“I genuinely care for Fordham and the community that is Fordham,” Mgbenwelu said. “And so when I think something needs to change, rather than twiddle my thumbs and wait for someone else to take the first step, I take that leap of faith and go for it.”
Before this decision to run, Mgbenwelu has been involved as an NSO leader and captain, as well as the current president of ASILI and secretary for Fordham’s Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students.
For Mgbenwelu, she will be running with Anisah Assim, FCRH ’16, a current USG Senator, but she says that was not the reason she wanted to work with Assim.
“I went to a budget meeting, and Anisah’s on the budget committee and she had quite a presence at the meeting,” Mgbenwelu said. “So when I decided to run on the executive ticket, I didn’t want to run with someone just because they had been on USG, I wanted to run with someone where we would click outside of USG. She had such a presence and I tend to merge with people that have a presence in leadership roles and so she was one of the people that stuck out in my mind.”
Mgbenwelu says the two make a great pair due to their working relationship.
“We have the same ideas, but we approach them differently so I see things from a different standpoint,” Mgbenwelu said. “We feed off of each other very well.”
Right now, the two are in the midst of informal campaigning which ends on April 2, after the official candidates meeting. One of the main points of this time period is gathering signatures from students in order to run.
“[Collecting signatures] has been one of my best experiences at Fordham,” Mgbenwelu said. “For this, I’m not selling myself, but I’m sharing my ideas with people and they’re signing, because they agree with my ideas. Even if you didn’t know me, you’re signing because you agree with my ideas and that makes me happy.”
She believes that her diverse background has allowed her to gain a wider perspective of issues throughout campus.
“Through working with different groups on campus it’s allowed me to get an idea of what people are thinking,” Mgbenwelu said.
For Mgbenwelu, she believes that from her own personal past of interacting with diverse groups of people will benefit her for any situation she might face as USG president.
She has enjoyed the face-to-face interactions she has had with students, she might not have met if she had not been collecting signatures.
“We need 150 signatures each and at first you’re like ‘oh my god, I need 150 signatures,’ but as the process goes on it becomes so much easier because you realize you actually want to talk to all these people so it doesn’t feel like a chore,” said Tochi. “Sometimes the conversation lasts a half hour and you’ve forgotten about the signatures.”
While Mgbenwelu cannot release any platform details until after April 2, she has said that she personally believes she has the right qualities to be a good fit for USG president.
“I’m an honest person, I think that’s essential to be a leader you need to be honest,” Mgbenwelu said. “I’m also an extrovert and when it comes to being a leader you need to be able to influence people positively.”
Mgbenwelu believes the next few weeks will be important ones in her campaign, as they will help her and Assim reach out, spread their message and meet the Fordham community.
“This is not just about the ideas of Anisah and I, it’s about the ideas of the students as well and what they want out of USG,” Mgbenwelu said.
Students can officially “Meet the Candidates” at the annual event, which will be during the week of April 7.
Kelly Kultys is Editor-in-Chief at The Fordham Ram.