On April 2, Lu Zhao, a graduate student in the School of Counseling, was elected as the new President of the International Student Union (ISU).
Each of the three candidates gave five-minute speeches to international students, voters, and current affiliates, including KSA, CSSA, TSA, the Indo- American Club, and the Vikings on March 26 about why they wanted to be selected president, and what they aspired to do as such.
Zhao kicked off her speech by saying, “Sorry, I just got back from work,” and won the election. Zhao currently has an internship at Roslyn High School as a school counselor on Mondays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. “I really love to communicate with students and people around me; I feel very happy when I can help other people,” she said. She referred to counseling as the art of language. She believes the way you deliver your speech defines who you are.
Zhao ran for the position because she has gone through multiple difficulties as an international student during her past three years at Post. “Orientation for new students was really helpful, but once school started, I soon felt isolated because I had big English problems, didn’t know anything about school, and I was scared to ask for help,” she said.
She explained that it was a sad time, during which she lost her confidence. “It could have been better if I didn’t hesitate to ask people for help.” She added, “I know so many students who feel the same way as I felt before, and I understand those feelings. I want those people to know that there are so many people who are experienced, knowledgeable, and willing to help them. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to be President of ISU.” Zhao said that she also wanted to devote her time to school, and to develop her resume.
For her future plans as ISU president, Zhao wants to hold an event that both domestic and international students can get excited about. She said, “Homecoming is catching my eye. There are many international students who go to watch students play, dance, and sing, but I want each person to get involved.”
Zhao worked with CHATS for two semesters in 2013, and realized there was always the same group of people who attended international events, and that international students shy away from joining events that domestic students organize. Zhao hopes to change that situation. She is ready to apply her own experiences that she had learned, both socially and academically.
On April 10 and April 17 after work, Zhao will join the ISU meetings for her training. “Last week (April 10), I was at the meeting to observe, and then got trained by two advisors: Professor Laslie Bai and Graduate assistant Trista Yang Lu,” Zhao said. They discussed responsibilities and expectations with Zhao, e-board members, and international students.
Current ISU President Stephanie Trieu, a sophomore Art Therapy major, will join in Zhao’s training. Trieu will complete her term as president at the end of the spring semester. “For me, ISU is not just a club. It is a union between students not from any one country, but numerous countries and regions. We share different lives, and ISU allowed me to glimpse into the world of others,” Trieu said.
Trieu is enthusiastic about her successor and the rest of the ISU team. “For the new ISU, I have great faith that the new e-board will surpass my expectations. I am sure they will expand ISUs doors to many more students from other countries, and I look forward to their work,” Trieu said.
As a club, ISU hopes to be a center of opportunities for students to meet people from all over the world, and to learn from one another.