By: Lillian Ayala & Kenya Petty
Deborah Olagunju tabling for ASU week at the Seymour Union Fireside lounge.
Administrators, professors and advisors are known for leading the way for change in the Brockport community, but one student who is changing the way for others is Deborah Olagunju.
Olagunju is a double major in International Studies and African American Studies with a minor in political studies. She is currently the president of Brockport’s African Student Union( and a Brockport Student Government (BSG) Senator. Olagunju also is a student chairperson for the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Appropriation and Collaboration committees.
Katelyn Demskie, Vice President of BSG met Olagunju this year while working within BSG. She has seen the hard work that Olagunju has put in.
“Deborah has been a strong advocate for clubs on multiple committees including one involving late night events. She has worked with students and administrators to ensure student organizations are having the best experience possible,” Demskie said.
Demskie said that Olagunju has stepped up more this year as she became more involved with the senate.
“Deborah has been a strong advocate for clubs on multiple committees including one involving late night events,” Demskie said.
Demskie also said that Olagunju worked hard to gain her position as senator.
“I wanted to be a senator because I want to represent the minorities on campus and working directly under OEDI just helps them facilitate the issues that need to be worked on that target minority students,” Olagunju said.
“I feel like this college needs diversity, it needs a different face and they need to see that people of color do care about politics and the way that our school is being governed,” Olagunju said.
Olagunju pushes herself to be an advocate on campus because of the morals that she was raised with growing up.
“Don’t wait for someone to tell you to do what is right” Olagunju said.
Her drive for advocating for minority students is also a way for her to make a change for others and the effect it will have.
“I do things not because of where I am but because of who will fill in my shoes after, who will it affect and whose life will be easier after I’ve left. That’s the mind set I try to have when I engage in community-based programs,” Olagunju said.
Even though Olagunju has a representation title, she still finds time to spread her culture and show love to her motherland. Being in the club for four years, she has worked her way up to becoming the President of ASU.
For Olagunju, being part of ASU has let her be who she really is. She said that she feels true to herself because being a member of this organization allows her to let loose.
“Being the president of ASU helps me feel closer to home. I am a Nigerian. There are not that many Nigerians out here. Being part of ASU helps me to be grounded and be who I am and where I come from,” Olagunju said.
Olagunju is a role model for many people on campus. She is an agent of change.
Vice President of ASU, Cynthia John-Ogam said that she has seen some of the changes that Olagunju has set in place already. She said that Olagunju has been very passionate about on-campus event policies.
“She was able to change the percentage of outside guest that organizations can have for events,” John-Ogam said.
Olagunju met with many different people to change the policy for outside guest to enter a late-night campus event. This percentage was set to 10 percent before she got involved.
Even though being the president of a club on campus is a lot of work, Olagunju explains it as a breath of fresh air.
“It’s also a stress reliever for me. Being a part of ASU, I’ve always been able to let loose and not have to live up to any standards besides being who I am,” she said.
Deborah Olagunju is someone on SUNY Brockports campus who will always work hard for what she wants and push until she achieves her dreams. During the process she plans on encouraging people to do the same and work hard for what they want.
“Anything you want is possible. I feel like I’ve allowed people to understand that whatever you want you can go out and get like nothing is stopping you,” Olagunju said.
Nothing can or will stop her from achieving everything she wants to be in life. One of her goals before she graduates is to aspire people to work hard to do what they have to do to accomplish their goals.