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A few minutes with A.S. Pres. David Abella

March 1, 2005

"A few minutes with" is a lighter look at a student who has recently been in the news.

Photo of Associated Students President David AbellaDavid Abella may have been fated to be where he is at today -- a senior SFSU political science major serving as president of Associated Students Inc. Abella's mother was attending SFSU in the early '80s while she was pregnant with him. In fact, she first became aware that he was on his way into the world while she was studying on the top level of the Cesar Chavez Student Center -- the same level where A.S. Inc.'s offices now are located. As an infant Abella even attended classes with his mom while she completed her undergraduate degree in Raza studies.

Favorite SFSU faculty member? Why?
I would have to say the two Dans in Asian American Studies -- Dan Begonia and Dan Gonzales. Both of them have been role models for me here. People who I have really looked up to as more than just mentors, but as elders, as a part of the Filipino American community. They are people who helped me feel at home. Who have helped me embrace this University. Who have helped me embrace my personal identity and my growth here, and who inside the classroom, on University committees or whatever, they are people who have been really supportive, and they are people who I really look to for leadership and guidance when things happen on campus.

Who are your heroes?
My father and mother. I don't really look for heroes outside of the family like in media or anything like that. I really feel that heroes are the people who you want to live your life after. And I think my father is probably the biggest hero in my life. Just seeing him and seeing how he has put so much on the line to sacrifice and support his family, help his children get their education. He's someone I look to for guidance and who ultimately I want to be like.

What are your long-term goals?
My ambition when I retire is to be a ball dude for the San Francisco Giants. You know, the old guy who sits there on the little stools and tries to catch foul balls. When I retire that is how I want to, like, roll over and die -- watching the Giants.

But I know that in order to retire you have to actually work. I want to go to law school by 2006. I would like to practice law privately and publicly. And I also have ambitions of public office. I would serve in the United States Senate or Congress, or both.

What is your favorite off-campus hangout?
China Basin. SBC Park. Pac Bell Park. Whatever you want to call it. ... I'm usually in the bleachers at Giants games, banging on drums, making noise, supporting my boys.

Favorite restaurant?
There's this sushi restaurant -- it's kind of a small, hole-in-the-wall type of spot -- it's called Ma Ma San. It's over off of Fourth Avenue, Geary, in that area. ... They have really great sushi at a really great price. They know me there. My picture is on the wall. I love going there.

What is the last album you bought/downloaded? Give us a one-sentence review.
"Get Lifted" by John Legend. It's hot.

What is the most important issue facing college students today?
Getting the best return for what we pay for in education. It's not simply a matter of fees being too high, but a matter of getting the needed services, the needed class sections, the right advisers, a faculty that has time to dedicate to you. Getting the right return on what they're paying for their education is the most fundamental thing that students are facing right now. The worst-case scenario is we pay more but get less.

If you could change one thing about SFSU, what would it be?
I would have to say that we need a new venue on this campus. We need a venue that can serve as a multi-purpose venue. Something that we can have concerts at. Something that can serve as a proper gymnasium for our athletes. Something that can be used for other types of sporting events or theater performances. ... That is the key to so many things -- student involvement, alumni involvement and creating a better sense of campus community here at State.

Favorite quote?
"We stand on their shoulders." It's actually a quote you see on the Filipino Community Mural [found on the north wall of the Student Center]. It's something that really means a lot to me because it shows that as a person here at this University, I'm only here because of those who came before me -- who made a path so I could be here.

What is guaranteed to bring a smile to your day?
Getting a call from my mom. She calls me a lot and sometimes I kind of get on her case for calling me so much. But I really appreciate that. Having her giving me a positive message in the morning or in the afternoon is guaranteed -- in the midst of 20 other messages -- to give me a smile.

-- William Morris


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Last modified March 1, 2005 by University Communications