By Megan Sherman: Student Writer, Honors College
Every year, students in the Oregon State University Honors College emerge as leaders both on campus and in their communities — and junior Joe Page has been no exception.
Originally from Yerington, Nevada, Joe — a double major in public health and Spanish — chose to attend OSU for its exceptional health policy program and joined the Honors College for its academically challenging environment. Over the course of the last three years, however, it has been his extensive work with OSU leadership that has most shaped his experience at Oregon State.
In just his second year at OSU, Joe was elected president of the OSU Resident Hall Association. In this role, he led programming initiatives and advocated for students living in the residence halls.
During that same year, he also chaired the House Projects Committee for the OSU Student House of Representatives, where he lobbied the state legislature to make menstrual hygiene products available in campus bathrooms and promoted textbook affordability initiatives. In 2021, he was re-elected to the House as the Speaker Pro Tempore, assisting the Speaker of the House in leading the House of Representatives and planning and running leadership meetings, and chaired the Associated Students of Oregon State University Budgets Committee.
Now in his third year at OSU, Joe’s interest in student government has shown no signs of slowing down. He currently serves as a member of the University Budget Committee and was recently elected as the Student Fee Committee Chair. He will be sworn in on June 1, 2022, and — once appointed — will oversee the allocation of $30 million in student fees.
Joe is passionate about leveraging his leadership experience to better the lives of the students at OSU, something he’s demonstrated not only through his public service, but as the lead peer advisor for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, a position he’s held since March 2020. As a lead peer advisor, he assists students in navigating the registration process, answers questions about academic forms and processes and provides advice on the programs offered by the college.
His student outreach has thus far allowed him to guide a number of students through important academic decisions. “No one knows your goals and dreams as well as you do, and we are here to help you advocate for yourself and reach those goals,” he explains.
Of the classes he’s taken in the Honors College, Joe has especially enjoyed the Shakespeare via Ashland course taught by honors Senior Instructor Eric Hill, where students studied Shakespeare and attended the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. “I am always seeking to grow,” he says. He has also started work on his thesis under the guidance of his thesis mentor, Dr. Steph Bernell, titled, “Intersection of Political Party Control and Health Outcomes in Medicaid Expansion.”
Advice to Future Students
Joe urges students to push past the fear of using their voice and advocate for themselves and their peers. His biggest piece of advice is to get involved, make the most of the university experience and take advantage of every opportunity OSU has to offer: “There is a space for everybody. There are so many opportunities for student engagement and involvement on campus.”