ASUOP President-Elect Emily Sackett Plans For Future
Emily Sackett ‘20 is the current ASUOP Vice President and the current ASUOP President-elect for this coming year. Below, she elaborates on her hopes and aspirations for her upcoming presidency.
- How would you compare your upcoming ASuop tenure to your first year?
I think the campus will face unique challenges this year that it didn’t last year including the implementation of the budget cuts and finding our next University president. I think that student voices, while always important, will be especially important this upcoming year as we begin the process of selecting a new President. There are also some continued issues – such as tuition, housing and equity in decisions making.
- What drives the work that you do now, and what inspires you to continue?
Without a doubt, it is my fellow peers that drive me to do what I do. Every single day that I walk onto campus, I am inspired by the people around me. By the things that they study, the lengths to which they push themselves and the amount of passion they have for those around them. I think that we have an enormous opportunity as an institution to do better and to reach our higher potential. It inspires me that I have an opportunity on a daily basis to uplift the voices of students on key issues and help propel the growth of our institution forward.
- Do you have any specific goals in mind for your presidency?
One of the main issues that I continue to work on for this upcoming year is lessening the financial burden of students at Pacific. Not only does tuition go up at ridiculous amounts every year, but so does housing and other associated costs of going to University of the Pacific. While we do have access to a quality education, this same quality needs to be accessed at a lower price point for the financial sake of our students. In fact, I think a huge part of our low retention rates (compared to standard and aspirant peers) has to do with how expensive our tuition is and how frequently it increases and the rate it goes up at. I think all students should have access to a Pacific education regardless of socio-economic background and as of right now, we are not doing a great job at being accessible to all. While a decrease in tuition or the tuition rate wouldn’t completely solve that problem, it would be the beginning of a step in the right direction. Additionally, I’d like to increase our club funding and the transparency of the process. We are going to make sure that all of the clubs have a “club handbook” this upcoming year so that they understand the funding process, what can and can’t be funded and what our funding decisions are based off of.
- How do you think campus culture has changed over the course of the past year?
I think that students have begun to become more vocal this year, which I’m very happy about! For years, students have been frustrated with the constantly rising tuition rates, lack of consistency of experience in University housing and a lack of financial transparency, and that came to light this last fall. Students rising together in the protest and in engaging in forums led to a lower tuition increase, which is a step in the right direction of more affordable tuition rates. Additionally, it has sparked other discussions on the student experience and how administration can be doing better to serve our students.
- What is the biggest aspect of life at Pacific that you think needs to change?
Well for one, we as students need to recognize that we are and always have been the “primary stakeholders” at this institution. Every department, every faculty, staff and administrator is here because of our tuition dollars. And we have every right to seats at the decision-making table. The more students that actively voice their concerns, the more weight that student voice has. Overall, I’d really like to see more students taking their complaints and concerns to decision makers like administrators and Regents, or even to ASuop, so we can make sure to pass it along. I’d also love to see more involvement on campus! I truly believe that a large part of the “college experience” is what happens outside the classroom. Clubs, organizations and extra-curriculars all make for a well-rounded student and often these activities, not only contribute to better campus morale but also better prepare students for graduate school or a job.
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