Huili Weinstock will serve as the newly elected president of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN). Weinstock and his Vice President, R.J. Lopez, took office with 22 newly elected college senators on March 15, 2012.
This year marks Weinstock's third term as an ASUN leadership member. In his upcoming term as president, Weinstock plans to reach out to students who have not typically been involved in any ASUN events or processes.
"I am most looking forward to working with the new officials in ASUN as well as collaborating with other departments," he said. "My biggest struggle will definitely be reaching out to students who we have not been able to reach yet."
Weinstock and the new ASUN leadership team can build on the work of prior undergraduate-student government administrations. Outgoing ASUN President, Casey Stiteler, reflected on his term, pleased with the accomplishments ASUN made during the 2011-2012 academic year.
My biggest accomplishment as ASUN President would have to be the ASUN Emergency Tuition Fund," Stiteler said. "The fund has been heavily used this year in order to help students, who have met unforeseen personal tragedies, continue their education."
Weinstock and Stitler are carrying on a tradition established in 1898 when Nathaniel Dunsdon was elected as the first ASUN president. Over the years, the role of ASUN president has shown to be a leadership development opportunity for many. Frankie Sue Del Papa, ASUN president from 1970 to1971, remembers her term fondly.
"My time in ASUN was very educational," Del Papa, former Nevada Attorney General, said. "It definitely helped me become a leader and played a part in later successes. It really taught me that student government is a wonderful place to exchange ideas and that we don't all have to think alike."
Del Papa, who served as Nevada's Secretary of State for three years before Attorney General, remembers her term as ASUN president in the 1970s as one full of activist moments. While she held office, the student government brought several controversial speakers to the University of Nevada campus, such as Tom Hayden, animal rights and civil rights activist, and Bernadette Devlin, an Irish political activist. ASUN leadership also initiated lecture series and concerts and recognized the first Earth Day celebrated in the United States by planting trees and cleaning Manzanita Lake. Current Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Dan Klaich succeeded Del Papa in her presidency in 1971.
Just as ASUN's many presidents bettered the University, their involvement in the Association has shaped their lives as well.
"My involvement in ASUN has defined my time at the University of Nevada," Stiteler said. "ASUN has been the most important classroom I have spent time in during my time at the University. My time in ASUN has helped me to better understand what it takes in order to serve the community I am a part of and to better understand the kind of leader that I am and what my strengths and weaknesses are."
Weinstock agrees with Stiteler about the lessons he has learned through his leadership posts. "ASUN has taught me more about myself and has helped me develop a series of new skills," he said.
With the inspiration of preceding presidents to guide him, Weinstock plans to lead many positive changes to the University of Nevada, Reno.
"We will meet during the summer and hope to work toward our ideal campus-life project , 'Joint Vision 2017,' throughout the upcoming year," he said.
Del Papa encourages students to be involved on campus and in student government in any way possible.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to see how politics work," she said. "It can be very educational, enlightening and fulfilling. Governments come in different shapes and forms; it's a great thing."
For more information on how to get involved in ASUN, visit nevadaasun.com.