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Spring Housing Guide

APA goals represented by single, growing plant

When Ikenna Ezealah, president of the African Peoples Association, said he wanted to get a plant to represent the growth the APA had gone through, Emeka Anyanwu thought he was kidding.

But Ezealah, who is from Lagos, Nigeria, is a man who follows through on his words, according to friends like Anyanwu.

“We laughed it off but he was serious,” Anyanwu said. “To this day I think he still waters this plant. He says what he wants then does it.”

Ezealah, who majors in business and marketing, has always focused on progress and growth of others during his tenure as president.

“I seek the abilities of others and cultivate them by creating duties and setting goals and helping them to accomplish them. It’s not about me, it’s about progress and growth,” said Ezealah.

Signs of growth are evident in the APA according to Anyanwu.

Things that Ezealah would like to incorporate into the organization is an alumni group composed of past APA members, especially executive members who would serve as an advisory committee to the current executive board. The goal, said Ezealah, is to ensure that any decisions are backed by years of experience.

Ezealah also wants to implement a book scholarship to provide assistance to members who show themselves dedicated to both academics and the organization.

“The members support the organization, and this is something to give back to them,” Ezealah said.

Kefa Otiso, a faculty advisor for the APA, said he was impressed with Ezealah’s vision and goals coming into office.

“Soon after being elected president a year ago, he proceeded to share his vision for the organization and what he hoped to accomplish in his tenure as president. I was amazed at his grasp of the issues,” said Otiso.

As president, Anyanwu said that Ezealah has had a tremendous impact.

“People are taking the organization more seriously than in the past. Now we are working with the mission statement in mind instead of being just a social group,” he said.

With a mission focused on educating the public about the real image of Africa, the organization has planned several educational events. The Annual Dinner Celebration on April 17th is the biggest event put on by the APA all year. Presentations about various African countries, key note speakers, traditional dances, singing and traditional cuisine like fufu, are meant to educate people on the political, economic and social aspects of Africa.

People do not have to be African to attend the events or the meetings, and the only prerequisite is an interest in learning more about the African continent, Ezealah said.

“Our mission is not to exclude others, but to foster the true image of Africa. It would negate the mission statement to exclude people,” he said.

The APA is a diverse group consisting of people from America and the Caribbean islands. While no one has to pay dues to be a member, the real members are considered to be the people who come to meetings regularly and help contribute to the APA, Ezealah said.

Meetings which are held in room 207 of the Student Union at 6 p.m. every other Friday. Meetings last for about an hour and a half and often start with a presentation about an African country.

Meetings often include discussion topics such as economics or politics and how it relates to the organization’s mission statement. In the last half hour, a faculty or university employee will discuss various programs available to the students or other information like international student requirements to be able to work in the United States, he said.

For the upcoming semester Ezealah and the APA will continue educating the campus about Africa and helping its members grow as productive individuals.

“For me, the crowning point of my tenure is to know others have developed skills and abilities that were dormant in them through activities, and these skills will be their guiding light throughout their lives,” said Ezealah.

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