Over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year, I have had the incredible opportunity to serve as President of the Associated Students of the University of Redlands. As I approach the end of my term, I am becoming very reflective of my time here at our dear old U of R. I decided I would like to share those reflections with you all, if you will bear with me.
In my freshman year, I got my start in ASUR as an Off-Campus Senator. I campaigned to become an Off-Campus Senator because I was disappointed with the lack of programming for off-campus students during New Student Orientation. When I showed up for orientation, I checked in right at 8 am, and then spent the next three hours memorizing the Och Tamale while everyone moved into their dorms. It has become one of my fondest memories here. I am grateful to say that in the following year we had panels and events specifically for off-campus students, programs that I helped to create.
Generally, the Executive Director of Finance position was reserved for juniors or seniors. I am very fortunate that Anne Thorson, the ASUR President at the time, saw enough promise in me to select me for her Cabinet my sophomore year. I credit that decision by contributing to the most pivotal moment of my college career. I had applied to become the Director of Finance because I was interested in business and because I had found a growing interest in student government. I thought that after college I was going to do something in business, but I was not sure what. My interest in student government rapidly outpaced my interest in my studies. I loved being able to act within ASUR and university policies to make the university a better place for my fellow students.
I decided to change my major, and enrolled in ECON 350 Intermediate Microeconomics and what was at the time POLI 209 Introduction to Public Policy in the spring of my sophomore year. I was hoping that I would like one of the classes enough to declare my major in economics or public policy. I fell in love with them both, and am very excited to say I will be graduating as a double major in just a couple weeks. If you think that there is something that might interest you, try it out. You never know what might happen.
Motivated by my involvement in ASUR and a newfound passion for economics and public policy, I decided to take POLI 306, much better known as Con Law. I had realized through ASUR how truly interested I was in government and in policy. My thought was to take Con Law and see how much I like it because the thought of attending law school continued to grow. Long story short, I will be attending law school in the fall.
My greatest achievement in my college career came at the end of my junior year when I was elected to serve as ASUR President. I ran on a platform of transparency, sustainability, wellbeing, and communication. I did my best to meet each of these pillars of my platform. None of this could have been done without my incredible Cabinet, and I would like to thank them here. If they have bothered to make it to this point and to hear me ramble one last time, thank you to Liran, Lidya, Faith, Ally, Kaitlyn, and Sydney. You all have been nothing short of amazing.
Together, we released the ASUR budget, made the ASUR Constitution gender neutral, and completely opened Cabinet meetings. We completely restructured and transformed the student government. We provided reusable water bottles to every new student and worked with.
Bon Appetit to create greater sustainability in the commons. We provided funding for a part-time counselor. We put on more events than I could possibly count and made sure our fellow students always knew what was happening. There is so much more that was done, and I could go on and on.
To those of you graduating alongside me here in April, I encourage you to reflect on your time at the U of R. In some way, this place helped to shape who you are today. I hope you have enjoyed your time here as much as I have. To those of you who have more years at the U of R ahead of you, don’t waste them. Get involved, try something different, meet new people, do anything that you think might interest you. You never know what might await you at this wonderful place.
Jacob Madden ASUR President, 2018-2019