Ifeanyi Ebigbo: Vote of Confidence
Among the privileges of American citizenship that Nigerian-born Ifeanyi Ebigbo (pronounced Ee-fani Ebee-bo)
enjoys is the right to vote. The new president of Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) has made it one of the key
missions of his term in office to ensure that his fellow students learn to value and use this right as well,
with ASI’s voter registration program.
“We want politicians, from the governor to the president of the United States, to start listening to students,”
says the junior psychology major. “If the 400,000 students in the whole CSU system actually voiced their opinions,
there would be great changes throughout California. When you vote, you decide who you want to be in office, and
keep them accountable.”
ASI’s target of 500 newly registered voters has reached approximately 50 students so far. Ebigbo cites the proposed
$2.5 million cut to the state’s university budget as one good reason for students to become vocal.
“We have to get students more comfortable about voting and voicing their opinions,” he says. “Our intention is
to register more people to vote, so that politicians realize, ‘We need to start looking into the universities. What
are the issues they are having? Do they need more money? More services?’ If we voted, they wouldn’t cut the budgets
so much, because they would know that in the next election, students will vote for the candidate who pushes our
agenda and the way we want things to happen.
“Students often feel that even if they vote, their concerns are not going to be heard,” he says. “If you vote, and
encourage your family and friends to vote, you have a better chance of having the person you want in office to win.
It’s the idea of getting people together to be one voice.”
Another measure that Ebigbo hopes will unite the campus is the Adopt-a-Freshman Program that he and senior Don Manning (Business Administration/Human Resources and Management) established when
they served last semester respectively as lower division and upper division representatives for ASI.
“As an organization and corporation that is here to voice student concerns, we have to take action toward student
retention,” he says. “As mentors, students would make sure that incoming freshmen know where
all the academic offices are, they would tutor them if they needed assistance, and refer them to professionals if
they needed special attention, such as psychological help. Mentors let them know what the campus is all about, and
be that brother-to-brother system that they need, especially that first year, when many students get confused, feel
lost, and eventually drop out.”
Ebigbo cites the genius behind the Adopt-a-Freshman program in the fact that students would be more likely to respond
to guidance from a student like themselves. At press time, ASI is seeking a program coordinator, and has received several
applications for the roles of both mentors and mentees.
“We have a lot of students interested,” he says. “They’re energized about it, and we’re going to do a good job this year
with making sure the students of CSUDH are retained successfully.”
Ebigbo’s long term goals include a law career, beginning with the law enforcement perspective. A former Los Angeles
Police Department Explorer (a high school training program), he hopes to work for the Secret Service or the FBI after
completing law school and opening his own practice. He describes his position on ASI as a training ground for the
“I made it my job to learn the way a corporation works and to understand that better,” he notes. “ASI has helped me to
see the issues we have on campus, and to find the solutions to solve those issues. Everyday there is something new to
learn from working out a new program on the computer, reading through contracts, or writing policies that will affect
In the meantime, he hopes to make his term as ASI president one to remember.
“I want to be remembered as an ASI president who did his best to listen to the concerns of the students he was serving,
and as a student who did the hard work involved and gained a lot of skills from his position,” he says. “There’s a big
difference between just listening to the issues, and to actually finding the solutions for those issues. I want to be
remembered as someone who took the time to listen to what is going on, and to find those solutions.”
- Joanie Harmon