Today is probably one of the most exciting articles I’ve had the opportunity to write for UT Dallas Comet Life. As I type out these paragraphs, I look over to the past 2 years and take-in everything that has happened up to this point. During my time as a student and a passionate leader here at UT Dallas, one of the many programs I found myself dedicating my free time to was what is now known as Comet Life (or that really funny Instagram account which posts hilarious student memes, either or works for us). Since starting Comet Life as an incoming freshman back in Summer 2018, our organization has grown to become this centered-branch around student & campus life at The University of Texas at Dallas, and we have grown so much as an internal team & organization as well. 2 Years later, we are the 3rd most followed UT Dallas social media channel, 1st in student-engagement, and the only one to become dedicated as the student life channel – focusing on a curated feed for students to find what’s going on, both on and off our beautiful campus. In addition, Comet Life has become known within the student & faculty/staff community to help other student organizations, departments, and groups on campus to get “looped” in to what we call this “hub of student life”.

From founding the UT Dallas Discord Server, to bringing on our first wave of other students to help myself out with, just what at the time was a social media account, to now having an internal team of 50+ students, Comet Life has made an impact on student life here at UTD and is working to create a legacy for shaping our student life and, as our tagline says, Connecting Comets to their Campus.

Depicted: President-Elect Audrey Ruliawan with President Eric Aaberg, 2020

Bringing on our second-ever President for Comet Life

I am thrilled to announce for the first time ever a new President for Comet Life, who will not only take-on the reigns of running the organization, but will help guide our legacy into connecting as many students as possible and enhancing the Comet Experience. With that being said, I officially welcome and announce Audrey Ruliawan, as the second President of Comet Life.

We did it Audrey. We did it, you’re going to be the next President of Comet Life.

Serving as Vice President for nearly a little more than over a year and joining Comet Life as the third student member in her freshman year (August 2019), Audrey is ready to help take our organization to the next chapter of our legacy. From first meeting Audrey at Comet Camp as an Orientation Leader and having her a part of my camp group, I saw Audrey’s passion and friendly character and knew she was going to not only feel at home at UT Dallas, but help make others feel at home as well.

In the past year, Audrey has worked hand-side by me to establish Comet Life’s Executive Council, our Senior Community Team (who are our student veterans & officers of CL), and grow our Community Team exponentially – bringing on a huge handful of passionate students who want to help make a different at UTD.

Introduction About Audrey

Audrey Ruliawan (she/her) is a sophomore at UT Dallas, perusing a Computer Science major with a minor in Visual Arts. Audrey has a huge obsession with Pikachu (hence her Instagram handle @beepacho), and her favorite color is yellow. Audrey is also from Dallas, TX (commuter gang!) and comes from an Indonesian and Chinese American background! Her hobbies include collecting beepachos (she currently has over 100 pikachu plushies in her bedroom, and will be her 10th year of “being infatuated with beepacho, I started liking him in fourth grade around 9-10 years old”).

Audrey enjoys doing art (both digital and traditional), hence her minor in Visual Arts, and recently picked up makeup art. She enjoys reading manga and likes to watch anime from time to time in her free time (also trying to get back into KPOP).

Audrey’s Journey in Comet Life

Audrey first met me (Eric) at Comet Camp, as Eric was her Orientation Leader. Audrey pestered Eric’s DMs to want to help out with Comet Life and getting more involved on campus –> thus joining Comet Life with just Eric & Daniel Terenyi as a Community Team Member. Audrey worked her way from the ground up within our internal team, taking on and spearheading a lot of our projects/initiatives in Fall 2019.

Audrey’s Goals for Comet Life

  1. First priority of Audrey’s is always making sure that everyone in the organization (the Comet Life Team & Community Team) feels safe, included, and happy.
  2. Second goal is getting students to socialize and getting to know one another during the pandemic, especially freshmen who basically lost their first year of campus life due to COVID-19. “First year is the most important for socializing because it’s when you establish your identity in college, your friend groups, and develop your ability to live away from home.”
  3. Third goal is expanding Comet Life’s influence. Comet Life’s platform is to get more students involved on campus as it’s hard for students to connect with one another with the virtual learning & lack of face-to-face interactions.
Eric Aaberg depicted during the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 at The University of Texas at Dallas (Is this going to make some history book?!??!)

What does this mean for you, Eric?!?!

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. Comet Life is my baby, and UT Dallas is truly my second home. I’ve had a vision since the first day I attended UTD to help foster and grow the student life, university name, school spirit, and tradition to an entirely new level and I’m not ever going to let that vision die. Comet Life has grown to a scale & influence that I never even imagined it would come to be when I first started it as just an Instagram account back in 2018, but it has and it’s going to need all the student man-power it can get! I genuinely feel like students are the source of change here at UT Dallas, and it’s going to take us, students, to help shape the future of UTD’s student life and overall name.

In term’s of Comet Life, I’ll still be serving as a President alongside with Audrey as well as an Executive Advisor until my time here at UT Dallas is over – as that’s truly my goal with the students whom we bring on to Comet Life (staying and becoming a part of our legacy throughout their time here at UTD).