At the panel discussion, the panelists provided insight into their motivations for joining student government.

When Sophie O’Keefe Zelman, 2004 USG Tempe president, was asked why she wanted to lead student government, she said, “I saw USG and ASASU as a great place where all of the diverse constituencies of students could come together, and you could listen, and you could bring everyone together to create space for everyone's unique needs. I thought it would be a good opportunity where I could give a voice to all the different diverse places and organizations on campus.”

Rodriguez said the most memorable part of his time in student government was “having amazing leaders that I got to partner with who were my peers.”

Chilton explained that the Council of Presidents (COP) consists of all four USG presidents from each campus as well as the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) president.

“The Council of Presidents is a unique place for us to share the problems, the stories, of our constituency and we can work towards collective goals for the university,” Chilton said.

Chilton said COP creates a list of priorities during the summer session, and works together throughout the year to accomplish their goals.

“I’ll be darned if the list is not exquisitely considerable, unbelievably forward-thinking, and in almost every case, something that we need to do,” Crow said about the council's priorities during his speech.

Current GPSA President Nicole K. Mayberry outlined the council's five priorities for the 2021–2022 academic year: transparency; basic needs investment and education; diversity, equity and inclusion; student health and wellness; and spirit, pride and tradition.

John Hopkins, USG Tempe president and student trustee, concluded the evening with a final speech that ended with a “Go Devils!” cheer accompanied by confetti cannons.

“We all made an oath,” Hopkins said. “We made a commitment to go forth, conducting ourselves with ethical and honorable practices, maintaining integrity along the way and staying involved with civic engagement."

Hopkins plans to continue his education through a master's program at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, which just opened its new headquarters on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

In an interview ahead of the reunion event, Hopkins said, "I think it's an incredible opportunity today to connect with past student leaders and hear about what they did on campus, and potentially rekindle some of the things that they did in their day for the student body currently."

Lillie Boudreaux

Student reporter, ASU News