ASSP transitions coming soon
“What I really want people to understand is that I’m all about the best student experience. I’m all about what it would be like if every student felt supported, because if you think about it, we’re actually the future leaders of the world”
Nathan Samayo, president of the associated students of seattle pacific (ASSP), is passionate about his work, and especially about the people it allows him to know and serve. The aspiring pastor loves nothing more than connecting with people and advocating for equity.
ASSP has undergone massive changes in the past year, and no one is more aware than Samayo.
From Student Ministry to Senate to the Constitution, he and his team have been juggling numerous projects all at once since school began.
SPU’s university ministry program has experienced total overhaul in the past year, the most visible example being the Student Ministry Coordinator (SMC) position.
The previous 1-per-floor format was altered, so that now several SMC’s serve the whole building in which they live.
Also, this year, the student leaders holding the SMC position will be offered financial compensation for their work.
In addition to the SMC changes, other University Ministry operations have been undergoing transitions in the light of the new year.
“For pragmatic reasons, University Ministries is not going to be under the ASSP umbrella., ” Samayo said. This allows for the department to have more financial autonomy.
“This year, we’re really working on what it looks like to have a partnership with University Ministries”
On all accounts, Samayo seems pleased and excited about all the new ideas coming to life in the University Ministry department.
“The SMC coordinator, the Latreia cordinator, the Sharpen coordinator .. they all have a meetup on Thursdays to discuss what’s going on within the ministry world,” Samayo stated.
In addition, Samayo explained that ASSP Senate is working on picking up where the last left off, and finishing some projects that were left incomplete at the end of last year. At the same time, the ASSP Constitution is being reworked to allow for all of the recent decisions and changes.
“We have a really awesome EVP, Executive Vice President, and she is really on top of it. She is appointing all the right committees, she’s getting everything done. We’re actually putting together a constitutional committee right now, which didn’t get done until the end of last year. So she’s really, really on top of it” Samayo said, with admiration.
In the vein of student government, Samayo is also dedicated to creating a President’s cabinet within ASSP to help him achieve more throughout this year as student body president.
“For me, I’m really passionate about ways that we can create educational equity so that all students feel sustained and feel supported” Samayo explained. “So right now I’m putting together a president action cabinet, and [it] that focuses on student concern and institutional equity so that all students can have a better experience.”
He and his team are passionate about creating programs that meet students needs.
“Our vice president of student activities… she is really big on food insecurity, and making sure everybody gets a proper meal. So ideas like that lead to programs where people can donate a meal swipe,” Samayo said, explaining the ideas and passion projects that have been in the works in ASSP recently.
For Samayo, the presidency is all about the students and the ways he can serve them.
He went into detail about the changing demographics at SPU, and the fact that many student leaders are also working several other jobs outside of their ASSP position.
“A lot of adults can’t even manage three jobs. How can we expect a full time student to do that?” continued Samayo.
In his eyes, the changing dynamics at SPU and the demand of leadership positions should indicate that student leaders need better compensation.
On all fronts, it is imperative to Samayo that students understand how much emphasis he wants to put on listening to students voices.
“I want everyone to just live their best lives and feel supported, if you’re a Christian, you feel loved and wholesome by God, and that we all come together and flourish and create fruit. That’s what I’m about.”