Christopher Labial describes his youthful self as a “military brat.”
Growing up in a military family, he went to international school and first studied in the U.S. in 2008 at Benjamin Cardozo High School.
Now he is the President of F.L.I.G.H.T., which stands for Filipinos Living to Instill Growth, Honor and Tradition, and is also a member of different clubs on campus, including the Queens College Dream Team and the iTones, an acapella group. In general, Labial feels at home at QC.
“I’ve come to appreciate everyone on this campus,” Labial said.
Labial, a junior and an English major, is running on the Students For Change ticket as the successor to current Student Association President and SFC colleague Raj Maheshwari.
Labial is running against Independent Alliance Presidential candidate Mohammed Hassan and independent candidates Andrew Millan and Luis Cuadro.
He emphasized how student life, specifically clubs, helped shape his identity on campus.
“I wouldn’t be here without my experiences with clubs,” Labial said.
SFC is undefeated since first running in spring 2012 against United People, which controlled Student Association for more than 40 years.
“To my understanding of the history of student government at Queens College, SFC has had a lot of groundbreaking administrations,” Labial said.
He noted a recent change created by the Academic Senate to give representation to adjunct professors. In addition, every club requesting space were given a room, which he noted as unprecedented. SFC also spent a record-breaking $27,000 last semester during finals week.
In response to criticism from IA presidential candidate Mohammed Hassan and other IA members, Labial said he doesn’t believe funds were spent inappropriately.
“I can understand how this is a concern from him, but I disagree [on] any misconduct [that] has been going on,” Labial said. “Though I can’t speak for Matthew Louie himself, this is not a business I’m partaking in.”
Matthew Louie was SA President and SFC party member in the 2013-2014 school year. It was Louie’s spending that received the brunt of criticisms.
Labial said the controversial documents, and other relating to the student government’s spending, were available for all students upon request.
“These are all public records. That’s been our argument ever since [Hassan] broke away from SFC,” Labial said.
Labial believed student outreach was an essential factor for student government officials. He said there are plans for a potential policy where SA members would provide students with information on events happening on campus.
“There’s a lot of preparation involved if you reach out to all those people and that’s one of my big things,” Labial said.
Labial stressed how essential it was to focus on the overall CUNY system as well in order to work with other colleges in providing benefits to students.
“We have to stray away as thinking QC as its own entity,” Labial said. “I’ve been to University Student Senate meetings and we all have the same initiatives. We want our commuter schools to thrive with spirit.”
Labial, handpicked by SFC officials, said he was honored to run as a candidate and hoped to use it as an opportunity to give back to QC.
“I’m just so excited because finally, since my party nominated me as president-elect, I get a chance [to give back]. I never got a huge chance to give back to my community. This experience has been very special to me,” Labial said.