Name: Chris Thomas
Position: president (unopposed)
Why do you want to run for president?
I love what I’ve been able to do this past year as vice president of university affairs. The amount of impact I had left on the students was for me just — it didn’t make sense for me to be here a fifth year and not continue to do what I have done.
What makes you qualified for this position?
Everything that I have been able to accomplish ever since I set foot on this campus has been really to just leave an impact on this campus and leave it better than when I found it. And for me that’s always been the case. When I went through high school, I went through my whole freshman year not knowing anyone to being ASB president my senior year. And just seeing the transformation this year at this university, going from not knowing a single person my freshman year, to be being able to run for exec last year and then do it again this year is just (great).
What would you like to change at SDSU?
The number one thing that I want to change and something that I actually started this year is the undergraduate research opportunities for students. Because for me, I started off wanting to go to medical school and had all of these aspirations of being a doctor, and I just never had the exposure to the research and I was like, ‘Well everyone’s doing all of this research and I don’t have the opportunities but they are there, it’s just students don’t know where to go to them.’ So for example, this year I started the undergraduate research committee and that really, the initial task of what this group was tasked to do is create more opportunities and make it more visible as far as research opportunities for students.
What would you like to stay the same at SDSU?
I think, honestly, our trajectory of what our culture has become here at San Diego State. From my freshman year, when I set foot on this campus, there was still that mentality of, ‘oh, it’s a party school, no one really cares about San Diego State,’ and now you see the transformation of what San Diego State has become over the past four years, especially, almost becoming a top 50 public university, all of these different trends that we’re seeing, like with research and all of these positives that have happened over the past four years — 93,000 applications, insane. Back when I applied there was probably only 50,000 applications or something like that.
Interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.