An Interview with the 2022-2023 ASWWU President
By Matthew Peinado
With the 2022-2023 ASWWU elections coming to a close, a new cabinet has been determined. Anneliese Grellmann, a junior humanities major, has been elected as president. Her experience throughout almost all of the ASWWU branches has made her an objectively qualified candidate. In an interview with The Collegian, Grellmann shared what her experience has been at Walla Walla University and what her plans are for the coming school year.
The following questions and answers have been edited for clarity.
Q: Could you introduce yourself?
I am Anneliese Grellmann. I’m a junior humanities major and a legal studies minor. I work for ASWWU social, I’m a senator, and I’m now president-elect.
Q: Could you tell us about your experience at Walla Walla?
Grellmann: I came to Walla Walla my freshman year as a nursing major. I really thought that’s what I was going to be doing. I also knew I wanted to be a student missionary. As a nursing major, if you want to be a student missionary you have to do it your second year. So, in my first full week of college, I signed up to be a missionary for the following year.
I got really involved in circle church my freshman year. However, in high school, I was really involved in student government so coming to Walla Walla, I just wanted to enjoy events rather than run them.
My freshman year was good but in the back of my mind, I knew that my time would be cut short because I was going to be a missionary. I ended up going to a children’s home in Zimbabwe and was part of the group that had to come home because of Covid. That was a really strange experience to go from an entirely different country to locked down in my house for months.
It was funny, when we finally all got back to campus, people forgot I had been in Zimbabwe because no one had seen anyone in so long. Since I was a nursing major, my sophomore year I was able to come right back to campus.
Q: What made you decide to run for ASWWU president?
Grellmann: Something I really want to be intentional about is reaching out to people and getting them involved. I say that because that’s the only reason I’m here. My freshman year I had a loose connection to the executive vice president and she told me I would be really good at senate. Two years later, we’re all back on campus and I remembered what she had told me about senate so I ran and won. That was my first ASWWU job.
From there, Hannah Stonas had won the write-in campaign for ASSWU social vice president and we had been in Zimbabwe together. She kept telling me to apply for ASWWU social and after I finally did I was entirely in the middle of the ASWWU world.
In the fall of this year, I hadn’t even considered running for president until a friend mentioned at the ASWWU CommUnity that I could be president. I thought about it a bit and called her later that day asking if she really thought I could do the job and the rest is history.
Q: What was the platform that you ran off of?
Grellmann: The biggest part of my platform is that because ASWWU is college students, there’s a high turnover rate. Because of that, there’s a problem with institutional memory loss. With 16 departments and about 130 staff, there’s a lot of room for things to fall through the cracks. With my experience in senate and ASWWU social and all the ways I’ve been involved on campus over the years, I’m someone that can bring continuity to ASWWU.
For example, we can have people that are great event planners and want to do great events for students but don’t know how to get things like tables or sound equipment. Because of my experience, I know how to put all the pieces together to make a great event.
The other thing I talked about at confabs was encouraging new people to join ASWWU. It seems to be straightforward but I think we often forget it. When we need a new video head, I think the simplest thing would be to go to the film majors and ask them if they could do it. That’s how we got our executive vice president for this year. She’s a legal studies major and wants to go to law school so I asked if she would be interested in running senate and instantly she said yes, she had just never thought of it before.
Q: As we talked about just before the interview, you’re one of the few women who have become ASWWU president. What does that feel like? Will there be anything different from the typical administration because of that?
Grellmann: I really think I benefited from my freshman year, the ASWWU president was a woman. So to me, I just kind of figured that the school did have women Presidents.
You know I hear the number of presidents that have been women and that’s really small but going in and working for ASWWU, never felt strange. Something that has allowed me to have a lot of confidence is that the people I have worked with and worked for are very supportive and respect me as a leader.
Something that gives me a lot of confidence for the next year is that we have such a fantastic administration. In the next year, I really want to depend on them. I really trust and respect each of them. Even though I’m president, I want them to take charge in the area they represent.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say to the student body?
Grellman: I ran for ASWWU president because I love Walla Walla. I love the community and the campus. I see this job is an extension of that. I saw Walla Walla before Covid. There was some vibrancy that existed before and we have yet to get that back.
I really just want to encourage students to get involved. Senate is a great way of doing that. Anyone can run for senate, anyone can talk to their senators, anyone can present a bill or just show up to the meetings. We can put on really great events for the students, but they’ll only be good if the student body is involved. Battle of the bands would be way less fun if only ten people show up. As much as I want to do a good job as president next year, I can only do that with the help of everyone on campus. 
- Interview with Annaliese Grellman, 03/04/22.
My name is Matthew Peinado. I’m from Portland Oregon and graduated from Portland Adventist Academy. I am an advocate for social and economic justice for all people and I hope that comes through in my writing. I am currently majoring in strategic communications and psychology with the hopes of going to law school after graduation. If any of you feel that you have a story The Collegian needs to share, don’t hesitate to reach me at email@example.com or my personal number, (360) 869-3431.