Unchallenged, Undefeated, and Unstoppable: SAS President Lily Dunkin

Ashley Ta ’27
Copy Editor Intern

One fateful afternoon, SAS President Lily Dunkin ’24 was on her way to tour Pomona as a prospective student when she decided to pop into Tiernan to check out the pool. Thanks to an act of kindness from the student working at the front desk, Dunkin got a glimpse of her future home and has since paid the act forward throughout her time at Scripps.

“We just take care of each other,” Dunkin said. “Have you ever walked around and people just smile at you? That doesn’t happen at other schools.”

One of Dunkin’s favorite parts of her job as SAS President is not only helping other Scrippies, but also facilitating discussion and project management among SAS members. For Dunkin, this rarely means commanding the room because, as she quotes Ella Baker, “strong leaders don’t need strong leaders.” Instead, Dunkin focuses on being a leader who’s a reliable listener.

Achieving diversity on the SAS team is one thing according to Dunkin, but using it to better fix problems is another. “We can capture a wide range of student interests with multiple events because we have a diverse student government,” she said. “We have international students, first gen, students from all different backgrounds.”

Another notable part of Dunkin’s job is acting as a liaison between Scripps students and administration, whether it’s connecting students to the right officials or bringing up student concerns during administration meetings. One of Dunkin’s biggest priorities, however, is making sure every student feels they not only have a place at Scripps, but a reliable community.

One of her goals this year is to continue the progress she made last year: hosting events that people felt comfortable showing up to alone. She was most proud of hosting trivia nights against all the different years, movie nights, and themed study sessions in Denison Library during finals week.

“I was so proud of the events that we threw,” Dunkin said. “The best part was putting all this work in, having everyone watch Jennifer’s Body, and have everyone laugh at the same time… with a group of new people…which can be hard in schools that are small.”

Through her experience within her community back home, Dunkin has cultivated a great sense of collectivism. Growing up in Colorado, she explained “[when] you go to a party, you come early and stay late and you always bring something.” These values have shown to be synonymous with becoming a great leader who builds the Scripps community.

Dunkin genuinely cares about fixing problems by being a good listener and continuously following up on them. “When people come up to me I take it to heart [and I want to be] someone they can rely on,” she said.

Dunkin’s mission to build community has been infectious. Even though her presidency has just begun, she continues to inspire the first year presidential candidates and future SAS presidents to do the same. As a message to the future SAS presidents, she advised: “Don’t quit your day job,” “Don’t let SAS consume your life because it will try to,” and “stay involved in other ways.”

Dunkin also suggested getting acquainted with SAS archival material. “Read my notes and read the notes of the presidents before me and the presidents before them,” she said. All the notes of past presidents have been saved on a collective Google Drive, detailing what meetings commenced, what events were hosted, how projects were run, and a plethora of other knowledge passed down from a great legacy of presidents.

These materials have been useful for one of her most recent projects: getting students back on the Board of Trustees. Because it’s been the status quo for students to stay out of the board in recent years, she had to go back and look through the bylaws and the notes of the presidents from four to five years ago to assess how this was previously done. If there was any information she needed that she couldn’t find in the bylaws or Google Drive, the past two presidents were a phone call away.

Overall, Dunkin is excited to take on new projects and serve the Scripps community. “Lean on your predecessors, and we’ll build up the legacy of Scripps together,” she said.

Image Source: Ellen Hu ’24