Vivian Slu ’21 is a political science and philosophy major with a pre-law minor. She is a participant in the Mount’s Mock Trial and Moot Court teams, president of the Mount’s OxFam America Club and an Honors Scholar. In May, she was sent to Sacramento to represent Cal Grant students in California at the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) Student Lobbying Day.
In May, you went to Sacramento to lobby for Cal Grant students. What was that like?
It was really inspiring! We met personally with legislative members and asked for their support of the Cal Grant bill. At first I was nervous, but as my fellow Mount student, Karina, and I shared about how the Cal Grant helps us as low income, first-generation students I fell in love with the experience. The legislative members and their staff were very receptive to us, much better than I expected, and I got to hear stories from other Cal Grant students around the state.
Do you now want to pursue a career in politics?
I actually want to be a criminal attorney. My brother was wrongfully convicted when I was three months old. I grew up believing there was something I could do about it. I want to create change in the criminal justice system. There are so many issues around the world and people I could help through social reform and reversing wrongful convictions. The experience of being on the Mount’s Mock Trial team has given me confidence in public speaking and is helping to prepare me for law school.
How has being an Honors Scholar enhanced your college experience?
It’s not only that it resonates academically, but the interaction between students has been an introduction to networking. Dr. Melandres works hard to create cohorts that bond students in the program. I’ve also learned through being on the Honor’s Program Carondalet Gazette how to write articles, improve my storytelling and persuade people with my story.
How did you decide to attend Mount Saint Mary’s University?
It’s a funny story! I originally wanted to attend Loyola Marymount, but one day I was searching for colleges online and I saw an advertisement for the Mount. I read the word, “Unstoppable,” and it struck me. I consider myself “unstoppable.” After seeing that, I knew I wanted to attend MSMU.
What makes you unstoppable?
Unstoppable is about exceeding expectations, doing the impossible, being open-minded and most of all being yourself. When people think of something that is impossible, I think of it as “I’m possible” because nothing is really impossible if you truly set your mind to it.