It may seem odd to give a warm welcome to those of you beginning your journey or an enthusiastic welcome back to those of you who are continuing your University of Utah experience. We know that you are no stranger to the oddity of this year due to the unsettling nature of COVID-19. There is no denying the struggle of adjusting to face coverings, social distancing, an overwhelming smell of hand sanitizer and the deep desire to keep us all safe. However, we welcome you with more emphasis and passion than ever.
We are the 2020-21 Student Body Presidency. Our names are Michelle Valdes (mish), Ayana Amaechi (ay), Ephraim Kum (eph), and Mihali Sergakis (hals). We welcome you first with a huge thank you. Thank you for attending the University of Utah. Thank you for being the reason we ran for these positions. You give us meaning, purpose, and a longing to create the best student experience possible (even in a pandemic).
For those unaware, your student government (Associated Students of the University of Utah or ASUU), is the University’s hub for leadership and advocacy. We have over 100 student leaders, across three branches, working to bring you the best student experience achievable. We have a variety of boards ranging from sustainability to campus events, two legislative bodies that work on paramount legislation and a supreme court to keep us all in check. Under this purview, we also work with 600+ student groups and provide funding for student needs.
We welcome you secondly with a promise. A bold promise to do everything in our power to attempt to create the experience you want this year. We too will miss the rumble of fall football games, the raspy voice after large concerts, and the taste of those daily runs to Jamba Juice. We promise to attempt to bring you those feelings virtually. We promise to advocate for your needs to our administration. We promise to find ways to feel connected to you. We promise to do everything we can to keep this year engaging, meaningful, and accessible.
We hope that you promise us something too. We can only advocate for you if we know your needs. We can only plan events for you if we know what you want. And we can only connect to you if you connect to us too. Reach out to us. Link up with us. Zoom with us. We welcome you with open arms, a big virtual hug, and a continuing desire to represent you—with hopes that you welcome us too.
With overwhelming respect and compassion,
The 2020-21 Student Body Presidency
TEAMM: Together Everyone Accesses Much More (aka Team Ephraim, Ayana, Michelle, Mihali)