Associated Students Presidential candidate Chimezie Ebiriekwe
March 6, 2017
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Name: Chimezie Ebiriekwe
Major: Business marketing
1. Why did you decide to run for A.S. President?
I decided to run for A.S. president because I saw the current impact I had on students, and the amount of reach I have for what students need and what students want out of a strong leader. I thought about going from the vice president of university affairs to president is only fitting, and I just have to keep going on up. When I first got here, A.S. did not represent me, and there wasn’t anyone that looked like me or talked like me. That’s why I first decided to take on the position of vice president of university affairs, and then take on the position as president so I can lead this campus to new heights.
A student leader (is someone) who has genuine conversations, and who is always willing to outreach to the regular students throughout the campus, and is willing to hear their concerns in order to enact change on campus.
2. What are the first three things you would do on the job if elected for this position?
Number one will be to continue making strides to continue making a campus app, number two would be continued support for students who are facing food insecurities and number three would be helping out with the community policing model that the SDSUPD has.
The first one was campus app, so pretty much meeting with administrators and stakeholders throughout the university who pretty much can make it happen, and also giving my student voice, as well as other students who have a passion for technology (and) have a passion for making sure the university has accessible resources.
So what I’m doing right now to help battle food insecurity on campus, because one in five students within the CSU system is suffering from food insecurities, is right now we have a mobile food pantry, and I’m just looking to build upon that. And pretty much go back to the drawing board after the semester is over and pretty much assess how we’ve done and see what we could do better moving forward.
I give training to various student organizations on effective tabling for the food pantry so I go around and give presentations and trainings on it.
And pretty much helping out SDSUPD for students to feel more comfortable around the SDSUPD, and for campus police to understand what students are saying and what issues students are facing right now. Because they are not students, they don’t have their ear to the ground. So pretty much being that student voice and helping out with their community policing model.I wouldn’t say a (it’s) a problem, but you can never have too much dialogue. It’s always good to continue talking to the SDSU police, and just becoming friends and becoming comfortable with your fellow officers here on campus
3. What areas does SDSU need to improve most on?
I know one issue right now; we are trying to fix up our general education requirements. So pretty much see how do GEs really impact students inside and outside the classroom, and that’s what I would say SDSU is struggling with–making sure students get the most out of their GEs.
Right now we are implementing various task forces for the general education reform. I sit on that task force right now and I’m having conversations with Vice President of Academic Affairs Norah Shultz, so we are currently forming tasks forces to assess each area of GEs ranging from their high impact practices, all the learning outcomes for students and also off-campus courses that students can do outside of the classroom and receive course credit for it.
4. Why do you think you can understand SDSU students more than other candidates?
I’ll say because I didn’t start my journey with A.S. I was on the outside, (and) I didn’t get into A.S. until the end of my sophomore year, and was pretty much always the outside student talking to regular students on campus, and having good conversations with them in regards to what they’re going through. I know all the genuine relationships I built throughout my three years here have put me in a right direction to relate more with the students and understand them.
5. If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?
I would say we took a large step in the right direction in regards to coming with the terms of society and the way that the world works now, with a lot of on-demand accessibility and innovative technologies. So pretty much the app, the various resources within the library and becoming more of a digital campus.
I would say digital resources, but you don’t want to have too much digital resources where students are deprived of the regular face-to-face interactions with people. So say, if there is electronic ways – I don’t know where I’m going with this — I’ll just go back to the app — just having all the campuses resources within that one app.
That’s my main goal, and also hearing any concerns that students have, and not shying away from conflict (and) not shying away from those tough conversations with students, even though students usually don’t see eye-to-eye. I feel we can all come to a common ground when we have dialogue, and we have conversations on both sides of the matter.
I think one way to start off is with town hall meetings. We had one this past year, and it was pretty good. Students came out and asked the panel questions, and we were able to respond to those questions, and we were able to have open dialogue. A lot of the students still reached out after and we had numerous conversations. I would say the amount of (conversations) I had within being an executive officer right now (are) conversations I would have never thought I would have, or conversations with people I would have never met if I wasn’t in this position, or if I didn’t say hello to someone in line at Starbucks.
There’s easier conversations where people are infatuated with like ‘oh you’re an executive officer I saw your video,” (and) those are the easy conversations I have. Then there’s the hard conversations where there’s issues that affect students, and there’s an issue a student is facing where you don’t have the same passion as that student because you’re not in their shoes. But you just have to be willing to put yourself in their shoes, and see pretty much what they’re going through and be there to support them. And then there’s the medium conversations where you are pretty much having a real conversation with – I’m not saying any of the other conversations aren’t real, but but having a casual conversation with a student you’ve never met like where you’re from and who are you rooting for in the Super Bowl. Those regular casual conversations are probably the best conversations. I’ll say the hard conversations pretty much open your eyes to the amount of the variety of things that go on around campus, because you could never talk to each student about each of their problems, but talking to two or three does change your view, like ‘Whoa there are students on campus who are going through things that I’m not going through’ but at the same time I’m here to be their representative.