Alyssa Leong ‘23
Megan Chow ’23 is stepping into the role of Scripps Associated Students (SAS) president with focuses on community, connection, and uplifting voices that have historically gone unheard at Scripps.
Chow’s intrapersonal community-centered mindset comes out of her work with the Cantonese Club at Claremont, grassroots organizations, a local educational nonprofit, and more. Working with communities of color and immigrant communities has informed her priorities to protect underrepresented and marginalized identities at Scripps as SAS president, especially considering Scripps’ status as a predominantly white institution.
“I want SAS to be a resource where we can meet students exactly where they are and work alongside them, instead of having them feel alone or unsupported in constantly advocating for themselves,” Chow said.
This year, Chow plans to update the Unofficial Scripps Survival Guide, a resource used by many incoming students. She hopes to highlight the experiences of BIPOC, low income, first generation, disabled and transfer students in this updated guide in order to make all Scripps students feel uncomfortable and less alone and unsure of their place on Scripps’ campus. Additionally, Chow hopes to continue working to ensure that the Core program is a better safe space for marginalized students.
“I’m excited about being a 1.5 generation immigrant and a woman of color in this position,” she said. “I want to create more opportunities for students from underrepresented backgrounds to also be in positions of power where they can make important decisions and create necessary change at Scripps.”
Throughout this year, Chow also aims to have marginalized student’s voices heard by admin. She wants to foster stronger connections between students and admin as communication between those groups has been difficult in the past.
“I think oftentimes, a lot of students have needs and concerns that are not met, and so they just have to continue going on, working around those needs,” she said.
Other plans for her time as SAS president include installing wellness vending machines at Scripps, maintaining and improving access to reproductive health services for students 24/7 in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade, making the Student Union a more inviting space, supporting student artists, and continuing to hold events such as Sunday Snack.
Chow was inspired to run for president because of the way the community at Scripps shaped her, both academically and personally. Through peers and faculty, she gained confidence and new perspectives — something she wants to give back to the Scripps community. Chow was also inspired seeing SAS’s work from the 2021-2022 school year, such as their kitchen supply and free menstrual product initiatives.
“I really wanted to be in a position where I could give back to the Scripps community and help continue creating [SAS initiatives] that meet student needs,” Chow said. “And also to make students feel as comfortable or as inspired for the future as I’ve been at Scripps.”
One way that Chow is giving back to the Scripps community as SAS president is by listening to individual student voices.
“Something special that I bring into my role is my ability to listen to individual voices,” she said. “I take the time to speak with students and hear their personal experiences or concerns. With permission, I try to highlight those narratives and emotions in the way that I advocate for them and hold conversations with admin.”
These values were reflected in Chow’s campaign. Her platform itself was focused on advocating for individual student needs, and her campaign itself demonstrated this focus on personal connection.
Since Chow was studying abroad at the time of her campaign, she heavily relied on Instagram to get to know students. Chow couldn’t meet students face-to-face, but by direct messaging individual students about their specific questions and wants from SAS, she was still able to get to know the Scripps community on an individual level.
Chow expressed that joining student organizations on campus was another way of getting to know the Claremont community for her — and she encourages other students to do the same.
“I would encourage folks to get involved with anything they find interesting on or off campus, especially student-led things because I’ve found that it’s a way to really grow as a leader and to also learn more about yourself, how you work with others and what your passions and values are,” she said. “It’s been incredibly inspiring for me to be in a space like SAS where people are so dedicated and passionate about their work!”
Image Source: Megan Chow ’23