By Ivan Aguilar
Justine Budisantoso, a fourth-year hotel and restaurant management student, has an undeniably contagious personality and a dedication to Cal Poly Pomona that is reflected in her deep involvement on campus.
She cannot walk to class without stopping to say hello to someone. When she speaks, everyone listens and when she smiles, so does everyone else. It is that same smile, along with her energetic personality, that has made her as popular as she is.
Budisantoso believes that her journey through CPP was inevitable.
“I’ve been coming to Cal Poly since I was a fetus,” said Budisantoso. “My mom was actually pregnant [with] me when she came to Cal Poly. I graduated high school in 2008 and came here the following fall quarter.”
The half Asian and half Latina student has gained the respect of many people because of her dedication to campus organizations.
Some may think that being involved means joining an organization or two on campus and while that is a good start, Budisantoso has taken her involvement far beyond that point.
Budisantoso became involved on campus when she was fresh out of high school.
“I was involved in the rose float, which is the biggest involvement. I got involved winter quarter of my freshman year and ended up absolutely falling in love with the program,” said Budisantoso. I was the merchandise chair for a year, and then became club president, and I was last year’s vice chair.”
Budisantoso details how the rose float opened other doors for her.
Through her involvement with the rose float, she was part of the Education Interest Council, which is now the Student Interest Council. She also became involved in Colleges Against Cancer and was the vice president of it last year.
For some, this can create a polished resume, but for Budisantoso, it was only the beginning.
“My third year here, my friend and I restarted HAPA [Half-Asian People’s Association] for students of multiracial backgrounds,” said Budisantoso. “I use to work for the Office of Student Life and [the] Cultural Centers, and aside from being an R.A., I’m also a Poly Path Finder.”
Budisantoso’s full schedule does not end there. She also works at Kikka Sushi in the Bronco Student Center.
One would think that with a full plate, Budisantoso would have gone crazy by now, but the people that surround her keep her grounded and motivated.
“I have a great support system,” said Budisantoso. “I have awesome coworkers, who if I need someone to cover for me, they will cover for me, or if I just need someone to talk to, they’re there.”
Her friend Fernando Marquez, a fourth-year English student, explained how Budisantoso is like no other.
“When she walks into a room, the room lights up,” said Marquez. “She always brings energy to your life. If you’re feeling down, she pumps you up. She’s very spirited, she’s very vocal, she’s very loud, so that’s one thing that makes her interesting because I’m a quiet guy.”
Marquez also said Budisantoso has a great amount of loyalty to the school.
“One way her involvement speaks to me is how much she loves Cal Poly and that rubs off on me, just seeing her be a Poly Path Finder, do [the] rose float, etc.,” said Marquez. “She literally bleeds green and gold and she has tremendous respect for the university. Seeing her love our school, makes me love our school.”
Another person close to Budisantoso is Mary Weaver, a fifth-year chemistry student. Weaver said their bond has been unbreakable since the day they met.
“Justine and I are actually best friends,” said Weaver. “We met in rose float three years ago and it was interesting because they had always told me, ‘In rose float you’ll find your best friend,’ and I was like, ‘I don’t think so,’ but I met Justine and all of a sudden we were friends right off the bat.”
Weaver explained how despite being so involved there is more to Justine than just the community service and extracurricular activities that she is involved in.
“Justine is by far the most caring, outstanding, lovable person that I know,” said Weaver. ” She knows how to have a good time and balance her school and still be a great role model for her freshmen residents. She is by far the most interesting person you will ever meet.”
Budisantoso said she is surprised with everything she has been able to accomplish during her college years.
“I can’t believe I’ve done so much in four years and there’s still so much I want to do within the university,” said Budisantoso. “I’m just enjoying the Cal Poly life.”
With all her involvement, it would be easy to believe Budisantoso hardly gets any time to pamper herself, but she makes the best of what she has.
“I live on campus, I don’t have a car, but all of my friends are pretty much here,” said Budisantoso. “I cook a lot for my friends and family, especially for my residents because a lot of them miss home-cooked food.”
However, Budisantoso is not so different from the average college student. Some of her routines are very similar to that of any student at CPP.
“I just hang out with my friends, like any other college student. I catch up on sleep, I study [and] I still try to find my social life,” said Budisantoso.
As far as plans for the future, Budisantoso hopes to keep being involved and perhaps pursue her masters after she graduates.
With a smile and nothing but reassurance that her future looks brighter than ever, Budisantoso said she is ready for whatever is in store for her.
Jason Schwartz / The Poly Post
Jason Schwartz / The Poly Post
Justine Budisantoso giving a visitors tour
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