Diversity Torch: Julian Trevino

June 16, 2021 - Liz Schondelmayer and Brandon Drain

Julian Trevino

Julian Trevino is a junior, studying Political Science with a minor in International Development and French. The Grand Rapids native is also a representative in ASMSU and has worked on a myriad of bills within the college and the city of East Lansing. Trevino envisions his post-graduation future as one in public policy, law or becoming a Representative for the State of Michigan.

The ever-burning passion to help and uplift others acts as the engine for many great political leaders and social reformers alike. This passion is spurred onward in response to the current state of the world and the social spheres that exist within. Michigan State University junior and current ASMSU Representative, Julian Trevino, harnesses the flame of passion to help others, and make MSU a more diverse, inclusive and equitable place for all Spartans. 

Through his work as an undergraduate—which consists of various regional/local bills being formed and enacted—he has already paved the way forward for many MSU students, and East Lansing residents who are in marginalized situations. 

For Trevino, his passion in politics began at an early age. “When I was growing up, my family struggled a bit,” Trevino explained. “It was during a time where being a Mexican-American was difficult. My parents have always instilled these ideals within me to always help anybody regardless of what they look like, who they are, or what their identity is.”

These familial ideations served as a gateway towards directly helping people in a political and social sense and sparked Trevino’s interest in politics as a means of helping others..

Trevino’s first opportunity to make a difference within his social sphere came in high school. Attending a predominantly white high school whilst being one of few Latinos there, prompted Trevino to issue a form of a change and shed light on the issues within the institution. In doing so, Trevino joined the student government, while stepping out of his comfort zone in the process.

 “At first, I sometimes didn’t feel comfortable—I didn’t want to interact because I felt we had a lot of differences,” Trevino said. “Throughout high school, I realized that this was an opportunity to spread more awareness about the struggles that minority groups go through, and develop close bonds with people I didn't have much in common with to create a stronger united community.” 

Coming to MSU was not just an opportunity for Trevino to expand his educational prowess in politics, but acted as a gateway for which he could instill change during his undergraduate experience. 

While at MSU, Trevino joined ASMSU and has worked alongside other like-minded peers seeking to instill change through passing university-wide policies and bills. These include his work to formulate the Climate Emergency Bill; helping to enact the Crown Act in Michigan (which would ban discrimination against race-based hairstyles in the workplace); and creating a bill which would make East Lansing a sanctuary city (which would protect undocumented people from deportation or prosecution).

"The effort to make MSU a sanctuary university has been complicated and difficult, so I decided I may be more successful if I began through the city of East Lansing," Trevino explained. "With much success, the mayor as well as the City Council members have been in agreement, and this will hopefully be accomplished by the end of summer."

"MSU's focus is to ensure the education and the growth of all who want to become a Spartan. The terms 'sanctuary campus,' 'sanctuary city,' and 'sanctuary state' are fluctuating terms, and have recently become more political. However, to me it simply means that will enhance the opportunities, resources, and safety of DACA/undocumented students on campus."

For Trevino, his work is about more than politics: it's about ensuring that every Spartan has access to the inclusive, equitable resources and opportunities that make the MSU experience a great one.

"We are all Spartans. We all deserve the feeling of home, safety, and comfortability when on campus. We deserve the opportunity to have a healthy and prosperous learning environment. Unfortunately, many communities on campus haven’t had all these luxuries, and therefore I want to help fight to change that," explained Trevino.