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Aarushi Fernandez

2024 Student Speaker

Aarushi Fernandez

Rutgers is delighted to have Aarushi Fernandez represent the Class of 2024.

Aarushi Fernandez was born in India and emigrated to the United States with her family as a child. She is an out-of-state student, currently residing in Denver, Colorado. Fernandez is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering. As a self-described “third culture kid,” she has lived in multiple states across the United States, as well as in Europe. Her extracurricular involvement includes the multicultural service organization Delta Kappa Delta Sorority Inc., working as a dental assistant, and volunteer work as a phone bank leader for a nonprofit organization. Fernandez sought to contribute to and enhance the diverse community at Rutgers, making her mark through serving the student body.

During her first year at Rutgers, Fernandez served in the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) as a Livingston Campus representative and as a member of the Legislative Affairs Committee. From October 2021 to April 2023, she served as the student body secretary of RUSA’s 15th and 16th assemblies. During this time, she also served as the Multicultural Greek Council’s representative to RUSA, sitting as a voting member in the assembly and on the Sexual Violence Education Committee.

Fernandez helped to establish the Public Safety Student Advisory Board, partnering with the Rutgers University Police Department to strengthen community relationships.

Through her tenure as vice president of the 17th assembly, Fernandez served on President Holloway’s Student Advisory Committee, the Public Safety Student Advisory Board, the New Brunswick Diversity Strategic Plan Working Group, and as a delegate to the Association of Big Ten Students conferences. Continuing her work in public safety, Fernandez coauthored the Rutgers Public Safety Package, creating a safety device distribution program for off-campus housing. She created the RUSA Public Health Package to expand student knowledge of the resources currently provided. Her public health efforts included supporting the Rutgers Food Pantry, furthering Naloxone administration training and harm reduction services, and partnering with mental health organizations. Focusing on improving the Rutgers community was a priority of the 17th assembly. Celebrating the diverse community at Rutgers was essential, and an initiative to partner with the Rutgers Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities to raise a Pride banner was spearheaded by Fernandez and RUSA president Jack Ramirez. RUSA also continued advocacy efforts with the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) to advance the use of open-source and affordable textbooks. As a long-standing member, Fernandez continued to pursue the initiatives of past administrations, persisting in efforts to increase the availability of free menstrual hygiene products across campus.

Beyond Rutgers, the Ramirez-Fernandez administration advocated at a federal level through the Association of Big Ten Students Conference in Washington, D.C., to improve campus safety, increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through the Farm Bill, and accommodate all students through the RISE Act.

Following graduation, Fernandez is preparing to pursue her ambition to become an orthodontist and intends to combine her knowledge of biomedical engineering with the field of dentistry