The Association of Students of the University of Nebraska has internally elected Christine Trinh as its next speaker of the senate for the 2021-22 administration.
Trinh, an Asian American woman and a sophomore economics and political science double major, joins an already diverse elected executive team, led by President Batool Ibrahim, ASUN’s first Black president, internal Vice President Taylor Jarvis, an openly bisexual woman, and external Vice President Patrick Baker.
“It is so cool seeing representation happen right in front of you,” Trinh said.
The new speaker is breaking barriers herself. Trinh is the first woman to assume the role of speaker since the 2012-13 ASUN administration, and she breaks a streak of eight white men who have served in the position during the same time period, according to a text from Drew Harrahill, ASUN’s 2020-21 internal vice president.
Raised in Lincoln, Trinh said she was an overachiever in high school and did not want to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Instead, she set her sights somewhere on the east coast.
When it came time to choose a school, she decided on Nebraska, and she said it has been the right decision for her.
“After the first few months, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is the absolute right decision,’” Trinh said.
It took a while for her to find her place, but ASUN has been one of the main reasons she loves the university.
Being able to work on legislation and bills about things she cares about is something that makes ASUN fulfilling, Trinh said.
She has already been in contact with Jarvis to start the process of interviewing senators for committee chairs.
Chase Auman, who served as the 2020-21 co-director of the Freshman Campus Leadership Associates alongside Trinh, said working with her was enjoyable because she is a dynamic, organized and approachable leader who always has a plan.
“Her style of leadership is by example and just by being a friend,” Auman said.
While student government is her focus now, Trinh said she has huge ambitions.
She hopes to go to law school somewhere on the east coast and practice law, with hopes of a career in the federal government.
“I really want to run for U.S. senator and maybe in the future run for president,” Trinh said.
Trinh realizes that might be a reach, but she believes that with the progress that has been made with regard to political representation, it is an achievable dream.
“I think running for president, though [it] sounds like a crazy statement, is achievable because of the strides in representation the political arena has experienced recently,” Trinh said in a text. “I first got into politics my freshman year of high school after seeing powerful women take on the debate stage in the 2016 presidential election.”
Auman said that there is nothing standing in the way of Trinh achieving her lofty dreams.
“I don’t see a stopping point,” Auman said. “She hasn’t been stopped so far, so why would she be stopped in the future?”
Trinh is looking forward to working with senators and the executive team as ASUN’s next speaker of the senate.
“I want everyone to feel comfortable to be able to come to me and talk to me about what they’re thinking about their bills, how they can come up with additional bills in addition to the primary bill that their committee is working on,” Trinh said. “That’s how I want to amplify the voices in ASUN.”