few minutes with" is a lighter look at a student who has recently
been in the news.
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.
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
What is the last album you bought/downloaded? Give us a one-sentence
"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.
"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