Bulldog Bites

News and Views from the University of Redlands

Looking back on an incredible year

“I have seen this community come together in many ways,” says Jacob Miner ’20, who served as the 2019-20 president of the Associated Students of the University of Redlands. (Photo by Coco McKown '04, '10)

I have had the great privilege of serving as president of Associated Students of the University of Redlands (ASUR) over the past year, when the ASUR Cabinet adopted the mission statement of “creating cohesive and collaborative events, projects, and initiatives focusing on cross-campus engagement.”

Thanks to the dedication of my fellow ASUR Cabinet members, this focus led to:

  • A great increase in student programming from ASUR Social Affairs, including roughly 50 events, a second annual Casino Night and Late-Night Breakfast, and yet another successful Fallfest featuring Tessa Violet and AJR
  • An impressive speaker series from ASUR Convocations and Lectures that included Nyle DiMarco (in partnership with Diversity Initiatives) Joe Basalone, Shiza Shahid (co-founder of the Malala Fund), and Leland Melvin (former NFL player and NASA astronaut)
  • A reassessment of our budgeting and development of our High Impact Partnership program from ASUR Finance
  • The unveiling of 10 new clubs, the new Clubs and Organizations Advisory Board (COAB) grant, and first annual COE 2.0 which provided club and organization leadership with training in finance, philanthropy, and programming via our online portal
  • Responses to student concerns from the ASUR Senate, including the introduction of the new Food Action Committee
  • The first-ever Diversity Pride Parade, organized by students, and the purchase of Pride lights, with administration approval, to demonstrate and represent our University’s inclusiveness for all

In addition, as a testament to the larger and adventurous possibilities of practicing shared governance, the University President’s Cabinet agreed to match ASUR in funding to support our partnership with JED Campus, the nation’s leading assessment tool for mental health and wellness within institutions of higher education. We will soon be embarking in a four-year strategic plan with the guidance of JED Campus beginning with the Healthy Minds Study in the coming months.

There have been many impactful moments throughout the tenure of holding this position. I have seen this community come together in many ways. We stood and marched together in our first Diversity Pride Parade, navigated the loss of our peer Jacob Green ’20, and even recently supported each other through the unprecedented time of COVID-19.

In having our semester cut short, we all realized how deeply connected we are to this University—through our spontaneous “goodbyes” and “graduations,” the thousands of boxes distributed to students packing up their belongings, and even the slideshows of Snapchat memories we made. I want to personally extend “congratulations” to the graduating class of 2020; we’ve missed our last days of being seniors at the University, and I am sure we have all felt a similar sense of emptiness. I am inspired by the efforts of our departments, teams, and organizations that have gone the extra mile to celebrate the accomplishment of becoming a college graduate. I’d like to also extend “congratulations” to the entire student body for navigating this transition and our joint completion of this semester! “Cheers” to us all!

My gratitude extends to so many people who played a key role for me this year. Rachel Wilkin, Cade Gorrell, Julia Severson, Heaven Rivera, and Hannah Shimizu, thank you all for your incredible work, consistent positive energy, and placement of the student body’s best interest at the heart. Through the toughest weeks, when the hours seemed endless, I always cherished the time we got to spend together.

Erin Sanborn, Alex Ries, and Darci Manzo Prion, thank you for being incredible advisors and directing us in each of our interests as a general cabinet or within our individual positions. Thank you for showing us the power that student government can have and showing us how much work it can take. When we might have failed, you were each there to pick us back up and reroute us to a path to success.

To our University administration, trustees, and alumni, thank you all for being excited and encouraging about the work of ASUR. It has been an absolute pleasure to share all our work and progress with you. I’m excited to see the continued excellence of ASUR under the leadership of 2020-21 President Sabrina Nunn and the years of progress ahead for the benefit of many students to come.

Thank you to the University of Redlands, from the bottom of my heart. As I transition out of my presidency and time as a student at the University, I want to leave you all with a quote from Swiss philosopher Henri Frédéric Amiel that has inspired me throughout the past four years: “Without passion man is a mere latent force and possibility, like the flint which awaits the shock of the iron before it can give forth its spark.”

Learn more about student affairs at the University of Redlands.