When Jake Drake came to Nebraska as a first-year student, he made it a goal not to get involved.
A self-proclaimed “over-involved” high schooler, Drake thought steering clear of clubs and organizations would help keep his collegiate experience simple.
“I thought, ‘I’ll just focus on my studies and have a bunch of fun with buddies. I don’t need things to be overcomplicated again,’” Drake, the political science major said.
A chance meeting with a former Association of Students of the University of Nebraska member changed all that, convincing Drake to apply for the organization’s Freshman Campus Leadership Association.
A first-generation college student from the 400-person town of Murray, Nebraska, Drake is now president of ASUN. As he returns to campus for his senior year, he wants to convince students — especially first-year students — to get involved and make their voices heard on campus. And that, he says, can look a lot of different ways.
“Joining a student organization is one of the most impactful ways for you to show what you value,” Drake said. “And it doesn’t necessarily have to be an organization that has a big role in advocacy for any particular issue … just by being a part of those groups, you have a better platform for understanding issues that impact you personally and the people you’re around.”
As ASUN President, hearing from students on issues they care about is exactly what he signed up for — and hopes to see more of. ASUN advocates for students on a variety of issues, from supporting diversity and inclusion measures and climate initiatives on campus, to allocating resources toward programming. Their advocacy affects students across campus in ways big and small, and Jake wants your input.
“It’s as easy as sending an email or text message” to reach ASUN to and offer your input, he said. “Even if you’re not a ‘member’ of the organization, you have a role within ASUN because, technically, all 25,000 students are members of the association.”