Meet Student Forum president Lani Waggoner ‘24

Publication Date

Lani Waggoner '24

Lani Waggoner, student forum president

Hometown: Portland, Ore.

Major: Biochemistry

Minor: Psychology

Activities: Senior Admissions intern, Scholars program, volunteers at a local comfort-care home; first-year mentor, summer research, study abroad in Sicily, student representative to the DEIB committee, student representative on General Education Curriculum Task Force, student representative on Academic Affairs Council, pre-orientation and orientation advisor

Hobbies: Hiking, road trips, baking, running, reading and yoga

Why did you decide to run for Student Forum president?

I ran for the role of president this year because, after sitting on the Student Forum for the past three years in different capacities, I truly believe that building a strong connection between the student body and the faculty and staff at Union is not only necessary but achievable. My passion for strengthening this relationship is what ultimately drove me to run for the role of president.

What do you hope to accomplish this year?

I hope to encourage the members of the Student Forum to seek out their respective groups and galvanize them into action within the campus community. I would like to see my peers involved in campus-wide initiatives, activities, and decisions, and for the members of the forum to be trusted liaisons whom students can collaborate with to create change.

Favorite place to go off campus?

My favorite place to go off-campus is Thatcher State Park. It has beautiful scenery and is a great place for picnics, hiking and rock climbing.

Favorite class at Union so far?

Exploring Healthcare with Rhona Beaton. I was able to intern at a local medical clinic for 10 hours a week while learning about current events in healthcare.

What's one piece of advice you'd give first year students?

Do something new, even if it makes you uncomfortable! I had never run for something like class president before my first year at Union and had doubts about campaigning in front of so many new faces, but I still say that it is one of the best decisions I have made in college to date.

What do you think makes Union special?

Our community is what sets us apart. As someone from the West Coast, I was worried about the stereotypes I had heard about upstate New Yorkers being standoffish. After beginning college at Union, I realized I had nothing to worry about. I have never experienced a more welcoming group of students, staff, and faculty in any other academic environment I have been in outside of Union. The professors genuinely care about their students’ success––academically and personally––the upperclassmen are friendly and helpful to newer students, and the staff takes feedback from students seriously.