| 03.18.2018

A fresh new face — Teja Sunka wants to improve students’ lives through ASUI


A race against the clock takes place every morning for Teja Sunku. The University of Idaho freshman is up and ready for his week and the start of his classes by 9 a.m. Sunku studies computer science and statistics at UI.

Originally from Redmond, Washington, just outside of Seattle, Sunku is a member of the ASUI Senate. Sunku ran last fall for a spot on the Senate and is one of the four new ASUI senators this semester.

Sunku said he ran to help improve the lives of freshmen and all students on campus. Sunku said he decided to run because he felt he had a responsibility to try to improve the lives of his fellow classmates.

Improving student life is important, Sunku said, because student life can make or break a person’s college experience. If a person is not happy it can make it difficult to get through college, Sunku said.

“I wasn’t thinking necessarily that I would get the position when I ran, but I was thinking it was important I ran and try to do my best,” Sunku said.

ASUI Vice President Catherine Yenne said Sunku is currently working with other senators on projects such as bringing a mental health awareness group called Active Minds to campus. He is also trying to contact a group that is trying to reduce the cost of rape kits in Moscow.

Yenne said the Active Minds project aligns with ASUI’s initiative to promote mental health awareness and healthier habits.

“Teja is one of those rare people that will jump headfirst into a brand-new task. He signs up for all volunteer opportunities through ASUI and is always willing to help a teammate if they need it — a fantastic quality,” Yenne said.

Currently, Sunku is on the Senate Standing Committee on Rules and Regulations and Other Governing Documents. This committee is tasked with maintaining the rules and regulations of ASUI, Yenne said.

Yenne said Sunku has either asked questions or provided input during senate meetings, something she and many senators struggle with their first semester.

However, there is more to Sunku than his position on Senate.

Sunku said he is part of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA). This club is dedicated to promoting a positive and inclusive atmosphere for all people.

Sunku said he also likes to read, gravitating toward fantasy and sci-fi novels.

Sunku said he does not have a favorite food but appreciates his mother’s cooking more after having been away.

Kali Nelson can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @kalinelson6

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