CSU Voices and Views

Transform Communities and Transform Yourself

Interview with Chris Chavez,
California State Student Association President
and CSU Long Beach Student

Chris Chavez discusses the reasons he chose the CSU and what students can do to get the most out of their college experience.

Chris Chavez discusses the reasons he chose the CSU and what students can do to get the most out of their college experience.

To apply or for more information, please visit www.csumentor.edu.

Transcript:

(Music)

JENNIFER WICKS:

Hello, this is Jennifer Wicks of the California State University, with the last podcast of the Fall 2011 priority application period.  Joining me today is Chris Chavez, a Cal State Long Beach political science major and the California State Student Association president.  CSSA is the statewide voice for Cal State’s more than 433,000 students.

Chris has been involved student government since his freshman year, and was later elected by his campus peers as vice president and then president of Associated Students, Inc.

Welcome Chris.

CHRIS CHAVEZ:

Thank you.

JENNIFER WICKS:

So to start us off – Why did you choose to apply to a CSU campus?

CHRIS CHAVEZ:

Growing up in Long Beach, I had always recognized CSU Long Beach as the campus in the backyard. It wasn’t until I explored more of the campus that I really got to fully appreciate it. It was a very unique and different type of campus culture and campus environment. That’s eventually why I applied there.

JENNIFER WICKS:

What has been the best part of your CSU experience?

CHRIS CHAVEZ:

The best part of the experience has been being able to really find and identify the thing that drives me–and that is being able to make a difference in the community.

JENNIFER WICKS:

Have you encountered any challenges that you could share with new students? And if so, how did you overcome those challenges?

CHRIS CHAVEZ:

I think the biggest challenge is really just being able to take advantage of every opportunity you have at your college. For example, Cal State Long Beach has 350 student organizations on campus, and that’s a large number. And I think the challenge is figuring out what are the best opportunities, what are the things that are really going to add to your life.

I think how you filter that, how you understand it, is talking to your administrators and faculty members. And the administrators and faculty members in the CSU are very, very accessible.

JENNIFER WICKS:

What is the key to getting the most out of your college experience?

CHRIS CHAVEZ:

The biggest thing that students need to do is to get involved and really advocate for their own interest.

So we helped student transfer reform so that students transferring from community college into the CSU system had their requirements better mesh with each other. Next week, I’m going to be going to Washington, D.C. on behalf of CSSA. I’ve never been to D.C. and this is an experience I would have only had through CSSA. And we are going to meet with congressional members, education leaders and people like that to help advocate for our students.

There are many other opportunities that the CSU provides–it’s just finding out what your interest is taking advantage of it.

JENNIFER WICKS:

What drove you, Chris, to become an advocate for students?

CHRIS CHAVEZ:

The different things that you can do and speak up for are limitless. And really it’s about identifying and defining who you are and what your core beliefs are. And in doing that, in understanding who I am and understanding my core beliefs, I can be a better advocate of my own concerns and my own needs.

If I can leave the community in a better space than when I came, when I first entered it, I think that is something worth doing.

JENNIFER WICKS:

What can students look forward to in their CSU journey?

CHRIS CHAVEZ:

Students coming into the CSU can expect this to be a very engaging and fulfilling experience. I know that the person that I started out as out of high school is a completely different person today. And that is only because of my experiences in college, only because of the things I’ve done. And in doing that, in getting into these different clubs and organizations you will be a different person, but you’re going to be a better person for that.

I think that is the thing that students need to understand, is that if they take advantage of these opportunities, if they really experience college to the fullest productive extent, then they are going to be better people afterwards.

In helping transform your communities, you are transforming yourself.

JENNIFER WICKS:

Absolutely. Let’s remind students that the application deadline for Spring 2011 is different for specific campuses. You can check csumentor.edu for the specific campus you’re interested in applying to. And the priority application deadline for Fall 2011 systemwide, across all 23 CSU campuses is November 30th. Be sure to apply early.

Thanks for being here Chris, great to have you join us.

CHRIS CHAVEZ:

Thank you very much and Go CSU!

(Music)

(End)

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2 Comments to “Transform Communities and Transform Yourself”

  1. Sarah, Staff  Says:

    Great job, Chris!

  2. Tweets that mention CSU Voices and Views » Transform Communities and Transform Yourself -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Erik Fallis, CSSA. CSSA said: Chris Chavez…MADE IN THE CSU. Listen to the podcast about his experiences and student advocacy: http://fb.me/MZmsOfPo [...]

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