Meet your new VSG President, Lizzy Shahnasarian!

Name: Lizzy ShahnasarianHometown: Tampa, FLMajors: Economics and Psychology (minor in Spanish) 

1) First of all, congrats on being elected president! What inspired you to run?

I was inspired to run by the change I’ve seen within VSG over the past 3 years. While VSG had previously focused on smaller, more tangible initiatives like movie nights and bringing food trucks to campus, this past year VSG tackled bigger issues and focused on changing campus culture. For example, as a Senator this year I wrote a bill which established the Sexual Violence Task Force. A year ago VSG wasn’t even talking about issues like sexual assault and inclusivity, but controversial issues like these are now VSG’ s primary concern. Simply put, the shift towards advocacy within VSG primed me to run.

2) What are you most excited to do during your presidency?

I am most excited to (hopefully) implement a project called Experience Vanderbilt, which is an extracurricular scholarship fund for low income students. I truly believe that Vanderbilt takes a holistic approach to education, which includes extracurricular activities like club sports or performing groups, and that a student’s experience should not be restrained by his or her financial background.

3) There’s been a lot of buzz lately about VSG and how effective/necessary it is on campus. How are you dealing with this gossip?

I think the buzz VSG is receiving (even though most of it is negative) is good because it’s illuminating problems within VSG that need to be improved. That being said, some of the arguments against VSG are factually wrong. I think the problem stems from the fact that a lot of people don’t understand what VSG does. This year we have added a Director of Communications position to Cabinet to write a biweekly blog to update students on VSG’s progress on different initiatives. Ultimately, this position will help increase transparency and convey VSG’s message to the student body.

4) How do you plan on balancing your many responsibilities? Do you have any tips for managing stress on campus?

I’m definitely still figuring out how to balance being Student Body President and a full time student. Next year I am dropping all my positions and involvement in other organizations other than VSG and Chi O, so I can give the position the attention it deserves. As for stress, my number one tip would be to surround yourself with a good support system. When I’m stressed, I know I can call my parents, siblings or friends and they will be there, whether that means waking up at 7AM to encourage people to vote or listening to me vent about grades.

5) What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hot spots around Nashville that you recommend?

My first reaction to this question is that I don’t have spare time. Haha, but seriously…I like exploring new restaurants with my friends and hanging at the Chi O house.

6) What are your plans for after graduation?

This summer I am interning as an Investment Banking Intern at Moelis in New York. I think banking suits my personality —I love teamwork, numbers and high stress environments —so I’m excited to see where that goes.

7) What is your favorite memory at Vanderbilt?

I’ve been really fortunate in that I’ve loved almost every minute of my Vanderbilt experience (READ: almost - not the time I failed my Calculus test or the time I was rejected when asking a boy to a date party). That being said, my best memories are when I stay up laughing until 3am with my friends talking about completely meaningless things.