September 27, 2016
Student Highlight: USC Student Body President, Edwin Saucedo
It’s Natalie Guevara and I’m excited to start working with our blog. While coming up with topic ideas, I thought of common questions we get from prospective students and one of my favorites is always: what’s it like to be a student at USC? And although I’m an alumna of the university and had my own great experiences…I really want you to hear from current students with a bigger range of majors/involvement/background/etc. So rather than hear about all the cool things I have to say (many of you get enough of that), I’ll find current students to tell you about their experiences. For our first installment, we have Edwin Saucedo, the Student Body President for the Undergraduate Student Government. He is originally from South Gate, CA and is set to graduate this coming May 2017. Here’s what he had to say:
Four years ago, I found myself where many of you may be right now: frustrated with my personal statement and tired of looking for the perfect college. It was hard enough trying to navigate college applications when neither of my parents spoke English or had pursued higher education themselves. The stress of finding the best place to spend the next four years was extremely overwhelming.
As I think back at my college application process the first thing I have to say is, everything worked out better than I could have ever expected. When I applied to college I never thought I would end up at USC. I grew up in South Gate, CA where only 6% of the total population pursues a college degree. It goes without saying, I never imagined I would find myself being the Student Body President my senior year here. The four years in between my senior year of high school and senior year of college have brought on a number of lessons, experiences, and friendships I never expected. However, the combination of all these unexpected life outcomes has indeed led me to where I am today.
Being Student Body President at one of the most prestigious universities in the country can be an intimidating job. It isn’t easy trying to represent nearly 19,000 students who come from over 100 different countries, are of all different races, and have very diverse economic backgrounds. However, it is also a very rewarding opportunity. Every day I get to go into our student government office and ask myself: how can I make this university a better place for all students? That is our goal in student government, to create the best undergraduate experience, and that is why I decided to run for this position last spring.
I spend at least twenty hours every week listening to students’ experiences, asking them how I could be of any service, and connecting them to the proper channels on this campus. On the other side of things, I advocate on their behalf to administration in efforts to create better campus policies, address any issues, and plan for the future of our campus. My favorite part however is taking the information I learned from both students and administrators and coming up with unique solutions to addressing these problems.
In student government we pride ourselves in being innovators and creative thinkers. We challenge each other’s ideas and gives suggestions on improvements. At the end of the day, we come up with proposals on how to address each and every issue. It is through these creative proposals that we have been able to get our students free Uber rides from 7pm to 2 am and have gotten a weekly farmers market on campus. But our work doesn’t end there. Over the course of the year our student government puts on over 300 free events for our students. These range from intimate discussions about our education system to bringing speakers like Laverne Cox or artists like Diplo for all of our students to enjoy.
We shape the undergraduate experience and give students the opportunity to explore perspectives beyond their own; because that is what college is all about. Regardless of whether you go to USC or choose elsewhere as your new home, dare to challenge yourself and be challenged by others. As President I always encounter students perspectives that differ from my own, they are not right or wrong but different, and that is okay.
As you approach the last months of the college application process don’t worry as much about where you will end up, but instead what you will do once you get there. College is a time to explore and find your passion. I found my passion within student government and working towards improving USC for current and future students. For you, that passion may lie in another activity. Regardless, enjoy your last months of high school and get ready to embark in a new journey full of unique and exciting experiences. Good luck on applying to college and if you ever get disillusioned, remember that what makes Trojans strong is that we always Fight On!
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