Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Seattle Pacific University's Student Newspaper

The Falcon

Diversifying campus life through community leadership

Taking lead takes a major step, leaders emerge
Seattle Pacific University Filipino American Student Association president Ray Razon poses for a portrait on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in Seattle. (Rio Giancarlo)

Club presidents serve a vital role at Seattle Pacific University by creating spaces for communities large and small. The work of these leaders plays a vital role in fostering camaraderie by exposing students to diverse and enriching cultures and experiences that carry outside the classroom. Club presidents uphold values and ideas that all share the same goal, bringing together the community. 

Fourth-year business administration and marketing major Nathalie Tantrum is the president of the Black Student Union. She shared how reviving a previously inactive club brought a lot of joy to herself and other members. 

“At the time, the BSU wasn’t actually active so me and my friends had to restart it back up here at SPU,” Tantrum said. “I have been very happy with the reception we’ve gotten with how many people have shown up to our meetings. Having ten or more members makes us really happy because our main goal is to create a community for the students.” 

Serving in any core office position is no easy task. Tantrum shared that there are highs and lows of the job and that being president is more complex than what people may see from the outside. 

“Being a president is very hard because there is a lot of work you do that not everybody else gets to see,” Tantrum said. “My role as president mainly is around our core meeting every week. Something I also do is help our media coordinator with running the Instagram; I’ll be making a lot of posts or behind the scenes talking with other club presidents to come up with new collaborations.”

Fully connected to her roots and eager to share Indigenous culture with the SPU community is what put third-year visual communications major Breanna Smith on the path as president of the Indigenous Peoples’ club. 

“We’re new this year; we just got started in December and we’re trying to spread cultural awareness about Indigenous People on campus and create a space for people who identify as Indigenous or want to learn about Indigenous culture,” Smith said.

Speaking on her experience as president, Smith shared the simplicity of starting a club from the bottom while also identifying a need on campus for a community of people that was not previously addressed. 

“This is my first time serving in a presidential role so it’s a bit of a learning curve,” Smith said. “It was easier than I thought it was to start a club though. I went to a lot of meetings with other cultural clubs and realized there was no Indigenous Club representation, so I wanted to create a space for that.”

Third-year nursing major Ray Razon serves as the president of the Filipino American Student Association. He discussed his leadership philosophy and approach to managing both members and his core staff.  

“I want everybody to feel like we’re at the same level and all trying to have a good time. When I plan these events I always have the people in mind. I keep in mind if it’s finals week, midterm week and what the season looks like,” Razon said.

Indigenous Peoples club president Breeana Smith poses for a portrait on May 3, 2023, in Seattle.
(Rio Giancarlo)

“For my core, I have special attention for them. I recognize that they give up their time, energy and effort. They have a special place in my mind in terms of planning around what they are going through.”

Fourth-year economics major Darina Kabese is the president of the African Student Association. While serving in this role she shared how stepping outside her comfort zone to contribute to the community as a student leader has been a new and enriching experience. 

“At first I did not want to do it,” Kabese said. “ I don’t like to be in the spotlight and I’m also kind of shy. It’s been interesting taking on this role and stepping outside my comfort zone. Exploring the new sets of responsibilities and challenging myself a bit more is the reason I agreed to do this.”

There is always a learning curve to learning anything in life. When asked about struggles she had to overcome within the role Kabese shared how delegating work was the biggest challenge. 

“Most of the time I like to take things on myself which isn’t the best thing to do. Sometimes I feel if I ask another core member to do it, I may be disturbing them,” Kabese said. “As a president, I thought I had to do all of it which is a dangerous thing to do. I try to delegate more and try to stay organized and stay on top of everything.”

Closing out her thoughts with some words of wisdom, Kabese shared some insight for anyone interested in running for President or any officer role.  

“The advice I would give is to have a calendar,” Kabese said. “Plan out events at the beginning of the quarter. That’s what we did with my club and honestly, it has saved us a lot of time. Don’t be scared to ask for help.” 

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About the Contributor
Rio Giancarlo
Rio Giancarlo, Chief Photographer
Rio is a sophomore visual communication major with a minor in photography. Rio manages a team of photographers and illustrators to supply content for the greater SPU media groups. Before he took his current position he worked as a staff photographer, mostly covering sports. When not working for The Falcon he works for the SPU athletic department and as a freelance photographer. In his free time you can find him skiing, or wishing he was skiing. 
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