Humans of UK: Anaya Ali makes the most of freshman year


Carter Skaggs

Anaya Ali, a freshman animal science major, poses for a photo on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, at The 90 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Carter Skaggs | Staff

Rayleigh Deaton, Editor-in-Chief

Some freshmen take a while to acclimate to the culture of college and find ways to plug in at UK. For first-year animal science major Anaya Ali, the problem is finding enough time in the day for all the things she’s involved in.

In addition to juggling classes, Ali participates in a number of clubs and organizations at UK, including the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, 4 Paws for Ability, a pre-vet club and the Student Government Association’s Leadership Development Program. 

However, she said that her favorite organization she is part of is the Student Activities Board (SAB).

“I love student orgs … My favorite title that I have for myself is being able to say that I work for SAB, because that means that not only do I get to actively help people, but I also get to know and meet so many really awesome, fun people,” Ali said.

At the suggestion of her first-year ambassador, she signed up for the SAB email list and joined the organization the summer before her freshman year.

SAB accepted her application and she became a chair for traditions. Ali continued this role through the entirety of fall 2022. 

As a chair for traditions, she helped with tasks ranging from working events, holding office hours and making TikToks. 

“My first event was during K-Week during Campus Ruckus,” Ali said. “If anyone got a shirt during Campus Ruckus, it was from me.”

Last semester, she applied to become a director, a role she started following winter break. As a director, she oversees a team of chairs. 

She said her favorite event to host was Yoga at the Yard, in which students practiced yoga in UK’s baseball park. “We got to do a really nice, calming yoga routine on this very, very beautiful baseball field,” she said.

Ali said she aspires to become the vice president of internal affairs by senior year. 

Through SAB, Ali forms many connections and works with a variety of student organizations, including Collegiate Curls, SGA and the Office of Student Organization and Activities. 

Ali is currently running to be an undergraduate senator-at-large with SGA. 

“I really want to work for the betterment of UK,” she said.

She’s not the first in her family to get involved in SGA. Her older sister, Noor Ali, was an SGA vice president, while her other sister, Iman Ali, currently serves as an SGA associate justice. Ali joked that being in SGA is a “family gig.”

To Ali, involvement at UK is a way for her to better connect with fellow students and her campus, allowing her to make the most of her time in undergrad.

“I love being that face that people know,” she said.