Q&A: VPSL Khristyan Trejo plans to open dialogue on campus


Colin Yaccarino | Photography Editor

Sophomore Khristyan Trejo will serve as the USG vice president for student life.

Sophomore Khristyan Trejo, majoring in Latin American studies and political science, will serve as the Undergraduate Student Government vice president for student life in the upcoming academic year. Trejo hopes to use this position to facilitate conversations on campus about identity, safety and marginalization. The Hullabaloo spoke with the new VPSL as part of an ongoing USG Q&A series to find out more about his experiences and plans for the future.

Why did you want to run for VPSL?

When I joined USG, I had the goal to hold student representatives responsible to [fulfilling] their duties and ensure that students felt safe and comfortable going to USG with their concerns. I knew the position of VPSL would give me the ability to carry out initiatives that prioritize the interests and needs of our student body. I wanted to run for VPSL to prove to the students that they matter while teaching myself that you have the potential to make the change you want to see, and that’s a beautiful thing.

What experiences have you had on USG and at Tulane that will prepare you for this role?

Before running for VP of student life, I was the parliamentarian and executive assistant for the USG cabinet. These roles, along with my experience in debate and Posse scholar on campus, have shaped the way I think about organizing while making sure that I’m open to dialogues regarding students and their concerns, regardless of politics or beliefs. As a [Community Engagement Advocates] facilitator, I’ve participated in numerous amounts of conversations regarding identity and marginalization and how that impacts what we’re doing, so I’m excited to start working on these multidimensional initiatives with our students.

What do you foresee as the most pressing issues Tulane’s campus will face in the 2017-18 academic year?

I am not sure if there [are] any issues that Tulane’s campus has not seen before. I think it’s more dependent on the way we, as both student representatives and students-at-large, engage in those conversations and help make sure we’re being active about these. Some issues that I am determined to tackle as VPSL include environmental sustainability, sexual assault and improving representation for marginalized communities in spaces like the USG. This includes working with the directors [from cabinet] on issues that impact communities in different ways.

What are the biggest changes students can expect from USG in the upcoming year?

I would expect more interactions with the USG. I will be hosting office hours every week in order to make sure students can approach me with any concerns whenever they have one. I am determined to hold our representatives within the USG accountable to their platforms while making sure they’re inclusive of all of our students. I am in the process of planning two town halls for our fall semester, so if you have any concerns, feel free [to come] out. One of the biggest changes our executive board has made includes engaging with students more frequently.

How do you plan to improve student life on campus as VPSL?

As VPSL, I want to open up conversations about the way concepts, such as “safety,” apply to different communities in different ways and it’s important to be cognizant of that. I plan on creating spaces for students to constructively help USG pass legislation for our students. All in all, I want to help make Tulane a better place. Whether you are interested in joining the Student Life Committee or would just like to talk about a project you’re interested in, I want to help remind students that there’s a place for their voice and it’s powerful. I will not promise to resolve all of our structural issues, but I can promise to provide a space to start talking about combatting them.

For students looking to get involved in policymaking on campus, what steps should they take?

Students looking to get involved should email, message or contact any USG member (myself included). We have committees ranging from diversity and inclusivity, to student health, to safety, all you have to do is find out which one’s for you! Our senate meetings are open to anyone, so if there’s a piece of legislation that you’re [interested] in discussing, Student Forum is a space designated for you to share your thoughts with your representatives. Our executive board and cabinet are passionate and ready for your input on these projects!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you ever have a concern regarding Tulane, USG or an initiative you’d like to start, I am here for you. Your voice is important and you matter. The executive board is ready to hear your opinion, and we’re excited to serve you!

To read the first installation in this series, click here. To learn more about USG, visit Tulane USG’s website or read The Hullabaloo’s coverage on USG. 

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