He’s got spirit, yes he does. The pres. wants to bring the campus together.
By: Amanda Cavarretta, Staff Writer and Jorge Belon, Editor in Chief
Associated Student Union (ASU) President Sukhsimran Sandhu watches over Valley College. It’s easier for him to do than for most, since he’s 6-foot-4.
In his role as ASU president, one will never hear him roar as he does on the football field, but his presence is always felt on the campus.
Sandhu ran for presidency with the simple dream of making Valley students proud to be Monarchs, and to help improve the experience of not only students but residents surrounding the campus.
“Back in my high school [Chanhassen, Minnesota], the entire community would get involved with everything that happened,” said the man who moonlights as center on the Monarchs’ football team. “But when I got to Valley, there was absolutely no school spirit. I remember asking a student, ‘Do you know what ASU is?’ and he said, ‘Arizona State University.’ After he said that, I knew we have a lot of work.”
The Sylmar, California native moved to Chanhassen, Minnesota at a young age with his family. He went to elementary, middle and high school there. While in high school he was also a part of the student union and played football at the same time.
After graduating from high school, he returned to the Golden State, alone first; shortly, the rest of his family followed. The 22-year-old enrolled at Valley and began to play football in 2013.
“I love football,” he said. “I know that playing in college can get you through college for free. So why not?”
What was missing, he thought, was the school spirit he was used to seeing. So he decided to run for the ASU post with the goal of improving students’ experiences at Valley College and making them care.
“He’s mature enough where he understands how to manage his time,” said Valley Football Head Coach Juan Navarro about Sandhu. “He understands what time he needs to dedicate to football and other commitments.”
Although he has experience of playing football and being part of the student union, now at Valley he has to keep more than 19,000 Monarchs happy.
“It’s basically time management,” said the president, admitting his social life has been “managed” out of existence. “Each day there is something for me to do. All the ASU stuff is basically during the day. Then at night for four hours my life is dedicated to football, afterwards I have to do homework, and then the next day it starts all over again. I do not have time to experience the social life. I am always moving around and working.”
So far his time and sacrifice of a social life has not gone in vain. He has not yet moved mountains, but he has already made Associated Student Organization [ASO] members see changes for the better. He is in the works of getting ASO members a reserved parking space in the second floor of the new parking structure. Not to mention he is talking to the food trucks on campus to attempt and get discounts for the members.
To become a member of the ASO is as simple as paying a $10 fee. A student does not have to run for position in the ASU or even join a club or even attend events consistently, just simply pay the fee.
“Paying ASO fees are important to us and to my goals,” said Sandhu. “With the ASO money we can help fund the math lab, the writing lab, astronomy. And then we have to fund all the clubs, which means events, like the Latino Heritage Month that just happened and the Black Heritage event that is going to happen next semester.”
The president went on to say, “I want to promote school events to get students more involved, but we cannot fund these events without the ASO fees. I learned that without that money, there is very little we can do to help students and improve the campus experience.”
Regardless that his plate is full, the 22-year-old does not send out the vibe of someone who is stressed or near the brink of breakdown. He is downright mellow when he talks, often with a smile. He has been able to keep focus and is now only a month away from getting his Associates Degree in social and behavioral science in December. He is in the works of getting another AA in communication if he chooses to not leave Valley.
He is undecided if he wants to transfer to a four-year university. The reason for that he is fond of too many subjects to just commit to one, though he is still open to transferring out.
Though his mind always stays fixed on the Monarchs walking around campus.
“When I leave Valley, I just want to be remembered for building a foundation,” said Sandhu. “I want to create awareness of ASU and get people involved. After I am done with being president, I want to run for board of trustees.”
The 22-year-old quickly learned that the real power lies with the board of trustees. For example he wanted to add more classes and extend library hours but his hands cannot move that road block. The board of trustees can only fry these bigger fishes.
“There is no student vote within the board of trustees,” he said. “So how do I keep the promises I made to students when I ran for ASU president, by becoming a member of the board of trustees.”