Patrick Baker ASUN Elect

ASUN External Vice President-Elect Patrick Baker poses for a photo inside The Daily Nebraskan office on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at the Nebraska Union in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Patrick Baker started his college career wanting to enact positive change on campus and ensure students got more mental health services.

Now, he can advocate for change as external vice president for the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska. 

Baker, a junior double major in global studies and political science, said he wanted to be external vice president because he wants to work with Batool Ibrahim, the next ASUN president, and Taylor Jarvis, ASUN internal vice president-elect, to solve problems on campus.

“It seems like a large task at hand,” Baker said. “Looking forward, I’m thrilled, and I feel prepared, but I’m also humbled by the job.”

Baker joined ASUN during his freshman year through FCLA. During his sophomore year, he took a break from ASUN and then ran again for a senate position in spring of 2020. 

In his time at ASUN, Baker said his most impactful moment was creating the well-being button on Canvas to increase accessibility to mental health services. 

“After months of pushing, it finally got approved,” Baker said. “Finally being able to say that was complete was really a good day for me.”

In addition to ASUN, Baker is a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and has a research fellowship at the Yeutter Institute, a specialized international trading center. 

Outside of UNL, Baker volunteers with Lincoln Literacy where he teaches English skills to people one-on-one. He is also a student manager for the Husker women’s soccer team. 

Baker said the key to balancing and succeeding in his activities is communication and staying organized. Within these two skills, he’s learned to be practical with time and knowing what he can and can’t do.

“Having the ability to say ‘no’ was something I learned in the past year, especially with the hectic semester and the campaign,” Baker said. “In the past, I would likely say ‘yes’ and give a half-hearted effort to something.” 

Saisha Adhikari, senior biology and psychology double major and current external vice president of ASUN, said the role demands a multitude of skills. The external vice president deals with external relations of ASUN by being a part of multiple organizations, including the Husker Dialogues committee and police advisory board. 

“He’s a big, rounded leader. He has that calm ability to bring everyone together, and he’s steadforth towards his missions,” Adhikari said. “Whenever I interviewed him on issues on campus, he went beyond the surface level, and it shows that he is willing to do whatever it takes to better the student body.”

Baker said his main goal he wants to carry out as the next EVP is to create a student emergency fund in light of the pandemic. He said he wants to also make ASUN a more accessible space for students and keep students informed about the services available to them.

Moving forward in his career, Baker hopes to land a job that entails both international law and foreign policy. He said working for the Senate Foreign Relations or the House Foreign Affairs  committees would be a dream. 

“I’m passionate about public policy and learning about other cultures and traveling abroad to see what other individuals are going through, so that’s why I’m inspired to find a job with this intersection,” Baker said.

Baker attributes his work ethic to his strongest role models: his parents. He said they are the most compassionate people he knows and have instilled great diligence within him. On campus, Baker said the leadership of Adhikari and Drew Harrahill, the current ASUN internal vice president, have been influential in his college experience.

Harrahill, a senior biochemistry major, said it was obvious Baker had high potential and was goal-oriented, even as a freshman. During a one-on-one meeting in FCLA, Harrahill told Baker to continue his influence and share his gifts with the students and the university.

“Patrick has the whole package,” Harrahill said. “He has the drive to make his goals a reality and the talent to do so in a large-scale way.” 

Baker said his efforts that led him this far come from commitment and staying driven, but the students behind-the-scenes are the backbone of the new ASUN executive team. 

“I hope to work with campus and community leaders to continue to integrate and foster a healthy relationship between Lincoln and the broader Lincoln community,” Baker said.