Women's Independent Living Group of MIT
About the Organization
The Women's Independent Living Group is a group of 35-45 female MIT undergraduates who believe that a group of strong, independent women can manage a house together. Members live together in a 5-story home in Cambridge. They cook gigantic meals for each other, maintain the facilities together, and take care of one another. WILG was founded on the belief that female students can learn the skills needed to run a house on a budget-- while learning life skills and making lifelong friends.
I was a member of WILG for 3.5 years (2010-2013). During my time living in the house, I held an executive officer role every semester except my last. For one year, I served as house manager. In this role, I was in charge of maintaining the physical facilities. Whether it was fixing a broken spring in the oven door or calling a plumber for a clogged drain, I was in charge of assessing, prioritizing, and addressing maintenance issues. I also organized work week, a 40 hour week when all members contribute to long-term maintenance, cleaning, and repairs.
My next year, I served as rush chair. In this role, I organized 2 two-week long recruitment periods with my co-rush chair, Amy Taylor. We planned activities for the organization, delegated responsibility for executing rush events, and managed a $5000 budget. I re-structured and improved the way rush responsibilities were delegated, and suggested further improvements for the subsequent rush chairs. I took this role when membership was at a historical low point, and helped the organization increase membership.
My final role on the executive committee was as Membership Coordinator, a role usually carried out by 2 people. I was responsible for membership retention and new membership introduction. I rented U-Hauls and moved new members to the house. I welcomed them with cookies and WILG letters for their doorways, and served as a source of answers to all questions about the organization and the house. I pioneered and ran a retreat in the Fall, for which I organized an overnight trip for the entire membership at a camp in the Berkshire mountains, where we did a low ropes course, hiking, waterskiing, kayaking, built a campfire, and discussed personal and organizational goals. Throughout my time at WILG, I served as a mentor to other members, helping people adapt to new executive roles or simply adapting to community life. I loved WILG and its members, and I will always feel a connection to the organization.
WILG was my home away from home during my time at MIT. It empowered me to learn life skills needed to maintain a house, cook for myself and others, clean up after myself, manage money, and collaborate with a diverse group of individuals. I met so many incredible women from all parts of the world. Best of all, WILG gave me an amazing group of lifelong friends.
WILG members in attendance at my wedding!