Angélica Escobar

Editor-in-Chief / Features Editor

Emily Henderson

Deputy Editor / News Editor

Ashley Danielle Duenas Ocampo, fourth year, never saw herself getting into student government. Double majoring in Political Science and Environmental Studies, she definitely knew the importance of it, but never really had any interest. However, all of that changed when an opportunity arose her junior year– to be the Diversity Council Representative. “I really connected with a lot of the clubs and organizations within [Diversity Council], so I was then voted in to be the external chair, which was such an amazing opportunity and experience.” The experience was only the beginning for her. The grand journey of becoming ASWC President was just on the horizon. 

Duenas is involved in a plethora of activities around campus, cementing her spot at Whittier. Diversity Council, Sustainability Club, Program Board, Pi Sigma Alpha, TOBGLAD and MECHA, are just a few of the many activities she throws herself into everyday. These connections and love of community here at Whittier lead Duenas to want to do more. So, she decided to campaign for the Associated Students of Whittier College (ASWC) President. Duenas expresses how being involved really changed her perspective on being associated with the college. She says that “having a really strong support system from my friends and faculty… opened my mind to potentially run for an Executive Board position.” Duenas then began the extensive process of campaigning for the position; “[The process] usually takes… about three days… to vote, but the entire [campaign] is two weeks. [This] includes submitting your nomination, attending a mandatory meeting to participate, and then submitting your campaign flyers.” But this work was nothing to the determined Ashley! She conquered every step along the way, leading her ultimately to her goal. Once the votes were cast and the dust settled, Whittier College knew who the next ASWC president was– none other than the amazing Ashley Duenas.

Holding this seat on the Senate comes with a long list of responsibilities. Duenas describes the day-to-day, and how she is a communicator between multiple groups of people; “…It is really my job to ensure that the different members within the Senate are supported to fulfill their duties as liaisons to the many bodies of student life at Whittier. I am also a liaison between students and faculty like Deanna Merino-Contino, and I have monthly meetings with President Oubre.” Duenas also hosts her own office hours on Friday’s to “ensure that any student who has a question or concern can reach out to me directly.” She also hosts “Advocacy Committee meetings, which involves student issues and concerns and how the Senate can address them.” Duenas cares deeply about student’s opinions, to ensure that they have a voice at Whittier. She wants students to have the best experience possible. 

Passion is Ashley Duenas’s middle name. She cares so deeply about issues both on and off campus. On campus, Duenas wants to make resources more accessible to students. Duenas recounts from her freshman year how she was “so nervous to step into any office to ask for help or even try to make connections.” She stresses the importance of students being able to make assets available to all; “I think that students should be consistently made aware of all that this campus has to offer. Whether it is [the] Counseling [Center], the Health Center, tutoring, student life opportunities, or internship and career assistance, I think it is so important to be aware of during a student’s time here at Whittier.” On campus, she also cares about being able to connect students with administration. Duenas believes that “networking and connecting with staff and faculty that have careers or experience in something you [are] interested in is really important and can change a lot of your experience here at Whittier!” 

But her care of others does not stop once you walk off the Whittier College campus. Duenas is thinking constantly about ways to help her community, off campus. She is incredibly passionate about suicide awareness and education. Duenas says that “[i]t is beyond important that people get educated on learning the signs of those who may be struggling with suicidal ideation or depression and assessing the correct way to reach out and support those who are struggling with their mental health.” Duenas thanks the work made by the Counseling Center on campus, and how they “provide training on this for students”, which has led Duenas to start her own research into this topic. Duenas wants the student body at Whittier to know that “if you or someone you know is struggling with this please visit https://988lifeline.org/ for more resources and information or get involved in sharing Suicide Prevention Awareness.”

The future of ASWC is bright with Duenas as the President. She is excited to share her love and care of the College with everyone. She is enthusiastic about the group of dedicated students leading the Senate this year. She also thanks the “most amazing Executive Board and Advisor who really pushed us to plan so much ahead in the Summer… it has really paid off.” Duenas hopes to help “create new legislation that benefits all aspects of student life and most importantly helps fund events, excursions and activities throughout the year”, while also promoting equity, transparency, and inclusivity within said events! With all the passion Duenas has about government and making change, one may think that she is gonna pursue this in the future. “Maybe!”, she said. “I definitely hope that my plans after graduation involve using my Political Science degree, but I really don’t know what the future holds for me so I want to be optimistic and see what opportunities come my way once the year ends.” Well no matter what happens to Ashley Danielle Duenas Ocampo, we know she will achieve success with flying colors. Good luck Miss President!

Photo Courtesy of Ashley Duenas / ASWC President

Authors

  • Angélica Escobar

    Angélica Escobar has just started working for the Quaker Campus for the 2020-21 academic year, and is currently a copy writer. She enjoys writing about politics, opinions, and arts and culture.

  • Emily Henderson

    Emily Henderson is the Assistant News Editor for the Quaker Campus. She is a second-year English Creative Writing major with a Film Studies minor. When trying to relax from work and school, she likes to read epic fantasy novels, watch cartoons, go to Disneyland, and drink unhealthy amounts of tea.

Angélica Escobar has just started working for the Quaker Campus for the 2020-21 academic year, and is currently a copy writer. She enjoys writing about politics, opinions, and arts and culture.

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