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Incoming GPSC president hopes to build campus relationships

Heather Newberry
Jude Udeozor, the Executive Vice President for Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC), paricipates in an interview at the Student Union Memorial Center on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Udeozor just got the position of President of GPSC after current President, Zachary Brooks, stepped down.

Jude Udeozor will be sworn in as president of the Graduate and Professional Student Council on Sept. 27 when current president Zachary Brooks’ resignation takes effect.

Udeozor, a second-year international graduate student from Nigeria pursuing a master’s degree in chemical engineering, ran for executive vice president of GPSC last semester.

Udeozor said the reason he wanted to get involved with GPSC was because he had discovered a passion for leading and advocating for students while earning his bachelor’s degree in Nigeria.

During his final year of school, he took on a leadership role with a large student club that planned events and did volunteer work.

“It was something I really enjoyed, almost more than my studies,” Udeozor said of his former leadership role. “I wouldn’t say more than, but I think I derived a lot of joy and satisfaction from it.”

As executive vice president, Udeozor and administrative vice president Jasmine Sears were, according to the GPSC Constitution, in line to become co-presidents when Brooks announced his resignation earlier this month.

After talks with UA administration and advisors, it was decided that it would be best for only Udeozor to step in as president, rather than Sears and Udeozor becoming co-presidents.

Although he is nervous to take on a bigger role than anticipated, Udeozor said he already got a taste of some of the president’s roles over the summer when he filled in for Brooks during a three-week period.

RELATED: GPSC president Zachary Brooks resigns

“Being the face of GPSC, to have interactions with the administrators and the Arizona Board of Regents, that’s some things I did over the summer,” Udeozor said.

He said he also met with 12 different colleges to discuss the role of GPSC.

One of the biggest strengths Udeozor thinks he will bring to the table is his ability to build relationships.

“I think with GPSC I’ve learned that there is something about building [lasting] relationships with the administration,” Udeozor said. “There is something about building relationships where you can easily walk to those offices and have those conversations and they be willing to help you.”

After seeing some of the struggles of the GPSC over the past few months, including the spending of funds that did not need to be spent, Udeozor said he learned the importance of communication.

RELATED: GPSC Notebook Sept. 13: Budget cut discussions and goal setting

He said the budgetary problems came from misinformation rather than mismanagement and learned that he needs to be “well-informed about what we have financially.”

In order to get GPSC refocused, Udeozor said the council will work to set clear goals for the upcoming year on Monday.

Follow Michelle Jaquette on Twitter.

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