Let Us Introduce You: Kripa Sreepada

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Back to Article

Let Us Introduce You: Kripa Sreepada

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

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In the spring of 2010, there were a number of diversity-related incidents on SLU’s campus. Students were coming into Student Government Association and town hall meetings which followed the incidents, looking for an outlet to voice their concerns.

Minghao Gao/ Senior Staff Photographer

“They helped us understand the reality of our student population diversity problems,” Kripa Sreepada, then a freshman representative in SGA, said. “This was the low point, yet it provided us with the motivation and the will to move forward in such a strong way toward diversity and inclusion.”

Sreepada, junior in the school of Public Health and current Vice President of Diversity and Social Justice for SGA, was recently was nominated for and was one of the recipiants of Saint Louis University’s Woman of the Year Award for her work during her first three years at the University.  Given her track record of activity and leadership at SLU, it is hardly a surprise that she won.

Sreepada is originally from Springfield, Mo., the “home of the original Bass Pro.” When she began applying to college, she did not have any initial interest in looking at in-state schools.

“I originally planned to go to school out-of-state to one of the northeast schools,” Sreepada said.

Sreepada visited SLU as more of an information-gathering experience than as a real consideration of her future, but just as she was ready to dismiss SLU as an option, she realized SLU had something that was important to her.

“When I came to SLU, there was obviously a sense of community,” Sreepada said. From that point on, Sreepada said she felt like she was already a part of SLU’s community. She wasted no time getting involved on campus her freshman year. She began as a pre-med student, interested in athletic training.

When she joined SGA, she started as a Doisy Center Senator and would go on to represent the Doisy Center and work on the Diversity and Social Justice committee.

Sreepada also began working at Little Sisters of the Poor her freshman year, which is a nursing home for the elderly.  She continues to volunteer there today and believes that she has a future assisting the elderly, whom she identifies as a people that don’t necessarily have a voice that represent them. She wishes to become an advocate for them in the future.

In her sophomore year, she worked on SGA’s Safety and Security committee, which sponsored a DPS safety day that went through the most dangerous places on campus.  In addition to working on the Safety and Security committee, she helped found SLU/FUSED, a group that seeks to promote socio-economic diversity among students and gives scholarships to students who need aid for dues for clubs.

“Our campus is viewed as predominantly white, middle-upper class, but that is not the actual makeup of the student population,” Sreepada said.

In addition to helping found the SLU organization, she partnered with Washington University as well as Duke University to bring the organization to a national level.

This year, Sreepada is focused on her current job as V.P. of Diversity and Social Justice, one of her main task being to fulfill the “Oath of Inclusion.”  Sreepada said that her greatest asset is faith in diversity efforts. Showing everyone there are small steps that everyone can take to bring everyone together is her goal this year.

“We have had very productive dialogue in the diversity cabinet, yet just because we are apart of diversity leadership does not mean we know everything about it,” Sreepada said. “Community support through SLU is not just my goal, it’s ours together.”