Victor Mweu, who is originally from Nairobi, Kenya, is a junior international relations major. Mweu was a student senator during his freshman and sophomore years before successfully running to be vice president during his junior year. Mweu was also part of the AU men’s soccer team during his freshman and sophomore years.
Why did you want to be a part of the Student Government Association?
I saw a need for change that a place like AU had the potential for, and I decided I could do something about it, so I started there and the rest kind of followed.
What are your duties as vice president?
The main thing that I try to focus on is representing the student body. I think that’s my number one role and task. I make sure student voices are heard, whether that’s on complaints or good things about AU. I am a voice from the students to the faculty and administration on ways to improve things, whether that’s on things as big as food services or as small as “my air conditioner doesn’t work.” That sort of thing.
What skills or knowledge have you gained from your experiences in SGA?
I’ve learned how to take criticism, both good and constructive. That’s one skill I would say I’ve learned. I’ve learned how to manage a staff, which is both fun and hard. I make sure everyone’s voices, even in my own staff, are heard. I think I’ve learned to hope for change a little bit more, because if you’re pessimistic, then nothing gets done, so I’ve definitely learned to hope a little bit more.
What was it like for you to move to America?
It wasn’t really challenging because I had two people I grew up with. We went to the same high school and moved here [together]. We kind of relied on each other. I grew up in the American system, so culturally it wasn’t too bad, but obviously there are some things that are always going to be different. Coming to a place like AU made moving that much easier.
What cultural differences have you noticed? What has stood out to you the most?
Cup sizes. Cup sizes are the biggest difference culturally, for me especially. A large in Kenya is about [the size of an American medium], but a large here is like a jug.
Was there anything about moving that was difficult for you?
Not seeing my parents and family during Christmas and birthdays and graduations. That always will be hard, but I feel like I’m here for a purpose as well.
What do you think that purpose is?
Spreading ideas that aren’t American to other Americans. That everybody, although how different we are, may be more similar than we thought.
What do you think has been the most fun or the most rewarding about living somewhere else?
The most fun is definitely living with my best friends, seeing them on a day-to-day basis, playing on AU men’s soccer, being in SGA.
What’s rewarding is seeing my friends and I grow together. That is probably the most rewarding thing. You know, we started off as high school kids, and now we’re college students. We’re making resumes and planning our futures, which is both crazy and rewarding to see.
How do you think your perspective, having lived in two different countries, will help you in international relations?
I think it gives me an edge because I can understand, not specifically where somebody else is coming from, but that they are coming from a different place. I understand that different world views and different thought processes and different lifestyles affect the things you do on a day-to-day basis, your actions, your decisions.
Understanding that fact, that everybody is a product of the stories in their lives, has kind of been pounded into my head, just because of me moving from Kenya to here. I get to see that on a daily basis, whether that’s just Joy [Mwangi] and I in staff meetings because we think differently, or Hamilton [Smith] and I, him from Anderson, me from Kenya, attacking a problem and trying to find a solution. We both might find the same solution, but get to it in different ways.
What are your career goals?
I want to go to law school right now. I see myself working as a corporate lawyer in New York or Los Angeles, maybe. Possibly even working for the United Nations. I think I have a passion for the less fortunate because I’ve seen it with my own two eyes, and that’s something I can’t really forget. I think I have a duty to help. I think either one of those two, or a combination of the both are possible career paths.