ASMSUB Leadership

Sonja Choriki, 23

criminal justice, senior
ASMSUB President
Billings, MT


November 16, 2015

By Cassie Winter, University Relations and Communications


Sonja ChorikiAs student body president, how is the first semester of school going?

“Busy. It has been a very busy semester and not in the ways I expected. I was expecting Baudry (ASMSUB vice president) and I to be able to run around to all these events and be involved with all the student organizations. We’re still doing that just not in the way we originally planned. Instead we are running around with classes a lot more and instead of teaming up and doing things together at the same time we have to split the work because our schedules aren’t the same. We’re still on track with what we want to accomplish trying to get club connection moving and student organizations working together. It’s working.”

What are the goals that you want to accomplish during your time in office?

“Make Club Connection more successful, get more student organizations involved, and create transition plans for the incoming vice president and president. They usually job shadow the current president and vice president so that they can show them the ropes, but with busy schedules that only happens for two or three days. To be sufficiently prepared for their job, we are creating a booklet of the transition plans for all the positions in ASMSUB. That way if they have questions in the middle of the year they can refer to the book. We’ve tried doing this in the past but we need to update and add to it.”

How can students be more involved in their student government?

“There is a passive way to be involved and an active way to be involved. Passively involved would be going to SAB events, writing for the Retort, reading the Retort, being involved with HEROES and going to the Drama Club because we fund them. They have a budget with us and the best way to be passively involved with us is just use the resources we have given you. How to actively be involved is come to our meetings. If you are a student organization that needs funding you can come and ask for contingency requests and you can come to our events. We usually sell ski tickets and may be holding a holiday dinner. Our senate meetings are always open so you can come in and see the issues and discussion topics and then you can put in your two cents at the end during public comment.”

What are the challenges you face being student body president?

“Probably the biggest challenge of being student body president is you do not realize how much time it actually takes up. As a student leader, being a student comes first so you should always focus on academics and that is something I have tell my senators almost every week. You shouldn’t be missing classes for a meeting. We will find someone to go, classes come first. It is hard to live by that and manage your assignments with obligations that come with the job. You are paid by the students to do your job and represent them well but at the same time you have to be successful yourself.”

What makes MSUB unique?

“We have a high population of non-traditional students. At our campus you can find a way to go to classes while keeping your job or having a family because you don’t physically have to be here to get a degree. We have a big enough population on campus where we can still do big events and make a difference especially with Montana Associated Students, but at the same time we have a small school where we understand the small school needs and get that one on one teacher time.”