The Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) is under new management: the first all-female presidency in the university’s history. Focused on improving campus accessibility, affordability, safety and solidarity, this group of motivated student leaders is working hard to affect positive change across campus and elevate student voices.
“We strongly believe in the collective power of the student voice and community. Our goals, passions and action can be a powerful vehicle for critical change across the university,” said the presidency in a letter to the student body posted on the ASUU website. “Our administration’s roles and visions were shaped by the student body, so our advocacy and line of work will always be student-centered and will aim to elevate students.”
Reflecting the needs and desires of the entire student body was a theme this presidency heavily emphasized. Represented in the presidency are those who have experienced first-hand the struggles of students who are first-generation, LGBTQ+, students of color, refugees and many more. This presidency provides a broad spectrum of perspectives that will ensure, when decisions are made, they benefit all students on campus.
This presidency also understands unique role they have in the opportunity to restructure and rebuild a campus community that has been forever changed by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As classes transition back to in-person and with more people interacting on campus, they are aiming to make health and safety one of their top priorities. This includes advising and decisions related to the pandemic, but also working to ensure the U is a place where all students feel they can be physically, mentally and emotionally well.
When asked what the one thing would be that the presidency wants students to know, Vice President of University Relations, Tiffany Chan replied,
“First and foremost, we are students, we are your peers. We want to help each other the best that we can, because we are in a community and members of a community support each other. We want to use the power and influence of our positions to spark change and that change really comes from the student voices that impact us. I like to think of my role as being shaped by students. This is not just me, everything that is coming from me is really coming from students and the community that I’m a part of.”
Students interested in sharing their ideas, passions and concerns with the ASUU presidency are welcome to take advantage of their office hours; every Monday from 2-3 p.m. and Thursday from 4-5 p.m., in the ASUU office, located on the second floor of the Union building. Students can also contact them over email or reach out through social media.
Meet the Presidency
Student Body President Jess Wojciechowski
I am a proud queer woman studying honors political science and English. I am advocating for a safer, more accessible and affordable campus– both in person and virtually — especially for those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic: our Black, Indigenous and students of color. I have witnessed the passion students have to make campus a better place while listening to their concerns and ideas. I will hear all students and help them thrive on our campus by giving them a seat at the table to create lasting change on campus.
Vice President of Student Relations Maryan Shale
I was born in Kenya. My parents are refugees and that makes me a first-generation college student. I ran because I want to see more people who like me in spaces where decisions are being made that could impact their livelihood on and off campus. As a refugee daughter from a single parent household, education plays a big role in my life. My mother always pushed me to work hard on my studies but also take care of my family. I am currently a junior, majoring in health, society and policy, with minors in leadership and sociology.
Vice President of University Relations Tiffany Chan
I am a first-generation student of color and the oldest child of two Chinese immigrants. I am a third-year honors student double majoring in political science and economics, with plans to attend law school. I am dedicated to actionable, impact driven initiatives to address key issues on campus. I ran for VP of University Relations because of the deep systemic barriers that underserved and underrepresented students and I, as an Asian American woman, have faced throughout their college experience and I understand how this carries significant implications on students’ success and quality of life. I believe that being an advocate translates into challenging the status quo, so I will utilize my position to be proactive and responsive to your voice.
Chief of Staff Sanila Math
Throughout these past few years, I have had the opportunity to work with amazing organizations and dedicated leaders around campus. I have seen impact driven initiatives that help foster a safe, welcoming and transparent environment and am committed to working to encourage much needed change on our campus. I am double majoring in anthropology and ethnic studies with a minor in integrative human biology. As the 2021-2022 administration’s Chief of Staff, I am excited to work with a strong team to break down barriers that impede student success.