Making change

ASOSU President Rachel Grisham is in her fifth year at OSU, and is involved with a variety of organizations.

Riley Youngman Editor-in-Chief

ASOSU President Rachel Grisham aims to transform organization

One of the first pieces of legislation that newly elected ASOSU President Rachel Grisham helped author after taking office was to reduce the pay that her, the vice president and the speaker of the house would receive.

Already fulfilling one of her campaign promises to lower the stipends on several positions within the student government to allow the funds to be used elsewhere in a more productive manner, Grisham had only been in office for a few weeks, but she meant business.

Outside of ASOSU, this tenacity is prevalent throughout Grisham’s life.

The president of her sorority, Sigma Delta Omega, as well as a sitting member on several committees throughout campus, Grisham is no stranger to involvement and leadership roles.

Now in her fifth year, the public health policy and management major is also pursuing three minors—French, political science and business administration.

Grisham explained that her diverse academic load is derived from her intense interests in a wide variety of fields.

“I have a lot of interests, I have a really hard time focusing on one subject, and I like mixing a whole bunch of things together. I think that creates a unique perspective,” Grisham said. “If I could do it, I would take a class in every field here.”

Although she was not normally one to put herself out there, Grisham said the choice to run for president came from a desire to see substantial change within the organization.

“I was really tired of seeing where ASOSU was going, and I thought it needed a lot of change at the foundation level,” Grisham said.

Grisham knew that if she was elected, she could bring about tangible change on campus. Six months later, Grisham and her vice president Brett Morgan have hit the ground running.

According to Morgan, their goofy senses of humor drew them together, but their friendship really took off after Grisham approached him to run on the ticket with her.

“Due to the stress of the campaign, Rachel and I grew really close because we were literally spending 10 to12 hours a day when not in class or barely sleeping campaigning together,” Morgan said. “Our goofy humor also came back—both Rachel and I use humor as a way to work through stress.”

Despite not knowing Morgan on a deeper level before the campaign, Grisham approached him to run with her after deciding his values and ideals complimented hers nicely.

“(When she approached me) I had really sworn off the idea of being ASOSU President or vice president just because I was so busy outside ASOSU and was lacking political efficacy in the organization,” Morgan said. Yet immediately, Morgan realized that there was potential for real change to happen if he paired with Grisham.

“When she approached me to run I could tell it was from a place of wanting to make a difference and help others—not for a title or power,” Morgan said. “Rachel does the work she does because she believes in what she can do for others and not what the position or positions can do for her.”

Darren Nguyen, a senior in business management, was hired by Grisham and Morgan as the ASOSU Directors of Community Resources earlier this summer, but his relationship with Grisham goes back over a year.

Nguyen has always admired the way in which Grisham works, and the ways in which she manages her staff.

“I’ve been a better student leader and person because of Rachel,” Nguyen said.

Both Nguyen and Morgan say that Grisham’s most redeeming quality is her authenticity.

“I believe that Rachel is so heavily involved with everything she does is because she genuinely wants to bring everyone else up around her,” Nguyen said. “Whether that be through sisterhood, being a student leader, or even preparing herself to be the best individual in the future through education.”

In her final year at OSU, Grisham has a lot on her plate between now and graduation.

“I’m very excited to be ending my time at OSU with so many awesome opportunities. I’m so lucky to be so engaged until the end,” Grisham said.

After Grisham graduates this year, she plans on attending graduate school—the dream being the University of North Carolina—to continue developing her passion for public health.

When not in the office, Grisham enjoys reading and playing her saxophone, fondly named “Skittles.”