Let Us Introduce You: Emily Johansson

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Let Us Introduce You: Emily Johansson

Ryan Quinn

Ryan Quinn

Ryan Quinn

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Let us introduce you to a busy SLU sophomore who is filled to the brim with love: Emily Johansson. If dual-majoring in political science and French with a minor in legal studies is not enough, Johansson is also on the executive board for Model United Nations, as well as a peer mentor for the Diversity and Global Citizenship Learning Community where her role is to be a loving “big sister” to over 40 freshmen students.

Stuck between joining Leadership for Social Change and D&GC last year as a freshman, Johansson thought about how, “Before [one] can incite social change, there needs to be an understanding of the people who make up the society.” By joining D&GC, she explored the diversity of society on a global scale, while the program also opened a new world of people to love on a personal level. It was naturally “the better fit,” said Johansson.

Now, Johansson is excited to be the peer mentor on the third floor of Fusz Hall so she can “carry on the tradition” of what she experienced the year prior. For example, focusing on helping the world through diversification. Notice, she says “helping,” not ‘changing,’ the world. Although changing the world may not be possible, Johansson can help impart a true sense of community to a diverse group of students. She hopes to help them realize their values and identities to create a ripple effect that she experienced the year before.

The ripple effect in motion, to Johansson, would look like this: “Being able to challenge the status quo, freedom of thought and diversity,” because if you lack diversity “there will be stagnancy in thought and value.” For some students, after only a week and a half at SLU, the ripple effect has already begun. Rasika Scarff, freshman in D&GC, tells that Emily’s “nurturing essence and encouraging words allow people to feel comfortable in their skin … they have the confidence to ask questions about the world.”

On a more personal note, Johansson did not randomly acquire this infatuation for diversity. Being in D&GC the year before, Emily learned a few things about herself, such as self care, the use of her own voice and bravery. I asked Emily about a defining moment of her life and she responded, “I have a few, but they are very personal to me.” Later, I received a text from Emily that explains her life-defining moment — the suicide of a loved one.

Near the end of the message, Johansson elaborates on how she thought her story may be inappropriate for the UNews. But then she states that hiding that moment “conflicts with what [she] wants from [herself] and the LC this year,” which is letting people be brave in a safe space. This bravery is needed to be able to accept one’s own and others’ differences in a society as diverse as SLU.

Diversity on the third floor of Fusz is not an issue. There are people of many races, genders, sexual orientations, religions and ethnicities. Johansson understands that this year is a massive change from what the freshmen were used to just two weeks ago. She wants to help the students in her learning community be brave and realize their identities. Freshman year of college is known to be formative and challenging, so in order to make everything easier, she would like her floor to feel absolutely welcomed regardless of their identities.

Emily Johansson is well on her way to create that safe place for the third floor of Fusz Hall and beyond. D&GC students describe the learning community as diverse, evolving, inclusive and accepting, which is just what Emily was going for. “Love is inexhaustible,” Johansson says. “You can never love anyone or anything too much.”