The end of the 2019-20 term is bittersweet for the outgoing executive team of the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska.
The last meeting of the term took place over Zoom on April 1, and former President Emily Johnson shed some tears as she presided over her last meeting.
“I can’t think of a single person here who didn’t bring insightful conversation, who didn’t make everyone laugh, who didn’t do the hard work,” she said. “So many of you have become some of my best friends over the past few years.”
ASUN had a legislative-heavy year, passing 98 bills and resolutions. Of those, 70 correlated with at least one of the pillars that the executive team ran for office with, which were interacting with decision makers, using campus resources, making sustainable choices and improving student engagement.
Johnson said she is proud of the work ASUN accomplished this term, specifically the projects it completed that installed meal swipes at the Husker Pantry, the Green Bandana Project and the efforts the senate put into advocating for a change in Nebraska’s age of majority from 19 to 18 for healthcare decisions.
“This past year was amazing about getting a conversation rolling about mental health on campus and helping students be more aware of resources,” Johnson said.
Ibraheem Hamzat, former external vice president, said an important ASUN accomplishment for him included his success in adding a mandatory line in every class’s syllabus with information regarding mental health resources. Hamzat started working on this project behind the scenes when he was chair of the Academic Committee during the 2018-19 term, and he said it will be implemented for the Summer 2020 semester.
“This is going to increase access to [mental health resources], especially our first- and second-year students who are most unfamiliar with the resources on campus,” he said.
Jared Long, former internal vice president, expressed his appreciation of how well the ASUN senate worked together.
“We had a lot of fun,” Long said. “Everybody was motivated by each other to work for the betterment of the student body.”
Hamzat said he was also proud to have started the light-hearted ASUN basketball team this term.
“I think a lot of times we forget that [ASUN] is still an RSO,” he said. “It’s essentially an organization that’s meant to aid the development of all students, but that also means we should be forming community amongst ourselves.”
Long echoed this sentiment and said his advice to the new executive team and senate is to value the time and friends that they have while in ASUN.
“I think that one always has to remember the point of the organization, and that’s service to students,” he said. “But then you have to balance that with the fact that being in an organization is just as much about personal development and making memories during college.”