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Qiu steps into SA presidency

Alison Liu leads her first Senate as president Jan 29. Richard Li / Thresher

By Nayeli Shad     1/30/24 11:21pm

Alison Qiu, the outgoing Student Association internal vice president, assumed the role of SA President Jan. 29 following former president Solomon Ni’s resignation. Qiu, a Hanszen College junior, will remain in the role until March, when a newly elected president will take office after the February SA elections.

Going into the role, Qiu said the added responsibility did not scare her, but she knew she had to plan out her work more.

“I know that I need to evaluate my priorities because I know that this is sort of going to be a lot,” Qiu said. “There’s just going to be a lot more responsibility that I’m taking on, on top of the ordinary IVP responsibilities because as of now, [the] IVP position is vacant, although I’m still doing part of the work.”

To better manage her new presidential responsibilities, Qiu said she has shifted some of the IVP work onto those interested in taking over the role.

One of Qiu’s projects for her term is to compile a report of what the SA has accomplished during the 2023-2024 term and email it to the student body, last done in 2021. Qiu said this will allow all students to understand what the SA is doing and strengthen the SA’s relationship with students.

Qiu also said she plans to finish implementing the resolutions that Ni passed — Senate Resolution 14, affirming support for the Faculty Statement of Solidarity with Palestinians, and Senate Resolution 17, requiring the SA president to meet with an academic advisor. 

Qiu said that criticisms of the SA tend to fall on the president, which can be stressful as she transitions into the role.

“Once someone’s in the position as the SA president, there’s going to be more people holding you accountable because now what you do or what you say holds more impact or value than when you were originally just an IVP,” Qiu said. “I just hope that whatever I do will make [the SA] better instead of drawing more criticism onto [the] Student Association.”

Ni, a Jones College junior, said they have confidence in the executive committee’s ability to be effective without them.

“I’m very hopeful about what they’re able to continue doing,” Ni said. “I think that the people that are in the executive committee are very well-qualified people that I know are able to get the job done. I selected a lot of them to run.”

SA External Vice President Crystal Unegbu agreed that the executive committee can continue to be successful under Qiu’s presidency.

“I think [Ni] did a really good job and he sculpted a nice executive committee, and I think we had a nice [executive] dynamic with him as president. I think [Qiu]’s going to follow up in his footsteps and do just as good a job,” Unegbu, a Hanszen junior, said.

Treasurer Yuv Sachdeva said he hopes that now people will understand the demands of being president.

“I hope the Senate continues to treat [Qiu] with a lot of respect. I mean, taking on the role is not easy,” Sachveda, a Jones junior, said. “I hope that people come to recognize how important this role is and how much it means for someone to take it on.” 

Qiu’s advice to future SA leaders is to ensure they have a strong drive for improving student life in order to prevent burnout.

“There will be a lot of additional responsibility, work trouble or criticism that you might not have expected at the beginning that can make you lose your motivation,” Qiu said. “I think it’s really crucial to think upfront whether the motivation for the role is good enough and strong enough to overcome those challenging times.”

Though her term is short, Qiu said she encourages students to reach out with feedback and changes they want to see her and other SA members make.

It’s easy to criticize the SA about its shortcomings, Qiu said, but she wants the student body to keep in mind that the members are doing all they can to improve.

“We’re all students and we’re trying to figure out ways to make it better. That’s not to say that we can change things immediately,” Qiu said. “I just hope that students can have more patience and compassion for whoever is in office or runs for office and to know that, in general, people who are in the Student Association all have a goal of making the student life so much better, and we’re doing our best to make it happen.”

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