Making Wellesley A Home

Tatiana Ivy Moise ’21

Tatiana Ivy Moise ’21

Photo by Lisa Abitbol

College Government President Tatiana Ivy Moise ’21 will never forget the first time she saw the Academic Council Room. “I remember walking into the grandiosity of the Academic Council Room—up all four flights of stairs in Green Hall, past the admin level, really feeling this sense of importance,” she says.

It was Moise’s first semester, first year. A political science buff, Moise had heard that Hillary Rodham Clinton ’69 had been College Government president, and so she ran for Senate as one of the representatives for Pomeroy Hall and earned a seat. For that first meeting, she dressed in business attire—a blazer and pumps. She got there and saw students wearing sweats and jeans and, “I was like, ‘Well, I guess I can take off the blazer,’” Moise laughs.

Maryam Khan ’18, the CG president that year, banged the gavel at the dais to call the meeting to order. “Everyone immediately quieted down, and we all looked at the front. And I was like, ‘This is the coolest thing I have ever been a part of,’” Moise says.

Moise, the only child of a single mother in Coral Springs, Fla., came to Wellesley via the QuestBridge National College Match program, which gives full scholarships to low-income, high-achieving students, if a college on their list “matches” with them. She put Wellesley on her list of 12 colleges, not thinking too much about it. “To be honest with you, it was not my top choice,” she says.

But Wellesley was the college QuestBridge matched Moise with, and the minute she arrived on campus during spring open campus, “I immediately felt a sense of place that I’d never expected. And honestly, I’ve never stopped feeling that sense of place here. I’ve only ever continued to make it a home away from home, and that’s what Wellesley’s absolutely become for me,” she says. She knew Wellesley was a good fit when, on Saturday of that weekend, on her 18th birthday, she entered the traditional lip synching event in Jewett Auditorium and some 600 people turned around and starting singing “Happy Birthday” to her. “To this day, I still have no idea how that happened. … It was so amazing,” she says.

She didn’t know a lot about Wellesley when she arrived that fall, but being part of College Government made her feel part of the community. “Very immediately, I got thrown into this amazing organization that teaches you everything there is to know about Wellesley,” says Moise, a political science and women’s and gender studies double major who hopes to work in broadcast journalism or communications.

In her role as CG president, as when she was Ethos president last year, one of her biggest goals is to be accessible and approachable. “I love connecting people to things that they need, or people to people whom they don’t even know that they need to meet, or could benefit from meeting. I love being that middle person, and that’s ultimately what College Government is,” she says.

Moise’s term as president is a historic one. She learned she’d won the election the very same day in March the College announced that in-person classes were ending due to the pandemic. She and other members of the CG cabinet worked through the summer, serving on committees helping the College plan for the fall. One of the first things her cabinet did last spring, as protests erupted around the country after police killed George Floyd, was to work together to make a statement in support of Wellesley’s Black students, which included a letter from the Harambee House President’s Council, and send it to the entire student body. Working on the statement was a “really real way to start as a cabinet, to start our work at Wellesley together,” she says.

This academic year, which Moise is spending on campus in Shafer, “I think [students are] looking for comfort,” she says. “And if I can be a source of comfort and a sense of stability … and can help someone find their own peace, or make their Wellesley experience more of what they were looking for, that’s, I think, an incredible thing, and I would be so fulfilled.”

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