Starting as the new WSUSA vice president of service, Lola Moli plans to maximize student involvement, generate project ideas and build a stronger sense of community.
“As students, we get so busy, come to school, do our work, go to work, have our social life, and then it kind of ends there,” Moli said. “There’s a huge need that we have right here in this community. I feel like sometimes we have to look outside the university to see it, and have a desire to fill that need.”
Moli served on WSUSA for four years, previously. Her experience as the former diversity branch’s vice president taught her to be more inclusive in her language and create an open environment ― two aspects, she said, that have carried over into her newest position.
She then served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and after returning, became the service team chairperson tasked with planning an international service trip to Mozambique. It took some time, but when the vice president position opened this semester, she took it.
“I feel like, whether or not I served a mission, I was looking for a way to get involved,” Moli said.
According to assistant director of the service branch Ty Nelson, who began his position last semester, the general organization of the team will remain sturdy despite the change in leadership. He said that under Moli’s direction, it will be easier to put the projects together under the team’s four-week process: checking logistics, planning the event and cleaning up and hosting.
Each of the 30-plus chairpeople will be planning at least one event every month — some, like the food pantry, will take place every day, while others will run weekly.
Nelson said there isn’t only one project he’s looking forward to because “each of them is as awesome as the last, and towards the end of the year I’m beyond excited to see where these events have come from the beginning … where these chairs have grown into event-planning machines.”
Moli’s ambitions of service go beyond her position as vice president. According to her, Pacific Islanders are the least-likely group in the nation to get a higher education, and she worried about her Tongan heritage.
She came to WSU to study criminal justice ― which, she said, was one of the university’s top programs ― and organizational communication. After receiving help from her advisors and seeing the impact they made on her education, she decided to forego forensic science and law to pursue student affairs.
“My goal is to help as many students achieve higher education,” Moli said. “I feel like education is an answer to a ton of problems that we have.”
Until then, Moli and Nelson focus on their immediate goal of discovering passions and building a sense of community.
“I challenge the student body here at Weber State to come and try some of these events out,” Nelson said. “You never know when you’re going to find your passion, and we get so many opportunities that you’re going to find your passion one way or another.”