For nearly her entire University life, Sabrina Nunn has been an integral part of the Associated Students of the University of Redlands (ASUR). From a freshman with no prior experience to Associate Director to Director of Social Affairs, to now President of ASUR, she finds herself in a unique position that no recent President has had to face. Leading during a pandemic.
Last March, after running an extensive campaign against two candidates through a platform focusing on advocating for students’ voices, Sabrina Nunn ‘21 was elected to President of ASUR.
This was not Nunn’s first encounter with student government. Her interests in ASUR began in her freshman year when, motivated by her love of working with people, her friends encouraged her to put her name on the ballot for the presidency. Although she didn’t succeed, the Associate Director of Student Involvement and Success Alex Ries encouraged her to join Social Affairs, which she enjoyed immensely.
“I really got to know that branch of student government and put on fun events for students to come to,” Nunn commented.
Her social energy is also reflected in the many ways she sees life. When asked if she had someone who influenced her, she responded that there is no one person who she looks up to in particular, but it is the traits of the people around her that inspire her.
“I love people who are loyal, hardworking, creative. I enjoy people who have good conversations,” she explains.
Her favorite childhood memory is spending time relaxing with family at the Half Moon Bay beach, which she tried to recreate with similar trips with her friends in high school.
“[The experience] meant so much to me and family that I always try to share with [my friends.]”
This drive met the start of her term with many challenges as students and faculty gear up for an unusual semester brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
First and foremost, the shift to online instruction means a potential lack in student engagement, both in terms of campus involvement and mental wellbeing, a key area of concern that ASUR is working to improve under Nunn’s leadership.
“We’re here to help shape the student experience and help students engage with the campus and what we have to offer,” Nunn said.
As ASUR President, her responsibilities encompass a wide range of campus organizations and stakeholders. She directly oversees the Senate and the Cabinet, which includes the Chief of Staff and the heads of Social Affairs, Convocations and Lectures, Student Organizations, and Finance. She also communicates with the Administration and the Board of Trustees to keep them updated on the student body. In addition, she also sits on committees and kickstart projects.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what I do in my role,” Nunn said.
Holding a total of 20 office hours every week, Nunn emphasized the importance of having designated time to unwind and relax.
She also emphasizes that one of ASUR’s key goals this semester is understanding “how students are navigating through this pandemic,” not only to give students the opportunity to reflect on their wellbeing but also to pass on this information to different departments, finding ways to support students with the University’s resources.
“Granted, we are navigating through uncharted waters. This is new for all of us,” Nunn expressed.
Nunn used this opportunity to call upon the U of R student body to be more responsive in communicating with ASUR by responding to surveys, coming to events, and filling out forms.
“We’d love for our students, for our Bulldogs, to work with us, so that we’re accurately representing them and their needs for the upcoming year,” she said.
This issue comes at a particularly pressing time as the student government organization was recently met with mixed feedback on their Instagram social media platform for their statement opposing Coach Mike Maynard’s reinstatement, which has been praised by some commenters but described by others as not accurately representing the student body’s opinion.
Responding to this inquiry, Nunn explains it as a “learning experience.”
“When we put out a statement like that, we need to make sure we’re doing the work to make sure that our students’ voices are fully and accurately represented, whether that be through a town hall meeting, through a survey, [or] by gathering that information and talking to your different students…If you’re making a statement on behalf of all your students, you need to make sure that all your students are being fully represented.”
Nunn notes that communication and feedback from students has always been important to her, as she had devised a “student-sourced platform” that she calls a “fish bowl” to gauge students’ concerns in her election campaign. This semester, however, this platform will be mostly focused on student engagement with their classes and the campus, instead of the previous theme.
Students can contact Nunn at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or ideas they’d like to see enacted this year.