Class Presidents Work Tirelessly to Serve Classmates

Class presidents

Among the student government members at Pomona are four students who represent their respective classes as class presidents. They collaborate with the other elected representatives in the Senate to advocate on behalf of the student body and provide programming and services.

We recently caught up with each of the presidents to learn about their motivations for serving in student government, what they’ve been working on and how they’ve been shaped by the role.

First-Year President Diane Nguyen ’27

As the president of her high school’s student council in Hanoi, Vietnam, Nguyen says she enjoyed being “the person who takes initiative and creates improvement.”

When presented with the opportunity to run for first-year class president at Pomona, Nguyen thought, “Why not?”

“If that’s an opportunity that could be given,” she thought, “there are definitely things I think I could make a difference on.”

Nguyen sees the role of first-year class president as primarily managing programming and social bonding. She has aimed to put on events that meet different needs and preferences, including study sessions, parties and destress events such as tote bag painting and necklace making.

She is also learning how to collaborate and work with administrators to make “step-by-step changes” in areas such as housing and residence life.

She believes in the importance of “really listening to what people want.” After Nguyen was elected, she conducted a survey to find out “what people really wanted to work on.”

The work is tiring, she says, but fulfilling. “It’s time consuming, but I’ve enjoyed the outcomes,” Nguyen says. “If I was able to meet with someone and make progress, it makes me happy. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.”

As an economics major possibly double majoring in computer science, Nguyen is open to working in public service after graduation. But for now, she says she is still learning the ropes at Pomona.

“For me it’s about navigating the process,” Nguyen says. “The resources are there, and it’s about making a connection between where the resources are and where the students are.”

Sophomore President Amy Yao ’26

Yao came to Pomona from Cupertino, California, with a desire to get involved and to meet people.

“Coming to a completely new campus,” she says, “I didn’t know anyone.” She ran for first-year class president on a platform of helping her classmates become comfortable on campus. “I expressed a common goal that I felt a lot of freshmen have,” she says.

One accomplishment she was most proud of was working with the facilities office to get streetlights installed in a part of campus that was quite dark at night. After a “big learning curve,” Yao wanted to build on the hard-earned knowledge she acquired. She ran for sophomore class president, and her classmates reelected her.

A signature event Yao has implemented is “sophomore snack” (which she dubbed “treat carts” her first year). She works with dining services to provide a treat-themed cart, which she sets up outside different residence halls. The event serves as an opportunity for her to speak to fellow classmates and hear their concerns as well as for sophomores to mingle.

On the pre-med track as a molecular biology major, Yao says she tends to only see classmates who are also in STEM classes. There are “people you never cross paths with,” she says, adding that events like sophomore snack are “a nice way to see people face-to-face.”

Yao strives to “keep in constant communication” with her classmates, letting them know how she is trying to improve their daily student experience. She sees herself as an advocate as she works with College administrators to implement changes.

“I believe that we all have the same goal—to improve student experiences,” says Yao. “I think with perseverance and communication, you can get your point across.”

Junior President Vidusshi Hingad ’25

“It’s about listening to people. And then problem solving with care,” Hingad says of being the junior class president. “While I love being a point person, I prefer being just being a friend who classmates can come to.”

As a peer advisor at the Career Development Office and a writer for The Student Life newspaper, Hingad has knowledge about the College to bring to her role as class president.

But what really drives her is her appreciation for the people at Pomona.

“I love the people here because they have made this my home, especially when my actual home is so far away,” says Hingad, who came to Pomona from Mumbai, India.

Hingad values establishing programming and creating a culture where people are “not just recognized but celebrated.” One way she does that is through “appreciative writing,” an anonymous forum where classmates can write about a friend whom Hingad then highlights in class emails she sends out.

Beyond emails, she consistently reaches out to classmates in person as well, in an effort to address challenges, foster dialogue and to “share their collective experiences.”

After she was elected, Hingad conducted a comprehensive survey to understand the student experience better. Through the results of the survey, she decided to home in on three areas for the year: career empowerment and development, community engagement, and political dialogue. She created committees of classmates to work on each of those areas.

“Ultimately,” Hingad says, “my vision is to champion and foster diverse facets of student life, ensuring a more holistic and enriching experience for my peers.”

Serving as class president has grown her confidence immensely, she says. “It has really improved my creative problem solving and leadership skills.” She says it has also taught her how to challenge structures and to show care with empathy.

As a double major in psychological science and public policy analysis, Hingad hopes to continue creating meaningful impact through solving problems after she graduates, whether it be through research, consulting, law or public policy.

In the meantime, she says, “I count my blessings for being here. A lot of being class president is genuinely giving back to the community.”

Senior President Zaid Al Zoubi ’24

When Al Zoubi came to Pomona from Amman, Jordan, he says he “was blessed to connect with a lot of people.” “One of my favorite things became connecting my friends with other friends,” he says. “I wished I could play a role in helping create more community.”

This passion for creating community motivated him to run for junior class president and again for senior class president.

“I’m more interested in the student part than the government part,” he says. “My decision is very rooted in community: uplifting my community and bringing our class together.”

Al Zoubi, a double major in economics and media studies, points out the unusualness of his class’s experience at Pomona. Their first year was remote due to the pandemic, and when they arrived on campus their sophomore year, they missed opportunities to make friends through first-year sponsor groups and Orientation Adventure (OA) trips.

One of his biggest undertakings as junior class president was recreating an OA trip. From the ground up, he planned a weekend camping trip for about 100 juniors, which he says was “really rewarding.”

Serving in student government has stretched Al Zoubi, he says: “I’ve constantly been outside my comfort zone. You’re always listening to different students’ problems and concerns. You learn so much about how things work behind the scenes, and it expands how you see things.”

Al Zoubi says working with his class committees has also taught him “how to work with teams, with people.”

This year, about 30 people serve on the senior class committee. Together they have planned trivia nights, painting sessions and the senior dinner, and this semester they will coordinate a trip to Las Vegas and a “100 Days to Graduation” event, among other experiences to commemorate their final year at Pomona.

As he looks forward to speaking at commencement, he has been considering what he can say that “resonates with a lot of people.”

His classmates missed out on their high school graduations due to the pandemic, and he wants to acknowledge all his fellow seniors have been through the last four years.

“Our class is strong,” he says. “They’ve made the best out of it. There are so many great people in our class.”