Hello, I’m Stephanie Cheng. I am your Associated Students President for the 2016-17 school year. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
I’m incredibly excited to work with my board this year as well as Sabah Randhawa, the new university president.
I want to welcome you all to the new quarter. Fall is always a great time for new beginnings, new opportunities and a chance to cultivate who we are and want ourselves to be.
As students, we are all very busy. We have classes, interpersonal relationships, work and many other things that we hold in priority to ourselves.
It can be easy to get lost in the everyday of our lives, and I wanted to remind all of you that creating space for yourself is one of the most important things you can do.
Focus on not only self-care, but community care as well. If you are new to Western, take some time to discover who you want to be in community with, seek those who will rally and slay dragons for you. Community is the most valuable asset we all have.
I also want to encourage everyone to be critically conscious. We all hold privilege and are all in the state of unlearning and learning. There are many things we don’t understand, and making an effort to engage and collaborate in dialogue is key.
Fall has always been my favorite season. The coffee, the unfortunate volume of cinnamon in the air (I’m allergic) and the air thick with change. It’s a time of growth.
Be forward, be adventurous and do not hesitate to chase opportunity when it presents itself.
Remember that small moments can carry the same weight as big moments. Challenge yourself to be more engaged, more inclusive and more thoughtful in your actions and words. Discover your values and understand that they will be tested throughout your academic career, throughout the entirety of your life.
I hope that your fall quarter and the rest of your year are full of challenges, successes and growth. I hope you get lost in Miller Hall at least once, learn something that makes you uncomfortable and share meaningful experiences with people that make you feel valued.
Have a great year, and don’t ever hesitate to seek me out, whether it’s in Red Square or in Viking Union 504D.