“I didn’t know I could do it, but I did it!”: An Interview with our Second Year Rep, Jay Modi


“When I decided to run for second year representative, I had no goal in mind. All I knew was that I wanted to get involved and hoped I would be able to set achievable goals along the way. I wanted to bring people together.”

Jay Modi

Jay Modi, Second Year Representative, Augustana Students’ Association. Photo submitted.

Jay Modi is one of our two Second Year Representatives for the 2022-2023 academic year (along with Husna Usman, who the Dag had a chance to speak with earlier this year — check out Husna’s interview here). Jay is an international student from Kenya majoring in Biology. He is not quite sure what he wants to do with his degree (I’m sure most of us can relate), but he is deeply passionate about the field of Biology and is sure to figure it out along the way. 

When asked about why he decided to run for Second Year Representative, he told the Dag that he wanted to bring people together. “I understand the anxiety of coming to a new place and trying to make new friends and studying. I personally have had a good experience here thanks to the friends I have made, my colleagues and my professors, so I want everyone to have a similar experience. I want to listen to their voices and concerns. Rather than let those voices be cut off, I want them to be heard.” 

With the ASA restructuring in the upcoming year, there will no longer be a first, nor second year representative. The Academic Policy Committee (APC), which Jay is part of, is responsible for implementing faculty based representatives instead of representatives by year as, according to Jay, “a lot of issues students face also come from the courses they take–especially those required to fulfill a major.” In the future, there will be, for example, a Science Representative and a Social Science representative, among others.

Augustana is a small campus that offers great opportunities to easily connect with professors, academic and wellness services, and other students. The ASA and the clubs on campus often organize events to encourage student participation and enjoyment; one of the latest events being the Casino Night which Jay helped organize and participated in. Eyes wide with excitement, Jay described the event: “It was terrifying! I did not know how to deal cards and I had to learn how. Everyone had a pop, there was fake money which we treated like real money, and it felt like they were all in it to win it. It got intense as we played poker and blackjack. People were clearly enjoying themselves.”

Despite being a huge introvert, having the opportunity to lead forced Jay to put himself out there. He says pushing himself into student leadership “felt really good. I didn’t know I could do this but then I did it. I am doing it. And I want it to be a representation of what you think you cannot do but you can. You absolutely can!” 

Be sure to follow the ASA’s social media to keep up to date with changes to student governance and upcoming events!

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