Whether it's a compliment, a concern, or something in between, members of the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) want to hear from their fellow Sagehens. As the representative voice of the students, they serve as a bridge between their peers and administrators, advocating for and bringing about change to campus. Leading the way are the four class presidents — Andreah Pierre '22, Deanna Han '23, Andrew Xu '24 and Devlin Orlin '25 — who work with the rest of the ASPC Senate to make Pomona reflective of the ideas and goals of the student body.
Andreah Pierre, Senior President
The time Andreah Pierre '22 has spent at Pomona has changed her as a person — all for the better.
"Looking back at me as a first year compared to now, I've definitely learned how not to worry about things and not be stressed out — it's going to get done," she says. "I've also realized I'm a much stronger person with a lot more confidence in myself, in my education, and what I'm going to do after college. It's exciting to know Pomona made me someone that's proud to say I went here and ready to go on."
A Posse scholar from Miami, Pierre came to Pomona with several years of student leadership experience under her belt. She has held multiple positions in ASPC and has done everything from getting new bike racks installed during her sophomore year, to planning a major brunch this semester to celebrate the senior class returning to campus.
Being in student leadership has helped strengthen Pierre's communication skills — she can walk into a room now where “I don't know anyone but can still talk to everyone.” But it has also given her networking opportunities with trustees and alumni and shown how powerful her voice is.
"I'm able to have one-on-one conversations with people like [Associate Dean of Students & Dean of Campus Life] Josh Eisenberg and make a difference by being the face behind the concerns and struggles of students," Pierre says.
Student government is hard work — there are hours of meetings, planning, talking with students and strategizing to ensure their needs are being met — but rewarding. Being able to make improvements on campus and receiving positive feedback from her peers make it all worth it, as does the support Pierre gets from her fellow ASPC members.
"A lot of people might stray away from student government thinking it's too much work, and you won't have the time, but if you do it, you'll make the time and put it in your schedule," Pierre said. "We're like a family. It's an amazing space, and I encourage people to join. You'll gain valuable knowledge by being a part of it."
Deanna Han, Junior President
After a year of virtual learning, Deanna Han '23 was ready to try some new experiences once she was back on campus — and that included getting involved with ASPC.
Han, an economics major from Shoreline, Washington, knew several people involved with student leadership, including one of her mentors, who encouraged her to run for class president. "I thought, why not, let's try," Han said, as she was motivated by "wanting to be able to do something more for the class."
It's important to Han that her peers have the chance to go to events, get to know one another, and just have a good time, especially since the Class of 2023 has grown to include people who took gap semesters because of the pandemic and are now back on campus as juniors. It's not just about hosting fun activities, though. Han wants students to know she is available to answer questions about what's happening at Pomona, serve as a first point of contact, and is there to listen to their thoughts and ideas.
"There's always going to be a different opinion from yours, and it's all about hearing what people have to say," Han says. "In my role as president, I'm trying to do as much as my class wants and needs."
There are big and small ways for people to get involved on campus, and Han recommends anyone who has lingering thoughts about joining a club or organization to take the plunge. If it's not the right group, at least you gave it a shot, she says.
"Pomona is a really great place for you to be able to be a student and be somebody who is actively learning, having fun, and spending four years in this community," she says.
Andrew Xu, Sophomore President
Andrew Xu '24 is ready to make up for lost time.
Like his fellow classmates, Xu spent his first year as a Pomona student online. His experience was different than most, though, as he was in Taiwan and had to flip his schedule, signing on for class in the middle of the night. Xu was still able to actively participate in student life, even serving as first-year president, and he's excited to now be leading his class while they're all in the same time zone.
"We only have three years left," he says. "Last year wasn't taken away, but it wasn't whole, and without that experience we're really trying to get in front of people, to host events and make an effort to connect."
Xu was involved in student government throughout high school, and has found that in college, there's more gravity to being in a leadership position. At Pomona, students talk to him about everything. At the request of a classmate, Xu recently started working to change the hours Mason Hall is open, so students can drop off assignments on Sundays. He's quickly learned just how crucial it is to fully hear what they have to say.
"We have two ears and one mouth, so we should try to listen twice as much as we talk," Xu says.
Through these conversations, Xu has learned more about his peers, and works with students on the sophomore class committee — a group that is "the biggest reason" why Xu enjoys student government — to build a coalition that can address their concerns.
"I think anytime someone wants to open up and be vulnerable, it's humbling," Xu says. "They've assessed that you are someone who has insight and could also be part of the solution, someone they can team up with. It's really great to be in that position."
According to Xu, it's a privilege to serve as a connection between the amazing students and administrators at Pomona. Here, it's not just the professors who are doing the teaching. In his current English class, students break out into smaller groups, with each person putting together and presenting a micro-lesson on the topic of their choice.
"Learning from my peers during intimate moments like this is a highlight of my experience," Xu says. "It reminds me of the importance of remembering there are so many people here with so many talents and interests. Learning isn't just about student-professor and professor-student. What better resource is there than the people around you, who are living with you and having fun with you?"
Devlin Orlin, First-Year President
First-year students know one thing: if they need help, find Devlin Orlin '25.
After just a few months on campus, it's already clear that as class president, Orlin gets things done and can point people in the right direction. A recent example: when a classmate fell off their skateboard after the student health center was closed for the day, they called Orlin for advice on what to do. Happy to help, he instructed them to contact Campus Safety.
"It was nice to be able to help and serve as a resource," Orlin said.
At his high school in Bethesda, Maryland, Orlin was involved in student government all four years, and he's enjoying learning the ropes at Pomona. "It's definitely different because living here, there's such a broader range of concerns," Orlin says. "In high school, a lot of the concerns would have been academic and event-based. You don't hear as many academic concerns now, it's more about what people want to see from campus and experiences."
Orlin loves talking to people and staying up-to-date on what's happening across campus, so he can relay information. While planning events, he's learned to ask his fellow Sagehens about activities they'd like to see and solicits feedback so he can discover what worked and what didn't. There is so much opportunity at Pomona, Orlin says, and he encourages those who want to be part of student leadership to sign up and leave their mark.
"If you want to run for a position, definitely put yourself out there — it's a great experience, no matter what happens," Orlin says. "Reach out to your peers and hear what they're interested in seeing. Also, don't be afraid to join a committee. There are a ton of wonderful commissioners to work with, and if you pick an area you're interested in, it's a great way to get involved."