*originally published by The Santa Clara on October 2, 2014.
Graduating student government president shares her insights
Senior Anaisy Tolentino has had a productive three years at Santa Clara.
Without even mentioning her political science major with double minors in communication and sociology or her plans for law school, she’s left an inspiring impression on a lot of people in this community.
Her many roles include being an orientation leader, a student government senator, a Global Fellow in Turkey and now the Associated Student Government president.
Despite how many projects she has been involved with, she believes that it isn’t the student leadership titles that matter, it’s the relationships with classmates that do.
Tolentino shared her experiences and wisdom as a student leader looking toward the future for her next endeavor.
The Santa Clara: What motivates you to have an impact in the Santa Clara community?
Tolentino: My biggest personal fear is not accomplishing something meaningful, not just for myself, but for my community.
TSC: In relation to goals and accomplishments, what are your plans for ASG as president this year?
Tolentino: I plan for ASG to focus on commuter students and the resources available to them. I want communication with students to be as transparent as possible. My plan is that ASG will be available to help students bring whatever change they want to see. I also want us to focus on community relations with the city of Santa Clara, with and for the student body.
TSC: Becoming an ambitious president didn’t happen overnight. What helped you to grow as a student leader?
Tolentino: I would say my role as ASG senate chair was the largest leadership position. I was overseeing 40 students involved in ASG. It challenged my individual leadership style.
You get elected to this position and you have duties and responsibilities, but at the end of the day anyone can get elected to a position. There’s no value in that if that person doesn’t improve or enhance that position and make that organization better. Every year that position will be open and filled, but leadership isn’t filling positions—it’s growing and improving the organization you serve.”
TSC: You have given so much to the Bronco community. What do you think your legacy will be?
Tolentino: I would like to think that my legacy will have been formed through my personal relationships. You can hold as many positions and get involved in as many initiatives as you want, but if you’re able to pass on that passion and excitement for change to other individuals in your or- ganizations, they can do the same work tenfold and that ripple effect is so much more meaningful than that one project you invested in. I’d like to think the Santa Clara community has been this wonderful web of great relationships.
TSC: How do you create such special connections with your fellow Broncos?
Tolentino: I make it a point to stop people and say ‘hello.’ I love a quick catch- up with people. I really believe that a ‘hi’ and a genuine smile can go a long way. You want to create a good environment that encourages people to do whatever great things they’re doing.
TSC: What’s been the most rewarding experience at Santa Clara?
Tolentino: Orientation leader aligned with my personality so well and there’s so much you get out of giving yourself to a community that you get so excited about. Orientation really sets the tone for your college career.
TSC: What insightful advice do you have for the freshman class just beginning their college career?
Tolentino: I have two pieces. Here’s the first: Be open to challenges because as you go on to post-college thinking, you realize that everything would be boring if chal- lenges weren’t thrown at you. Everything happens for a reason. It’s your attitude that directs how you’re going to grow.
Secondly, for four years of your life, everything is just beyond your fingertips– these challenges and these opportunities. We are surrounded by people who challenge your thinking and make you better.
We all got accepted this university, but at the end of the day you have to ask yourself ‘Why are you here? How will you make this place better?’