Discovering Associated Students: Leadership, Stewardship, and Friendship

By Samantha Finegan

When I first came to USD, I had no idea what Associated Students was. I somehow missed everything AS: their table at the Alcala Bazaar, the people in the white polos at events, and the AS logo on the many flyers posted throughout campus. It wasn’t until the spring of my Junior year that I learned about who actually ran USD elections and the many events that I had attended.

My sister, Kaitlyn Finegan, ran for the position of AS Residential Senator; it was then that I saw a glimpse of what Associated Students did. After winning the election, my sister began attending AS Senate meetings every Thursday, where she engaged in discussions and voted on key student issues. She helped to mold ideas into reality. She became a leader.

Although Senate represented only a portion of the Associated Students leadership team, she seemed to know everyone in AS. She made friends with AS directors, executives, and even members of the Torero Program Board, an event-planning group that works closely with AS. It showed me how united AS was—not only as leaders, but also as friends. By the end of my Junior year, I knew that I wanted that same experience.

In spring, I attended an informational regarding AS executive positions. I learned that elections would soon be occurring for the positions of AS President, Vice President, and Speaker of the Senate. I learned that there would also be other positions available later on in Spring: AS Senator positions and appointed positions.

I received an appointed position as Director of Social Media by the end of my Junior year. Since then, I’ve grown so much more than expected. I met some of the most driven, happy people at USD. I became involved—I went from the person asking about events to the person to be asked! I began to actually enjoy speaking in front of people. I learned what it feels like to have people count on you. My planner became a mess of bubbles and time-slots and last-minute scribbles. I learned how to manage my time and utilize the best, relaxed study-space on campus: the Student Leadership and Involvement Center (SLIC), which is actually open to all students! I could go on and on about all of the things that AS has given me, but if I did, I would have little space to explain what it could give to you.

AS will help you to step out of your comfort zone until it becomes your comfort zone. For some of you, you may be comfortable already. In either case, AS can be a fun, incredible, enlightening experience. Here’s how to get there:

February 25th – Informational’s Week. Attend one of the following informational meetings to learn about open Associated Students positions (President, Vice President, Speaker of the Senate, and fifteen Academic Senators):
Monday 2/25 @7:30pm Palomar Lounge
Tuesday 2/26 @12:15pm SLIC (SLP 320)
Wednesday 2/27 @7:30pm Maher 207
Thursday 2/28 @12:15pm SLIC (SLP 320)
Thursday 2/28 @7:30pm Missions Crossroads Lounge