photo of student leader matthewYear in School: 4th

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Major(s): Political Science

Minor(s)/Concentration(s): Public Service

On-campus leadership roles/positions/organizations: 
Chi Rho Omicron- Vice President, Philanthropy and Community Outreach Chair

Pilipino Culture Night- Script Writer

Filipinos in Liberal Arts and Humanities- Career Panel Coordinator (past)

Why do you choose to be involved as a student leader?
To try and bring students that are not involved into student life. Chi Rho Omicron has been on the outskirts doing our own thing but now we are trying to be more involved and work with officers on campus. We are here at UC Davis for a reason and don't always appreciate the resources that are here. Through Chi Rho Omicron, I try to help those that aren't involved to feel like they are part of the campus community.

What have you learned about leadership through your work with others on campus?
When you try to implement change or shift how things are done, there is going to be resistance if you don't communicate what you are trying to do. Communication is key and change is hard. A leader wants to bring about change as fast as they can but it takes a while to see results and have the desired outcome. Frame the change as something bigger than yourself so people are more likely to get on board.

What is your most memorable experience at UC Davis? What is your favorite UC, Davis tradition?
Freshman year when I just joined my fraternity I entered a beauty pageant called Mr. Universe. Brothers were skeptical but saw it as a way to promote the Fil-Am community. I wore traditional Filipino clothes and won! Seeing it as something larger- promoting the Fil-Am community, philanthropy, and supporting the multicultural organizations on campus- made it easier to succeed.

What is your favorite UC Davis tradition?
Doxie Derby at Picnic Day. The past three years I've been to Picnic Day and enjoyed watching the dogs. It is hilarious. Also, going to the Arboretum in my spare time and reading a book.

What advice would you give to a student thinking about getting involved?
If you are interested in joining, try to leave the group better than when you started. You want to positively contribute to your organizations. Leave an impact. Leave your mark.

How does getting involved complement your studies?
It presents challenges and benefits. You are trying to juggle a lot of balls and being involved helps hold you accountable. You cannot succeed in one area and not succeed in another. This year we (Chi Rho Omicron) have an advisor, someone on the outside to help guide us academically.

Future plans
It has helped me understand different perspectives and how to find common ground even if you don’t agree 100%. It is important four life. College is like a bubble; when you leave you will be dealing with a lot of different personalities. I want to work on campaigns where I will have to try and balance egos and people’s opinions.

Fun Facts

  • Role Model: Barack Obama. I was really involved in his 2008 campaign.
  • Favorite Quote/Motto: “A leader leads by example not by force.”- Sun Tzu
  • Hobbies: Going to the arboretum, watching independent movies, reading comic books.