Interview with 2019-2020 ASWU President Amarit Ubhi
Amarit Ubhi (‘20) will be serving as president of Associated Students of Willamette University (ASWU) for the 2019-2020 academic year. Ubhi is a politics major and philosophy minor from Oakland, CA, who is interested in student activism, local government and youth empowerment.
What led you to run for ASWU president?
Ubhi: “I have always been someone who really advocates for change and I like taking initiative on a lot of things. I think the campus really needed someone who can see above the issues. Not in the way of ignoring them, but in a way of understanding them in different perspectives and understanding how it affects different people. This is a position that really needs someone who can listen to different groups of students, and not necessarily embody those different and sometimes conflicting values or opinions, but someone that can be able to represent and reflect them in their entirety. I feel like that is something I offer and it motivated me to run.”
What projects or initiatives were you involved in as a senator last year?
Ubhi: “Last year, I was working with the Class of 2020 caucus to do a wellness campaign. We made posters of how you can make sure you are doing okay during finals. I also spent a great deal of time making care packages for students that were given out on the [first floor of the University Center]. We did lavender spray for pillows and included chamomile tea and little notes and goodies.
I was also on the calendar committee. That was a big initiative to make sure that the school is going towards the goal of having more unification between the graduate and undergraduate schools. Especially now that Claremont School of Theology is coming over, it is very important that everyone is on the same page.”
What are some of your goals for this year?
Ubhi: “My big goals are to make sure that I can have a good understanding of what the students’ needs are, so expect me to be tabling or reaching out for concerns. Also, I plan on making sure ASWU is more in the community. [For example, with committees] this year I am making sure we are on top of minutes and attendance and making sure all of the information comes back to ASWU, so that the student body can be more in the know and has a better idea of what’s going on.”
How have your identities impacted your time at Willamette?
Ubhi: “I am bicultural. My parents are Punjabi. It was interesting for me to be raised in a household that was traditionally Indian in some ways, and some ways not, and to be born in the very liberal area that is Oakland, CA. I have always thought that helped me understand different perspectives and understand that things are so much more complicated than a lot of people make them out to be.”