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Student body elects new ASWU officers

by Marketing & Communications,

Students in the College of Arts & Sciences recently elected the Associated Students of Willamette University (ASWU) executive officers for the 2021–22 school year: President Giovanni Bautista '22, Vice President Angel Park '22 and Treasurer Michael Burke '23.

Bautista and Park share some of their goals and more in the following Q&A. 

President: Giovanni Bautista '22 (he/him/his)

Major: I am double-majoring in politics, policy, law and ethics and economics.

Giovanni Bautista

What have you been involved in and passionate about at Willamette?

I serve as a student representative on the College of Arts and Sciences Academic Council, as an ASWU senator for the class of 2022 and as a resident advisor. In all three roles, I have worked to ensure student voices are heard and that Willamette is an inclusive community that fosters learning, fellowship and personal growth.

What are your goals as president for the coming year?

I will work hard to ensure that there is transparency in the processes that affect the student body, that Willamette continues to advance equity and anti-racism, and that we have a seamless return to a fully in-person campus this fall.

It's been a challenging academic year, what words of encouragement do you have for your fellow Bearcats?

In the face of a global pandemic, wildfires, an ice storm, calls for racial justice and other challenges we may have faced individually, members of the Willamette community have been resilient and supportive of one another. I have witnessed firsthand how we, the student body, can create and promote positive change on and off campus. I am confident that the Willamette community will emerge stronger from this challenging academic year.

Anything you'd like students to know that I didn't ask you about?

I am honored and grateful for the trust the student body has placed in me by electing me as their next ASWU President. I look forward to working with students, student organizations, administrators and other stakeholders to make Willamette a more inclusive and equitable community where students can thrive personally, academically and as leaders.

What is the best way for students to contact you?

The best way for students to contact me with any questions or concerns is by emailing me. I also intend to hold weekly in-person office hours next school year.

Vice president: Angel Park '22 (she/her/hers)

What's your major and anticipated graduation year?

N/A. It's complicated.

Angel Park headshot

Why did you choose this field of study?

I chose biology, because I am interested in the field of medicine.

What's a fun fact about you that other students may not know?

I do not have a sense of smell — this started in middle school (not from COVID).

What have you been involved in and passionate about at Willamette?

I have been involved in Willamette Dance Company, Chinese Taiwanese Culture Association, ASWU, Willamette Events Board and Opening Days, and the reason is because I think it's important that Willamette puts an emphasis on the importance of serving others within our community whether they are students or members of the greater Salem area.

What are your goals as vice president for the coming year?

I think many students are confused about what the vice president position entails, so I would like to make clear what my position is and how I can be of support to students even though I am more involved with the senators. I also would like to get more student engagement with ASWU. It's difficult, especially with declining interest, but with no senators, there are no funding decisions made. Senators also have the opportunity to do a campus improvement project, so I would really like to create relationships with students for feedback on how to create that interest.

Which person or organization/group has influenced you most positively at WU and how?

I think the professors I've had in the biology department have truly changed my views on what an educator is supposed to be. They help me challenge my thinking and go beyond what I should know for the classroom. I can also have conversations with them about my future, and they show genuine interest, which has pushed me to strive for more and to be determined during these hard times.

It's been a challenging academic year, what words of encouragement do you have for your fellow Bearcats?

Find your community here at Willamette, and know how to advocate for yourself — or I encourage students to find someone to advocate for them. With so many things happening in the world, sometimes it's easier to push your needs aside until it gets to be too much. During those times, communication is the best way to get through it, which can be difficult for students. I'm introverted, and communication and vulnerability are such difficult topics for me, but it has relieved so much stress this year.

Anything you'd like students to know that I didn't ask you about?

I'm always open for questions so feel free to reach out!

What is the best way for students to contact you?

By email is best.

About the College of Arts & Sciences

Based in Salem, Oregon, Willamette is the premier private university in the Pacific Northwest. Willamette’s beautiful, historic campus — located across the street from the Oregon State Capitol and co-located with Tokyo International University of America — features a residential undergraduate College of Liberal Arts and two professional graduate schools: the College of Law and the Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

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