A sit-down with ASB President Noah Olson
September 5, 2018
During the bustle of the first week of classes I got a chance to sit down with Noah Olson, a senior marketing media major who lives in Hotchkiss, and this year’s ASB President. This is an edited version of our conversation.
Q. How are you feeling going into your first semester as ASB President?
A. Prepared. Over the summer Adam and Renee poured into me, along with Harry Walls. I just tried to learn as much as I could and just kind of sit under their leadership. In doing that I feel as ready for the task as I think I can be. Of course, with something like this, I would say if you feel ready you are probably not ready. With anything, with any job, I think you always second guess yourself: am I good enough for this? Can I do this? I think that’s just natural and good. I’m trying to stay humble and serve from below and help people to be the best they can be; help my people be the best they can be. So in terms of that I feel ready for the year. I am excited for the changes we’re going to be making and for the culture that we’re trying to cultivate here at the Master’s University.
Q. What is going to be different about ASB this year compared to last year?
A. Inclusivity. Hopefully, good followership. That’s what we are trying to cultivate from the top down. Really, the idea is to help cultivate a culture where students are coming to know and love Jesus Christ more. We can do that with our events. We can do that with the way that we treat people as student leaders. And we can do that with the way that we interact with people we don’t know, and how open we are, and how inclusive we are. I think last year, maybe not just last year but in years past, ASB has been seen as exclusive and hard to reach and out of touch with the student body as a whole. This year we are aiming to be in touch with student body as a whole, serving the student body as a whole and leading by following. That’s the difference. Hopefully that results in events people want to go to, better community around campus, and a culture where people groups of TMU are living more harmoniously together. A culture where a Hotchkiss guy and a C-DUB guy can be friends in the most real way and I think we are on the right track.
Q. What’s one thing this year that you’re looking forward to?
A. The whole year. I’m just excited. It’s an exciting time. I get to work with what I think is the best team. These are people who really want to serve; they don’t have to. There’s a quote that goes, “if you try to find good feelings within yourself you’ll only find temporary happiness, but if you look in others you’ll find true lasting joy,” and I think that’s kind of what I’m excited about. We are working our tails off, and it’s a grind, and it’s hard, and it’s taxing. You know like last week, WOW week, you’re putting stuff away in the shed at 3 a.m and you’re getting stuff out the next morning at 6 a.m for the beach, and sure there’s notoriety that comes with that, and no one calls me Noah anymore, only Mr. President which is weird, but the goal and what I am most excited about is to see that lasting joy in others, like in a movie night that we had last week. To just see the faces on people when they walk in and see this polished event that council and cabinet had put on.
The servants on council spent part of their summer to put events for people they don’t even know. They’re serving Jesus Christ and helping to cultivate that idea that if you walk into a room, everyone in that room is more important than you. When you truly think that, and everyone thinks that, then when you walk into a room of 10 people, nine people are lifting you up, and nine people are lifting the person next to you up, and nine people are lifting the person next to them up, and so it turns into everyone supporting everyone. That’s what I am most excited about; the potential for a campus where when you walk on everyone sees everyone else as more important than themselves.That just goes along with Harry’s chapel theme of real Christianity. I am just excited for this year. It’s gonna be a great year to be a Mustang. The feeling on campus is already different and it’s exciting.
Q. Are there any particular strengths in this year’s full council that you’re excited about?
A. I just see servants. Throughout the summer when we were getting ready, I just saw servants who were always willing to set down what they were doing to serve someone else. That’s true leadership; servanthood. And it seems like this group really has that together. So that’s a good strength to have, obviously. If we were all selfish and didn’t want to serve, we’d be a very weak team. Yeah, I see servanthood and I see creativity.
One of our biggest strengths is newness. The average time on ASB is, I think, pretty low. I was only on ASB for a semester before this year and most of council are first years. What that gives you is a team who doesn’t feel the pressure to conform to what we’ve always done. Obviously we want to respect the traditions, because we have some great things that we do here on a yearly basis, but we’re open to doing events other than blends and just being more creative…So that’s another thing I am excited about; change and improvement and refinement, because we don’t do everything, or anything, perfect. There is always room to improve. We are not just going to do everything the same way we did it last year, because we didn’t do everything perfect last year. Those are our strengths.
Q. If you could have any one event, regardless of budget or practicality, what would you pick?
A. Okay. I’ll do an event and I’ll do a campus improvement because I have two. A Slip ‘N Slide from C-DUBto the guard shack. Okay we couldn’t do that, but just a hint for everyone to get excited about, there are some Slip ‘N Slide down the pipeline. We have those old chapel tarps, we are looking into it. So that would be dream event, Slip ‘N Slide day, which is a possibility, but just not from C-DUBto the guard shack.
But, campus improvement dream, unlimited budget, it would be a chairlift from C-DUB to Hotchkiss to the caf to North Campus to back to C-DUB. Because who needs the sidewalk by the baseball field when you can just ride the chair lift? So that would be the dream. I think it would be so fun like. floating over to the caf.
Q. Anything else that you would like the student body to know?
A. You know, you can publish my phone number. I know that I’ll get prank calls, and I know I’ll get prank texts, but it’s worth it to me to be open. And I just want them to know that if they have questions, or insight, or complaints even, or ideas, that they can text me, meet with me, get coffee. I just want them to know that I am open.
I have two little sisters, they are six and 11. It’s probably my greatest joy in life right now; being an older brother.
You don’t have to call me Mr. President, you can call me Noah. Don’t be intimidated by me. Some people say that I’m intimidating but I really just want to talk to you and hear what you have to say.