Students reflect on how Whitman’s president stays active on campus

Tenzin Uden, Campus Life Reporter

Have you ever not seen President Bolton at any campus event? Whitman’s newest president has quickly gained a reputation for seemingly being everywhere on campus at once, whether it be at a Harper Joy show or a student’s craft sale.

First-year international student Levy Remesha Ngabo has seen President Bolton at many of the events he’s gone to on campus.

“I don’t go to all the events that the school posts because there are many, but I attend the ones that I have a commitment to, like the African festivals and also the theater [plays]. I happen to see [President Bolton] and sometimes I think that she tries to expand like a gas, being everywhere, which is kind of hard; I appreciate seeing her everywhere,” Ngabo said. 

Ngabo has interacted with President Bolton at a campus event and had a positive conversation.

“I’d love to see her stay here [at Whitman] because I think that she’s an amazing person. I’m not a celebrity at school, but she once talked to me after the Taste of Africa,” Ngabo said. “She told us that we did an amazing job. [I appreciated] seeing her addressing herself directly to me, eye to eye, [and trying] to be there for all of us. I would love to see her stay here.”

President Bolton has a way of connecting with the community, such as making the most of her online presence with her personal Instagram account. Here she shares the various places she has been popping up. Sophomore Val Hoxha appreciates President Bolton’s way of communicating with the student body using social media more than emails. 

“She really tries to engage in a lot of events, and in comparison to [other presidents], she is doing an awesome job at transparency and receiving student feedback,” Hoxha said. “Especially her regular walks with her dog on campus can make such a small change in someone’s day. I really like the way she is present everywhere.”

First-year Sybella Ssewakiryanga is also impressed with the number of places she has seen President Bolton appear. 

“She goes to different WEB events; she was at Taste of Africa [and] at the Renaissance Faire. She always participates in those kinds of events,” Ssewakiryanga said. “I think it’s a great thing because that means that she cares about seeing what happens on campus. She wants to be an active participant.

Ssewakiryanga enjoys President Bolton’s use of Instagram as a way to promote all the events that are happening on campus.

“Somebody can see it on her story and then attend. I think it’s a good way of promotion. I think it shows that she cares about the students and she cares about the community, [so the presidential installation] is going to be great,” Ssewakiryanga said.  

First-year Henok Mulugeta shared similar sentiments to his fellow students about President Bolton’s presence on campus. 

“Looking around campus, I saw her attending events,” Mulugeta said. “I’ve seen her on Instagram posting pictures of the event she attended; [she was] cheering the people on campus, and that’s a good way to spread positive energy around campus. I feel that a lot of people here are on Instagram, and Instagram is a popular media platform, so using that platform is quite smart to engage with students here.”

Sarah Bolton is the 15th president of Whitman College, and her installation will begin at 5 p.m. on April 28 in Cordiner Hall, followed by a full day of community events.