Kelsey Sutton/Managing editor
Caption: Junior Dillon Casados was recently elected the Associated Students of Linfield College president for the 2013-14 school year.
When I entered Jazzman’s, he was staring out the window, lost in thought. He greeted me with a huge, familiar smile. In fact, Dillon Casados’ face is one that nearly every Linfield student is familiar with. He invited me to sit down, ready and excited to talk about his freshly acquired position as president of the Associated Students of Linfield College.
Students elected Casados and junior Jake Baker for president and vice president for the 2013-2014 year on March 12. Running on the platform of community, Casados promised to create an even closer environment for students to grow and feel included.
“I’m not sure Linfield would be where it is without the students,” Casados said. “I want to be an open line of communication for the student body. With how much they contribute to Linfield, I think it’s important that they have a voice, and that their voice be heard.”
Casados isn’t wasting any time. He plans to jump in and begin shadowing former ASLC president senior Nic Miles to learn the ropes and better understand the role is about to undertake. Casados and Baker are shaping the new cabinet and plan to hold cabinet meetings before senate.
“One of my main goals is bringing together a cohesive group within the cabinet and senate, so we can reflect on the student body and how we get involved with the school and participate in the community,” he said. “We want to encourage the students to come together as a community and let their voices be heard. I really want to make that happen so students can truly enjoy their four years here.”
Casados understands some groups may feel underrepresented. To this, he said, “It’s a matter of students expressing concerns and ideas on how they can change it so we can make it happen.”
As Casados talks about Linfield and the students, his eyes begin to come alive with excitement. His passions show through in the form of friendship, compassion and togetherness. As guaranteed in his campaign, Casados spends an hour or so every day in Jazzman’s or Dillin. He invites students, alone or in groups, to have a conversation with him, sharing ideas or just keeping one another company.
“I want to bring the Linfield community closer together,” he said. “I want to let the students know I’m here to listen.”
Casados learned the value of friendship from his family, whose unity inspired him to share the love with everyone around him.
“My parents have been nothing but supportive of who I am and my experiences,” he said. “Through the unconditional love they’ve shown me, I’ve been able to relay that to other people. I want to show unconditional love to other people, in all aspects of humanity.”
Growing up in Utah, Casados said he doesn’t believe he was pushed hard enough. As part of only one percent of his graduating high school class going out of state for college, Casados had to learn how to challenge himself. He wanted to jump out and experience the world.
“I was put in a position where I had to push myself. A lot of my peers weren’t thinking about college, but I knew I wanted to go. I stopped doing what everyone else was doing and started paying attention to my grades. I established a little environment for myself to succeed,” he said.
When Casados was a freshman, he had no idea he wanted to be the president of ASLC. He wanted to make new friends and established a goal to meet one new person a day. He was interested in building true and empowering relationships.
“With that goal in mind, I saw the power behind communicating with people and hearing each other’s ideas. I think the goal subconsciously influenced me to want to be president someday,” he said.
Casados has been a part of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity since 2010, with leadership positions like vice president and treasurer. Casados said he’s enjoyed being able to be a part of the growth of the organization.
“We went from a whole lot of nothing to a whole lot of something,” he said.
Casados is majoring in philosophy, his passion, and minoring in finance and economics, which is for practical reasons. When it comes to the future, Casados wants to invest and build a real estate organization with his brother and sister.
“Ten to 15 years down the road, when we’ve built financial security, I’d like to travel the world, write books and talk to people, motivational type stuff,” he said.
Casados said he is interested in someday building a community where individuals who are qualified in their fields and dedicated to helping the common good can come together and influence each other, share ideas and start working toward the world’s problems.
“I’m starting to understand the idea of the interconnectedness of humanity and how it ties in to people coming together achieving their goals,” he said.
Casados hopes to one day influence the world community, starting small with Linfield and getting bigger. He is letting his passions drive him. Passion together with drive, he says he doesn’t believe it’s possible to fail.
Kelsey Sutton/Managing editor
Kelsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org