By Jackson Dangremond
Hello Sun Devils,
It has been far too long since you have heard from me. My name is Jackson Dangremond and I am your Student Body President. Throughout the course of the fall semester I learned a great deal about myself and the vast amount of responsibilities that come with being President.
I learned how vital it is to communicate effectively with those around you, I learned how it is much of one’s personal responsibility to take care of others and oneself, and how truly important it is to be yourself.
As a result, the lessons I have learned directly influence my priorities I have set forth for this semester. With that being said, my priorities will focus on: communication, the promotion of wellness and the importance of being yourself.
“Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud” – Hermann Hesse
Communication is vital for any change to start or take place. That is why I am going to focus on being a more effective communicator in two areas.
The first step in being an effective communicator is being there. That is why I am going to strive to be more accessible during the Spring Semester by holding more outside office hours. I will be in Starbucks Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to 11 a.m. every week to ensure that I have ample time to engage with students.
In addition to holding more outside office hours, I am going to encourage our organization to hold more tabling events on Taylor Mall so we have every opportunity to collect as much feedback as possible. As your elected and appointed representatives, we have the responsibility of representing ALL FIFTEEN THOUSAND of your voices and it is our job to listen. As much as this will be for myself and the rest of the organization, I encourage you, the students, to speak out. We are your Student Government and WE are here for YOU.
Promotion of Wellness
This priority stems from my platform, the Council of Presidents and my personal experiences.
Throughout the course of my life, I have had several experiences with anxiety and depression. I have often times neglected to tell others how I am feeling and as a result suffered immensely. There are times where I have been more afraid to answer the question “how are you feeling?” than I have been of a silly Chemistry test. This priority is very near and dear to my heart and I hope to draw from my experiences to cast a positive change on the lives of others.
To further increase the promotion of wellness at ASU, I am hoping to start student led summits, hold events, and continue to partner with ASU Counseling and Health Services.
My vision for the student led summits is to showcase the power that peer led conversations on emotional, mental, physical and sexual health have. These summits will include presentations from student organizations who are involved in the promotion of health, lectures by faculty and present opportunities for students to get further involved with counseling and health services. As cliché as this may sound, my end goal for the summit is to show students that they are not alone and to present the opportunity to get involved with student support services if need be.
The event aspect of this priority will be supplemental to the student led summits. These events will be conversations focused on the promotion of wellness. The first event of this series took place on January 18. This event featured a guest lecturer who spoke on the importance of empathy in the promotion of mental well-being, presentations from various Student Organizations and information provided by Counseling Services.
The end goal of both the student led summit(s) and the various events that will be held throughout the semester are to further connect students to the amazing support services we have on campus. There are so many people that are committed to helping others at this amazing university we all attend and I would like to thank a few of those that have helped me along the way: My wonderful team at USGD, Dean Smith, Dr. Ronald Briggs, our amazing USGD advisor Bibiana Riveria, the kind hearted individuals at counseling services downtown, Corina Tapscott, Frank Smith, Isaac Miller, Ryan O’Hara, Ernesto Hernandez, Jimmy Arwood, Alex Argeros, Megan Vogt and countless others. These are the individuals that have become my “family” at ASU and we are here to help you build yours.
As I conclude this entry, it is time that I offer a challenge to you. I want 2017 to be the year where no one is afraid to be yourself. This institution, much like our country and much like our world is ever growing in diversity and it is time we celebrate it. It is time we celebrate the ideas we share, it is time we celebrate our different cultures, heritages, religions and it is time to celebrate you because you are amazing.
Do not be afraid to be yourself and do not be afraid to love others and do everything you do with love. In partnership with our Department of Communications in USGD we are going to launch a weekly Sun Devil Award. Where we represent an individual or individuals who display empathy, respect and/or leadership both inside and outside the classroom.
So Sun Devils, do not be afraid to be yourself.
Peace & Love,
President, Undergraduate Student Government Downtown