San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

A.S. presidential candidate Christian Onwuka

David Santillan
A.S. presidential candidate Christian Onwuka.

Position: President

Name: Christian Onwuka

Year: Senior

Major: Finance

Slate: Vote SDSU

Why did you decide to run for this position?

“From day one, I knew that student government was an experience that I wanted, but fo,r me my path was kind of weird because most people looked at A.S. as ‘all right, I’m going to get involved freshman year and then work my way up,’ I didn’t do that. When it comes to leadership (I realized) I got to have an amount of different quality leadership experiences that didn’t involve student government so that way I broaden my horizons and broaden my perspective on what leadership really (is), so that when I got (to my current position) I’d be well equipped to really represent our students. When I joined A.S. as the VP of financial affairs it was more about just learning the system, not learning how to be the leader, and now that I have the opportunity to become president I know the system, I know how to be a leader, I can just kind of do what I feel like is going to be best for our students.”

What makes you qualified for this position? What is your history with A.S.?

“My involvement with A.S. started my sophomore (year), I sat on (the external relations) board. I hated it, so my junior year (I became) the college of business representative for A.S., serving as a liaison between the college, A.S. and the student body. (Doing that) was cool, but I felt I could have more outreach (and) impact if I was able to expand my role and expand (my) responsibilities, so that’s why I ran for the VP of financial affairs (last year). One of the things that really pushed me was the Aztecs Rock Hunger (fundraiser). As someone who grew up having to rely on food banks, this was the opportunity for me (to) give back.”

What would you like to change at SDSU?

“I’d like to change fragility. I feel like people are so scared to have difficult conversations. People think we all have to be friends to be effective, (but) no, that’s not leadership. If you’re comfortable, you’re probably not doing something right and I think true leaders are able to take criticism to give criticism and adapt to what they’re hearing. I want us as a community to continue to get involved but also do something that’s out of the ordinary.”

Can you name something you like and something you dislike about A.S.?

“What I dislike about A.S. is people think it’s a system and its not, it’s still an organization. All you have to do is go say ‘hey, I want to get involved, I want to sit on a board.’ People think (they) have to have a title to have an impact, people just associate title with impact instead of impact with impact, but what I love about A.S. is that people involved understand if they’re representatives or commissioners they have just as much power and just as much authority as an executive member.”

What will be your top three priorities in this role?

“For me (it’s) trying to build the bridge back between San Diego and San Diego State. I’m from southeast San Diego and growing up there was a connection (with the university). I was going to different rec centers and churches and I saw SDSU there and I’ve seen (their presence) shy away. We need to continue engaging our local San Diego area to let them know the great things happening on campus. (Also) diversifying the conversations between what support for students looks like. I feel like people look to A.S. (asking) ‘oh what can you do for me,’ and I feel like even as A.S. we’ve said what can we do for students. We need to change (that question) to how can we empower students to help themselves and their communities. (Additionally) the ARC endowment plan (is another priority). We’re looking to establish an alumni funded endowment plan, fill out grants, anything (to help) low income students who are affected by this fee increase don’t have to worry about it, but still enjoy this new ARC that we’re going to have.”

Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.

About the Contributor
David Santillan, Assistant News Editor
  David is a senior at San Diego State where he is majoring in French. David has been working at The Daily Aztec since 2017 and is the current Assistant News Editor. He is a transfer student from Palomar College, where he worked as an arts & culture writer for The Telescope, Palomar's on-campus newspaper.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
A.S. presidential candidate Christian Onwuka