Student Body President Sets Out to "Transform" SDSU
Chimezie Ebiriekwe is a busy man.
Ebiriekwe is the president of SDSU’s Associated Students (AS), which means he serves the nearly 34,000 SDSU students and represents their voice in numerous ways.
Originally from Inglewood, California, Ebiriekwe chose to attend SDSU because he was intrigued by the amount of business emphasis SDSU has. He decided to pursue a degree in finance due to values he learned during childhood. “As I was growing up, I had a passion to save money and pursue different ventures that dealt with managing money,” he said. “The finance field covers a wide range of industries which drives me to gain as much knowledge as I can, both inside and outside the classroom.”
Once Ebiriekwe entered SDSU, he wasted no time in establishing himself as a student leader. “When I was a freshman, the upperclassmen, faculty and staff told me to ‘get involved’ on a constant basis,” he recalled. “I sought out leadership positions on campus and my first executive position was with SDSU’s Afrikan Student Union.”
Since then, Ebiriekwe can count numerous leadership positions he has held with a varied group of SDSU organizations including the AS University Affairs Board,
Student African American Brotherhood, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the Harambee Scholars Program. During his term as the AS vice president of university affairs, he was inspired to run for president of AS when he heard a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
In 2017, Ebiriekwe and fellow finance major, Hayden Willis, along with three of their colleagues were elected as the executive officers of SDSU’s AS with the campaign slogan “Transform SDSU.” “We chose this slogan because it speaks to our vision of taking San Diego State University to the next level and ensuring student success in and out of the classroom,” said Ebiriekwe to the Nigerian Tribune last year.
Some of the specific issues Ebiriekwe has focused on during his leadership tenure at AS includes transitioning to a new registration timeline; establishment and expansion of the mobile food pantry (#ASnowaste); strengthening communication and relationships throughout campus, especially between the SDSU campus police and the student population; and reinforcing the power and strength of shared governance.
And he is seeing results. The new registration timeline is scheduled to begin this April. The mobile food pantry has expanded its hours from one day a week to two, allowing increased access for SDSU students. During the fall semester of 2017, AS held an open forum on campus with SDSU’s chief of police which provided students an opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions about campus safety. In addition, AS has created a safety committee composed of students and university police which will address the day-to-day concerns of student safety on campus and in the surrounding community.
As Ebiriekwe wraps up his work on the issues impacting SDSU students, and his AS presidency comes to an end, he is planning for life after graduation. “After graduation, I’d like to find a position within the finance sector of the sports industry,” he said. “I love sports and I was involved in sports as a high school athlete. This experience drives my interest in helping athletes manage their finances.”
As Ebiriekwe reflects on his college career, he offers this advice to incoming SDSU students: “College is your time to grow as a person, friend and professional. Put yourself in uncomfortable positions that force you to grow from those experiences.”