Sometimes, some events are phrased in such a way that turn away people because they feel like they do not belong to that group that is holding the event,” she said. “It might feel a little exclusionary at times and sometimes I know that the title might turn off people, so we’re going to be more aware of that.”

Wetherington said she hopes her passion is contagious to the rest of the committee, and her ability to relate to people is her biggest strength.

“I want people to care about these issues and if someone is interested, I will give them the resources to accomplish their goals,” she said. “My passion drives what I do, and social justice is a fantastic cause because it has to do with humanity.”

Kwon said she will continue to guide Wetherington and assist her if she needs help transitioning to her new position.

“(Wetherington) is very hardworking,” she said. “She has that initiation to go talk to people if she needs to and she’s not afraid to ask questions. I see a lot of potential in her in the future.”

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