Coming to PLU I had very little idea of what I wanted to major in, where I wanted to be involved, or even who I wanted to be in college. Arriving in Tacoma without a plan or agenda allowed me to truly explore the many facets of PLU and find where I fit best. I’m wrapping up my junior year, majoring in Geoscience with a minor in Environmental Studies and could not be happier with the growth I’ve seen in myself throughout the last three years. While not always the most comfortable experience, becoming an active member of the PLU community has taught me to embrace the uncertainty of situations and rely on my peers for support.
Since becoming a Lute I’ve had the opportunity to work all over PLU in ways that I never anticipated when I first set foot on campus. Most of my experiences involved planning or running concerts or other events, something I had very little experience with prior to college. I found myself alone in parking lots at 6am, sweating bullets because the company providing a stage for LollaPLUza was an hour late and the sound technicians were staring at me blankly, wondering why there was no stage to place speakers on. I have become comfortable collaborating on almost any topic with administrators, peers, and outside organizations while simultaneously learning the ins and outs of PLU policy. These experiences have pushed me to grow in ways I never imagined and it expands outside of event planning.
My PLU experience has been a lesson in taking on more than I am comfortable with simply to discover my own limits. Every time I feel that I’ve over-committed myself, there are staff and peers alike behind me, working all the way to ensure my success no matter how seemingly ill-advised the situation. A full course load and work schedule was challenging enough before Reign, the men’s Ultimate Frisbee team, roped me into being an athlete as well. It had been six years since I played an organized sport and the guys took me in as a brother, encouraging me every step of the way. Each time I’ve added a new activity there have been new Lutes that inspire me to keep working and pushing my own limits just to see how much further I can go.
This coming year I will be serving as the Student Body President. To be held as a representative of ALL students is a daunting and exciting new task that I plan to undertake with fervor. The staff, faculty, and students of PLU have pushed me to test my limits and I’ve found growth in the scariest, most overwhelming experiences. As ASPLU President I will be doing my best to lead our student body in a way that challenges each one of us to be better than we think possible, myself included. To truly move our campus forward we need to foster a culture that encourages each student to find their passion and pursue it, all the while being supported by their peers. My goal as President is to support each student as they discover their “wild hope,” just as they have supported me.
-Aaron Steelquist ’14