Passionate by practice

GVL / Courtesy - Malayna Hasmanis 
Malayna Hasmanis

GVL / Courtesy – Malayna Hasmanis Malayna Hasmanis

Rachel Huck

Extracurricular activities and student organizations are the tools with which students can build their lives and leave their mark on their college campus. Getting involved helps to improve grades, build a student’s social life and makes the college experience truly unique.

Malayna Hasmanis, a junior at Grand Valley State University, embodies the values of campus involvement in a way that many of her peers draw inspiration from.

“I always joke around to my friends that student organizations are my obsession because I love being a part of them so much,” Hasmanis said.

Hasmanis serves in the educational affairs committee of student senate, is the vice president of the cabinet for GVSU’s chapter of Phi Mu and the treasurer for Colleges against Cancer, a collegiate chapter of the American Cancer Society, as well as Eyes Wide Open.

Her passion and involvement across campus led to her recently being elected president of Panhellenic Association, the organization that serves as an advising board for the nine sororities on campus.

“We want to constantly strive to better the Greek community, but also give these women the tools to become the best representation of our community as they can be,” Hasmanis said. “I see so much potential in these women. I want them to want to better themselves to reflect the values that we hold as Panhellenic women, and I also want them to strive to want to give back in all ways possible, so we can help better others in process of bettering ourselves.”

Shannon Kaus, a senior who served alongside Hasmanis on the Panhellenic executive board, said Hasmanis has inspired her to become a better person.

“She is one the kindest individuals I have ever met,” Kaus said. “Her passion and support to everyone is never overlooked.”

When she is not busy running student organizations, Hasmanis is studying special needs education in hopes of becoming a high school special needs teacher.

“I think people look up to Malayna,” Kaus said. “They know that she is someone they can always turn to for help or advice.”

Hasmanis is also a peer educator for sexual assault awareness through Eyes Wide Open and serves on the executive board for Rock against Rape.

“(GVSU) is truly a community that is so welcoming and honestly fosters the resources and opportunities needed in order to become the best version of yourself,” Hasmanis said. “This is my third year here, and I cannot think of any distinctive time where I did not feel at home or accepted here. Being a Laker is truly an unforgettable experience.”

In addition, she facilitates the First Year Leadership Experience and coordinates Laker Remembrance through the Laker Traditions Team.

“You’re paying for much more than just your courses here,” Hasmanis said. “Your education is not limited to the classroom, but it extends outward into your experiences on this university as well. Being an active student means (encompassing) all of the learning experiences given to us to grow and harness all that this school has to offer.”

Hasmanis is also an active member of the Go Team for Transitions and is the president of BRCAn’t Stop Me, a hereditary cancer awareness organization.

“I think that it is important to be involved on campus because it allows you to connect with other students, make friends, get involved in the community and is great networking,” Kaus said. “I think becoming involved is a great way to make the most of your four years at Grand Valley.”

Hasmanis said she hopes to make a difference at GVSU by making students aware of the various issues that she advocates for.

“(GVSU) has allowed me to be more confident, more open to speaking up against things that matter in our community, helping to give others a voice for those that may not have one,” Hasmanis said. “This university has allowed me to see the world in a way that I never thought I could before, and I am so appreciative every day of how this school allowed for my compassion and passions for so many things flourish in a proactive way that can really make a difference one day.”

Currently, Hasmanis is developing a new organization, Greeks Against Sexual Assault.

“Put yourself out there and really find different ways to become more involved or volunteer to help better our community,” she said. “It enriches your experience at Grand Valley in a way that allows you to cherish your time here even more. I haven’t regretted a single minute spent giving back. I encourage everyone to try and do this because the memories, experiences and friendships made are truly unforgettable.”