by Emma Strempfer '24
Wes Stephens, a political science major from the Class of 2025, has established himself as a hardworking, affable, and enthusiastic individual on campus through his involvement with many clubs and organizations. Originally from the small town of Marion, Ohio, Stephens knew he wanted a college experience that would take him out of the midwest: “I wanted to do political science, and the East Coast is the place for that.” He scoured schools and applied to many, but he stated that he believed, “Pound for pound, PC had the most remarkable Political Science Department.” His experiences have already lived up to these expectations.
Stephens was warned that the Northeast was notorious for its rudeness. What he has observed is that while people here are gruff, that does not inhibit their ability to genuinely care about one another. “Not everyone is bubbly but genuinely friendly,” he says, and at PC, “everybody knows each other.” He said he likes how small the school is: “It feels nurturing, if you find your group.” However, Stephens recognizes that not everyone has a “group” and no PC experience is identical.
Stephens worked as a transfer Orientation Leader last year and remembers it as “one of the best experiences of [his] life.” He would like to do it again, but his plans for study abroad are tentative, and he is always on the lookout for new experiences.
Stephens plays bass and does backup vocals for the student band Freshman Year. “I picked up the bass in June and we played our first gig in August,” he explained—another example of how he is always seeking new experiences. He says he decided in the summer before his freshman year to “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.”
Stephens is a political science major on paper, but he is in the process of declaring both a Spanish and women and gender studies minor. During the fall semester, Stephens worked as a classroom assistant at a small Providence school called San Miguel. His dream job is to work in foreign service with the U.S. State Department. “I am deeply concerned with how people live,” he says. “I would really like to have a hand in forwarding our capacity to work for and with one another.”
Stephens is involved in many clubs and committees on campus. When asked to list his weekly commitments, Student Congress was at the top of the list. He works on the Clubs and Organizations Committee. “It’s a good time and there is a lot of good work,” he says. “I love how open it is. You get out what you put in.” Last year he was on the Academics Committee and he worked on the Core Crunch program. Stephens loves Student Congress and says, “There are a million different projects you can get involved in.”
Stephens is also a part of SHEPARD and Model U.N., and he is extremely proud of his work with the PC Democratic Socialists of America. The club was inactive for years, and last year, Stephens became committed to reviving it. He is now the executive president of the thriving club.
In addition to his club involvements, Stephens works for the Office of Student Activities and Cultural Events as an event planner. He is also on the Web Governance Committee.
At times Stephens feels overwhelmed with his amount of commitments, on and off campus. But what’s most important to him is giving his all to his community. “I’m throwing my grain of sand into the dune,” he says. He advises fellow students to not be afraid to try new things and at the same time not be afraid to drop something if it isn’t enjoyable. “I truly believe that everyone has something to offer and PC has something for everyone,” he says. “The important thing is to try. You never know what you might not be able to live without.”