Get to Know the First-Year Class President: Abbie Oh Arroyo!

Belen Yudess ’25
Staff Writer

On September 30th, Abbie Oh Arroyo ’25, was announced the winner of the run-off election for first year president, winning more than 50% of the 185 validated votes.

Oh Arroyo, the daughter of a Mexican father and Korean mother, notes that her ethnicity is a driving force behind her passion for diversity, equity, and inclusivity. On a typical day, Oh Arroyo can be found heading to her morning Korean or Core class followed by a visit to Roberts Pavilion to exercise and socialize. A Claremont local, she enjoys exploring the village and visiting a self-described “curated thrift store” called Deeluxe. Oh Arroyo plans on majoring in political science and film with aspirations to reform the education system as a catalyst for social change.

The Scripps Voice (TSV): Why did you run for first-year president?

Oh Arroyo (OA): I was involved in student government at my old school. So I knew that that was something I wanted to continue here at Scripps. I’m the type of person that when I feel like things need to change, I step in. There was a lot of feedback on how we basically didn’t have any bonding activities [for first year orientation]. So I wanted to make that happen. Also speaking to other students, especially students of color about their experiences with coming to terms with being at a PWI or just having to relive that again, after being away in quarantine, it was a lot. So I just really want to be a force to help people bond and welcome people with open arms. I just want to make a comfortable environment for people.

TSV: How do you feel that your past leadership experiences have helped prepare you for this role?

OA: I definitely think communication is huge–not just in student government, but through other positions I’ve had with stage managing, orchestra and being a part of an all women of color led [newspaper]. It’s just all about community and communication and being able to read your audience and tell what they need; what they want from you. Also making sure that there’s a bridge between students and admin so that students don’t necessarily feel intimidated by power, but rather understand that because this is their institution, they should have the power to shape it as they want it.

TSV: During your campaign video, you encouraged people to lead with empathy, understanding, and open-mindedness. How are you planning on motivating this leadership style?

OA: I think leading by example is like a good way to do that, which is hard…how do you lead by example? I will never forget my [high school student government] Dean who said you need to learn to not be afraid of being awkward. Everyone is anxious, everyone wants to make friends, just be open, be welcoming and warm to people.

TSV: Are there any pressing issues that you want to bring up during your first couple of meetings in SAS?

OA: These are more personal issues, but I have issues with the dorm and dorm conditions, like the ACs. And honestly, I don’t know who to bring that up to. I would like that issue to be addressed. Please fix the dorms. And I heard people are having issues with laundry too.

I really just want to help people settle. I know we’re not all going to be friends but just be there for each other. Bonding right now is the main concern, especially coming back from quarantine. I understand that making friends can be hard, especially being out of practice with socializing in general. We did also bring up the issue, in our first meeting, about putting period products in the bathrooms.

TSV: How are you going to ensure that the voices of the class of 2025 are heard and acted upon?

OA: I definitely want to DM the Class of 2025 Instagram to make posts or reminders for people or if people have things they want [me] to see just DM the account and I’ll get back to them. I think it’d also be great to host office hours if people want to come in and talk, I can bring snacks, and we can have a good time.

Just creating a space where people can even just rant or vent about things that they are unhappy with. I’m down to listen. If there’s something that you truly want to see, please, please let me know. You don’t have to just be okay with anything. I want you to be happy with the way things are going.

TSV: What kind of events can first years be on the lookout for?

OA: I want to challenge myself, see if I can do monthly events, especially with the holidays coming up. Maybe not major [events] but maybe smaller ones. Someone mentioned playing assassin, which is when you get a name in an envelope, which is your target. So you try to stick a sticker on their back without them noticing. I definitely want to just do a karaoke gaming night, bring in a boba truck. I also mentioned doing a beach day in winter if the weather’s nice enough, maybe spirit weeks.

October is spooky season. This is a bigger event idea, so I might have to dip into the budget for this one, but it’d be really fun to do a showing of the Korean show Squid Game. Or [during] Thanksgiving, doing a donation drive for a local organization or the Galilee center, which is a center for released ICE detainees, could be a good way to get the community together.

TSV: This question was a recommendation from a fellow peer who really loved this part of your campaign. Inspired by the karaoke/boba night idea, what is your favorite karaoke song and boba?

OA: Well, my favorite artist is Mitski. Oh, you know what, if I start singing Mitski, I will probably start crying. So I’m not going to do Mitski, but I do enjoy songs that get people very much hyped. So a lot of old Taylor Swift, like “Love Story.” That’s like my go-to song. “Love Story,” the Taylor version. And my favorite boba flavor…this is difficult because it’s very much dependent on the weather. In warmer weather, I prefer fruit teas. So a lot of lychee with aloe jelly or boba. And then in colder weather, I prefer milk teas: brown sugar milk tea with boba, something more warm and comforting.

Some good boba places in the village are Tea and Joy and CK Cafe. [CK Cafe] closes at 12:00 AM. So if you guys ever want Boba late at night, go to CK Cafe in the village.

TSV: Is there anything else you would like to say to the Class of 2025?

OA: I mean I already put out a thank you statement but really, truly, it means a lot to have that much support behind me.

To know that so many people have their trust and put their faith in me to carry this out.
It’s a big job and I’m a little intimidated, as a freshman, to kind of go in and hit the ground running again, just coming back from quarantine senior year being, like all right, let’s do this again. You know? I’m ready though. And, I’m very honored to have this position and I really do want our freshman year of college to be one to remember. I want these “golden days” to be good for you all and to make it memorable and I’m going to do my best to just make it great.

Image Source: Chloe Gorman ’22