Making the Most of His CPP Experience

By Abigail Inman

Chris OsualaThere’s hardly an on-campus position that ASI President Chris Osuala hasn’t held at Cal Poly Pomona.

Osuala has served as a diversity ambassador, a Black History Month chair, a Welcome Week leader, a math tutor, an intern at Southern California Edison, a volunteer with
the Prison Education Project and president of his fraternity before being elected to lead student government.

He has come a long way since he arrived on campus in 2007, determined to get more out of his college experience than he did in high school.

“I wanted to make sure by the day I graduated that I didn’t have any regrets about college,” Osuala says. “I wanted to make sure I got the full college experience.”

That experience included performing spoken word poetry in Ursa Major at a student talent show — and overcoming a bad case of stage fright in the process.

“I love Cal Poly Pomona,” Osuala says. “I’ve had so much growth here. When I go to conferences, I’m always bragging about my school, telling other students, ‘You don’t even know what you’re missing.’”

His school spirit is part of what inspired Osuala to run for ASI president: It was a chance to give back to the university that molded him. His platform while campaigning with running mate Christine Hall reflected this, highlighting school pride, publicity for Cal Poly Pomona’s hands-on programs, and promotion of ASI.

Osuala’s workload has been particularly hefty. During his term, propositions important to the CSU were put before California voters, the Student Success Fee was proposed and approved, and voter registration occurred on campus — events that required a lot of heavy lifting. Rather than giving up on sleep, social life or responsibilities, he found he could accomplish a lot more just by streamlining his schedule.

“I cut out a lot of the fat. I don’t have time to waste. I have meetings and class and work all day, and I need to find time to do my homework, so the time I would have spent just lazing around or watching TV, I can’t do that. I don’t even own a TV anymore.”

Osuala is closing in on graduation, and the idea of leaving the university is strange to him.
“This is my home, you know?” he says with a sweeping gesture that encompasses the campus. “This is what I know.

I have a family here. I love Cal Poly. So to imagine leaving and not coming back is weird.”
Still, he knows his experiences have prepared him well for the workforce.

“The boy that came here September 25, 2007, and the man who is going to graduate June 15, 2013 are completely different people. Cal Poly Pomona helped me grow into the person I am today.”