By Isaac Price, Staff Writer
Each fall, two incoming students are elected as representatives for the first-year class: students straight out of high school, transfer students and other non-traditional students in their first year. This year saw Gio Coronado and Sydney Lum elected.
Sydney Lum, Incoming Student Representative
Why did you decide to run for this position?
I did student leadership in high school, and I know all of the many different things that go into planning events, getting policies passed and all the behind-the-scenes things that aren’t really talked about but are very important. And so I knew that that is something I would like to fill. Also, for being in a representative position, growing up I knew representation is really important, whether it’s in the media or anything else, and there’s no better way to make sure your group is represented well than to represent it yourself.
Are there any specific leadership experiences that you’ve had outside ASWU in the past that are going to be good assets for this position?
I think just my ability to be able to talk to lots of different people is kind of an asset that I’m bringing to the ASWU team. I want to make sure we don’t distance ourselves from the people we are serving, which I think is sometimes a problem in leadership and there is a little bit of a stigma around that. I hope this will kind of ground us in the people that we’re serving.
Have there been any formative Whitworth experiences for you that you think are going to be helpful for this position or that have stood out to you so far?
There have just been different things that show the sense of community that Whitworth has. I’ve been a part of the Polynesian Club, the Pride Club and different things. You can really tell that whatever you’re in, there [are] people there around you that want to support you. I’ve been to many different professors’ houses, which is something new for college in general but also very Whitworth-specific, I think. So it really seems like people here care about you, which I think is good; but also in certain things that are for diversity, equity and inclusion, there’s this kind of shallowness about it. And so just in certain aspects, there are definitely changes that can be made.
Are there any specific changes that you hope to implement, whether at Whitworth in general or in your constituency of incoming students?
I have nothing off the top of my head at the moment. I know at our last meeting, there were issues posed about safety. I definitely think it’s really important that we address those things first and foremost, but for structural things, I don’t have anything current changes.
Is there anything else that the student body should know about you going into this position?
That I am a very imperfect person, which I think we all are, but I want to make sure that it’s known that we are all going through the same college experience, we’re all on the same sort of level, no matter what. Everybody’s going through the same experience of this change in our lives and traveling through adulthood. We all need to empathize with each other and be able to connect through that. That’s what I would want them to know about me and also, I literally will always be down to talk to people and say ‘hi’ to people. If you know my name, and I don’t know your name, then it’ll be awkward at first, but we’ll be able to connect on something.
Gio Coronado, Incoming Student Representative
Why did you decide to run in these elections?
Okay, so I’ve never been a part of a coalition committee. I’ve never been part [of] a lot of people, never been appointed to really decide on anything about the university in general… So I decided to run for this.
What are formative experiences you’ve had at Whitworth on campus that you think are gonna be good assets for you at this position?
Being able to talk to anyone. When it comes to off-campus, I work at Starbucks. So… in my job, I work on connecting with customers individually. And so that really can build that strength of being able to talk to people, being able to get to know a person. When it comes to skills, reliability for sure… being on time.
What new changes do you hope to effect in your community?
I just want to make people feel comfortable with where they are. I want [the] campus to feel like this is the place where you want to be. This community here is amazing. I just want to build a sense of friendliness and for people to be able to connect with each other as well.
Last thing, anything else the student body should know about you?
I like dogs, I like to play basketball [and] I like to play video games… I’m a business major, I work at Starbucks, I’m a fun person [and I like to listen to] piano music and Spanish music. I’m happy to be here… and I’m hoping to join the basketball team next year.