The 2022-23 president of The University of Tulsa Student Association (SA) is Justin Yang, a biochemistry major from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Currently in his final year at TU, Yang has his sights set on enrolling in dentistry school after graduation. For now, however, he is hard at work ensuring SA is a dynamic hub and support for students across the university.
Why and how did you get involved with SA?
Much like everyone else, when I arrived at TU I found myself in an exciting yet unfamiliar environment. I had always been extroverted growing up and often pursued roles in the organizations I loved. However, in college, I was hesitant to join and way too confused to even begin thinking about joining multiple organizations on campus.
Slowly but surely, my comfort with life as a college student increased and I was selected to be an associate director of the Department of Social, Community Engagement that’s part of SA’s cabinet. In that role, during my sophomore year, I began programming events around campus, such as Homecoming 2020, a pumpkin painting event, Springfest 2021,and movie nights.
What do you love most about being involved in SA?
Some of my favorite memories in college have come from cleaning up an event until 11 o’clock at night with other SA leaders — and having a blast doing it! There is nothing more enjoyable than a group of people working together and having fun after a successful event. To this day, this is one of my favorite parts of SA.
What motivated you to run for president?
I loved SA so much while I was in cabinet, I decided to run for secretary at the end of my sophomore year. I won the election and served in that role during my junior year. At the end of the 2021-22 academic year, I was elected to serve as SA’s president.
Now that you are SA president, what are you looking forward to accomplishing?
The summer just past and the beginning of this new academic year have gotten me so excited for what’s to come. The number one thing I am looking forward to is getting to know as much of the student body as possible. It is my personal goal to engage with students and create a personal bond with as much of our campus as I can.
I am also looking forward to the bigger and better events SA is planning. The main initiative we’re working on this year is creating a more engaged culture amongst TU students. SA encompasses every student at the university. I believe that our purpose of making the TU student experience truly excellent stems from engaging them in not only SA events but the events of every organization on campus.
How do you envision SA’s role?
SA is meant to serve as a resource not only in the social and entertainment side of the student experience, but also in advocating for change that students would like to see at the university. We strive to be a voice for all students and create a school that reflects their sentiments.
TU has numerous student organizations. What role do they play?
Student organizations play a pivotal role in many people’s lives. They offer networks of support when a student needs people to fall back on, as well as driving peers to do better and strive for greater.
However, even for students who don’t like to be involved, we would like to meet students where they are. Our aim is to provide both support and entertainment for students. We also want to help find different avenues so that each student can get involved in campus life.
How can students get involved in SA?
We always encourage those who want to be a part of SA to reach out and join. Senate elections occur every semester and “cabineteers” are chosen at the beginning and end of every school year.
For anyone who would like to get involved, we have an amazing opportunity through our Volunteer Team. That team allows students to get a preview of what SA is and what goes into helping out at our events. Volunteers get to learn the system from the inside out.
Another great way to learn about SA is simply to reach out to me. I will always be open to meet and tell anybody more about our organization. Alongside all the rest of SA, I will always be here for TU students.