Photos by Julia Held and courtesy of Daniel Vieira
Freshman Class President Meredith McCune
From Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
Chad Jimenez: How does it feel to be the freshman class president? What are you the most excited for?
Meredith McCune: It feels good, I’m excited. I’m excited for the opportunity to get to know everyone, I feel like it’s a great way to make more friends and to be able to help the community and let everyone’s voices be heard.
CJ: What kind of responsibilities and duties do you have as freshman class president?
MM: It’s a lot of letting the freshman class’ voices being heard and our senate meetings with all of the classes and talking with the Executive Board about what initiatives we want to put forth this year and what our priorities are going to be. Right now we are working on our Freshman Town Hall; we are going to serve food and it’s going to be a great opportunity to get to know everyone and to figure out what people like, what they don’t like [and] what they want to change.
CJ: Have you had any past experience with student government?
MM: Yeah, I was on the student council at my school. I went to an International Baccalaureate school, so I went there from first grade to my senior year and I was on student council from seventh grade to my senior year. I was representative and the secretary, vice president and president. I loved it. I wanted to continue [student government in college]. I didn’t rush so I wanted to be able to spend my time on something else, so I though SGA would be a great opportunity.
CJ: Who are some of your role models? Who do you look up to?
MM: I definitely look up to Princess Diana. I love how she was a humanitarian and she was in a powerful role and helped people, I really admire that about her. My two favorite actresses are Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly and I love old movies like that and how classy they were.
CJ: Do you have anything else you would like to say?
MM: I am grateful for the opportunity and I’m glad I get to do this this year so I’m excited for the year.
Freshman Class Senator Daniel Vieyra
From Los Angles, California
Psychology and Business Administration double major
Chad Jimenez: What skills do you have that will help you with your position?
Daniel Vieyra: I think that I am very articulate with my thoughts and I feel that I have a good sense of time management and whatever I do, I strive to do my best at it. Whenever I get in a tough situation, I always find a way to resolve it in the best manner that I can. We all like to think that we are extraordinary and I just let my actions speak for themselves.
CJ: What do you personally hope to accomplish this year?
DV: Personally, I would like to implement more washers and dryers in the freshman dorms, that has been the number one complaint that I have had among my freshman peers. So I hope, with my power, I can make that happen because that is something that brings us together as a community but then it tears us apart because suite mates are fighting over the washer and dryer.
CJ: What are you the most excited for this school year?
DV: I’m excited to grow as a person, to meet new people. As you meet more people in your life, you learn more about yourself. I’m also excited to live the college experience and make my family proud.
CJ: Who are some of your role models that you look up to?
DV: I would say my parents. I know most people would say my favorite sports star or President of the United States, but those are people that I don’t personally know. But my parents, I do personally know and I personally know the struggles that they had to go through to survive and to create a better future for me and I’m very humble and grateful that I have them in my life and I want to exemplify the same values that they have taught me.
CJ: Are there any other clubs or organizations on campus that you are interested in joining?
DV: I’m already in quite a few clubs! I’m in Malibu Tonight, I don’t know if you saw the last episode but I was a sorority girl that was trying to rush, so that was very interesting. I’m also in the Philosophy Club, so we talk about life and questions that don’t seem to have an answer but yet it’s good to ponder on. I’m also in LSA, the Latino Student Association. That ties very close to home. I’m also in Suite Talk, which is a little web series on campus, and the Randumb Show. Rush just recently passed, I got my bid from several fraternities.
Freshman Class Senator Cindy Kim
From Hacienda Heights, California
Business Administration major
Chad Jimenez: What are some of your responsibilities as a freshman class senator?
Cindy Kim: As a freshman class senator one of my main goals is to be a representative, like a voice for the freshman, the class of 2020. And also to attend our weekly SGA meetings and give input on what I think our student government should be doing to help the students and also as a senator, we are there to support the freshman class president in hosting town halls, where you meet with your class members and discuss new ideas and concerns. We are actually going to be having one this month, in a few weeks. So right now we are in the process of planning that.
CJ: What skills do you have that you think will help you with this position?
CK: I think I am not afraid to talk and meet with new people, so I’m kind of an extrovert. People can come up and approach me and they shouldn’t be afraid to approach me and I’m there to listen to them. Through out high school I had a lot of leadership positions so I know how to be professional with adults as well as being professional with my peers too and let them know I am there for them and can see where they are coming from.
CJ: What kind of leadership positions did you have in high school?
CK: I was part of my high school newspaper as a business manager and I was also in marching band. I was the president and section leader. I was also the president of Renaissance and Renaissance is kind of like your Associated Student Body student council of my school, so we did a lot of planning activities and hosting rallies and reaching out to staff members at school. So again, it’s kind of like the whole professionalism with adults and peers.
CJ: What made you interested in running for student government?
CK: My senior year, I was chosen to be the student representative to go to the District and represent our school psych council. So I got to see the money side and how the school runs. I was able to vote on funds and able to give my input of what my school is doing. One of the big things was that my school was going through renovating a new track and being able to see all the work behind it was so interesting. It’s so much better to be involved rather than just being like “Oh, we are getting a new track,” but I wanted to see how that process was being done. So coming to Pepperdine, I wanted to continue that because it played a really big part of how I spent my senior year of high school. I’m really investing at Pepperdine. I’m not coming to school just to get an education, I’m seeing how my education is being played and how the funding is affecting my four years at Pepperdine, so that’s kind of why I joined.
Freshman Class Senator Emily Tran
From San Jose-Malpitas, California
International Business major
Chad Jimenez: What made you decide to come to Pepperdine?
Emily Tran: I was actually deciding between Pepperdine and a business-only school, but the reason why I chose Pepperdine specifically was because of the spiritual life here. Over there, they don’t have religious affiliation and you don’t grow in your spiritual life and I think the community that Pepperdine builds, builds you as a wholesome person instead of just career oriented so that’s what I liked about it.
CJ: What are some of your responsibilities as a freshman class senator?
ET: We mainly focus with the freshman class and what we do is that we look at legislation that comes to SGA. People will present resolutions and it could be anywhere from funding certain programs to trying to implement something like shower heads and moving them higher and those kinds of things. It can be very small to big changes. I know they’re working on a shuttle from our school to LAX to make it more convenient.
CJ: What skills do you have that will help you with your position as a senator?
ET: For me personally, I possess a lot of empathy for people so I am able to see their perspective. I am a freshman and I am involved in multiple things. Like I’m involved in a business fraternity and a sorority and by being on SGA, I can see how all the students are already over committed so I can put myself in their shoes. I am also very good at using their ideas and communicating it to SGA to execute something. Instead of having ideas fall through, I want to actually make things into action.
CJ: What made you want to run for student government?
ET: I’ve been involved in student government in high school and junior high so I felt compelled to run for student government right away. I didn’t think about getting it right away but the idea of running has always been in my head. I always love talking to people and getting to know what they like about the school and what bothers them. I want to kind of help make people lives here at Pepperdine better.
Follow Chad Jimenez on Twitter: @itschadjimenez