Ojini: She sings, she runs, she sustains

Words from Chioma Ojini’s original song “Oopsie Daisy” floated down the quad Thursday, announcing the start of the 2013-14 Associated Students election debates. Ojini, one of the four presidential candidates, sang her own song as people gathered.

But even though Ojini has sung since the age of seven, stage fright still comes like clockwork to her.

"With singing, I can close my eyes and be in my own little world," she says. "In the debate, I have to keep my eyes open; you have to connect with every single person."

In 2009, Ojini sent an audition tape to the Black Eyed Peas Peapod Foundation, a music academy, for the chance at a scholarship. She received it, as well as the opportunity to work in a state-of-the-art recording studio, while improving her own talent.

Ojini is running for AS president with the slate S.M.C., or Synergy, Motivation, Co-Creation. Their main goal is to maintain the school's environment practices, while implementing changes that keep the students at the center.

"Sustainability is really the buzz word with us," Ojini says.

S.M.C. views the school as a "microcosm," in essence a mini world, and one that must work together to sustain itself, according to Ojini.

Ojini filled the position of AS director of student services a month ago after the previous director left, and she has done work with the Eco-Action Club. She says that although most candidates on her slate are environmentally conscious, sustainability is not their only interest.

As part of her run for the AS presidential position, Ojini says she would like to extend the Any Line, Any Time bus deal to the LA Metro, and plans to add compost bins around campus.

Ojini has ideas for a bicycle-rental program, which would allow students to rent a bicycle on one campus and ride it to another, thus avoiding the wait for a bus.

“All those ideas came from talking to other students,” she says.

Ojini says she would like to keep an open forum board during her term, and continue the town hall meetings implemented earlier this year.

"I just want to make sure that [students] are able to voice their concerns," she says.

Ojini thinks her success as a presidential candidate will come from her bounce-back ability.

“I’m really good at re-calibrating,” she says.

Ojini will continue to sing at open-mic nights as she has done for years, but says she considers student government her day job.

"I'm not sure what the light at the end of the tunnel is going to be," Ojini says, "but I know I'm on the path to find it."