Emma Campbell makes Linfield history as the first female ASLU president to be re-elected


Photo provided by Emma Campbell (JJ Anderson)

You may see a particular brunette junior running around campus on any given day. Whether on foot or in a golf cart, Emma Campbell always moves with purpose. She has to, as a member of Alpha Phi, a political science and math major, and the freshly re-elected Associated Students of Linfield University president. Campbell’s days overflow with tasks and meetings. She’s returned to her role for a second term because Campbell feels as though she still has unfinished business.

“I’ve got a lot of great ideas, coming back definitely didn’t have anything to do with the golf cart,” she said, with a wink.

Campbell is the first ASLU president to be re-elected since Jeff Mackay (class of 1988) and is the only female-identifying student ever to accomplish this feat. Campbell did not participate in student government at all in high school but has wholeheartedly fulfilled the role since coming to Linfield.

“Emma has always been very poised, but through our bumpy first year she pulled the team together and has been so gracious and helpful,” Preslie Petrick ASLU vice president said.

This last year was bumpy, as Petrick described. ASLU lost their advisor mid-year and dealt with a massive number of turnovers. Campbell said they were overworked and often were less than adequately supported in their endeavors, but Campbell, alongside her team, managed to make the most of the year.

On paper, the ASLU president requires 10 hours of work a week, but in reality, Campbell spends over 20 hours working on ASLU tasks. Campbell views her role as acting like a liaison between the administration and the student body. Most of her work entails cleaning up the mess left in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When we came to Linifeld with COVID going on, we had no choice but to try and make the Linfield experience our own,” Campbell said.

Most of her first term in office was cleaning up. From taxes to insurance, Campbell spent this last year building a foundation for ASLU to achieve its goals on behalf of the student body. The early stages of success have already commenced: two new water bottle filling stations have been installed on campus. Campbell’s next big goal is creating a student space to study and hang out.

While Riley Campus Center has long been referred to as the student center, Campbell believes that the campus lacks a space intended solely for students where they can gather. Right now, Riley falls short in Campbell’s book so developing a student center either means a makeover for the current center or a totally new space. This is just one example of how Campbell intends to see her larger goal come to fruition.

“I want to see change being done,” Campbell said. 

In addition to developing a space that supports student life, Campbell hopes to reinvigorate student’s involvement on campus and in ASLU elections. She chalks the lack of engagement up to COVID-19 decimating campus life. In her partnership with Wildcat Events Board and other university clubs, Campbell is looking to pump some life back into the Linfield community.

“There is no shortage of positions that need student leaders, but I hope to see more people run for ASLU president in the future,” Campbell said. “Some students may not care as much if there is only one person running for president or vice president.”

She plans to increase election-related interest in subsequent years by mentoring younger students. Building a better future for Linfield students means developing the leadership already on campus.

“I see a lot of promise in the classes below us, I plan to reach out and say ‘you can do this, you should apply,’ just like someone once did for me,” Campbell said.

Campbell will be the first to admit that her first term wasn’t what she had hoped for. The year involved “operational adjustments and playing catch-up,” she said. Going forward, she wants to build on this momentum and help students in any way possible. Campbell may be constantly on the move, but she is more than happy to stop and chat with students when she can. Answering questions and fielding concerns is Campbell’s bread and butter. She said students can reach out to her via email if they don’t see her in person.