After Kiyana Tabrizi found out she would be the next Associated Students Inc. (ASI) student body president, she received a text message from her best friend Brittney Reiser. It said, “When you’re a big hot shot and you’re making tons of money, don’t forget about me.”
Success does not seem too far out of reach for the newly-elected president. Until she officially takes office on June 20, she said she is exactly the person her campaign platform said she is: a regular student.
Being on the stunt team, Tabrizi said she saw firsthand how the budget impacts athletics and student life.
“I was not involved in student government prior to this, but I was really interested in the athletics budget and why things were run the way they were,” Tabrizi said. “That kind of brought me to student government and things fell into place.”
Viewing her past experiences as an advantage, Tabrizi said the fact that she is fairly new to ASI gave her an edge during the campaign process.
“I saw life as a regular student, then I saw how the system worked,” she said. “My goal is to bridge the gap.”
In fact, it was almost one year ago that Tabrizi passed then-newly-elected president Sarah Storelli in the hallway and asked how she could get involved.
With Storelli’s advice, Tabrizi found her place in student government at the beginning of the year, serving as the University Union Advisory Board’s College of Liberal Arts representative.
Coming full circle, Tabrizi said she has been working closely with Storelli to prepare for her presidency, hoping to make a smooth transition between the two terms.
“We’ve been meeting and really discussing what things to continue on next year,” Storelli said. “She definitely knows what to continue, like our Lobby Corps and the executive staff. She knows what she wants to do, but still has an open mind to what may come up.”
Even though Storelli’s own campaign platform had clearly defined goals, she still has faith in the more open and vague platform Tabrizi is embracing.
“It’s a great approach that she is taking as far (as) being really flexible,” Storelli said. “Especially since we don’t know how much is going to be cut yet to the CSU system.”
In the meantime, Tabrizi will continue attending meetings and shadowing Storelli, learning as much as possible before taking office.
Aside from her presidential duties, Tabrizi’s other main goal is to just find time to go home to visit her family. Even from afar, she said her parents act as her role models and her inspiration.
“I know it’s cliché, but my father is a very hard worker,” she said. “He came to the U.S. when he was in college and he really became successful throughout his career because of his hard work. My mom is also very hard working and she established her whole life all by herself. They both came here from Iran during the revolution.”
Tabrizi said her favorite time of the year is the houseboating trip she goes on each summer with her family. She finds joy in the simple pleasures in life and when she is not busy with academics or ASI, she will probably be blasting techo music with her friends or watching “Home Alone II.”
When she is in school, however, it’s a different story. To this day, Tabrizi is pursuing the same dreams she has had since she was a pre-teen.
“Since middle school, I knew that law was the field I wanted to get into, and I’ve always known I want to go to law school,” Tabrizi said. “When I came to Cal Poly, political science was definitely the major for me.”
Specifically, Tabrizi said she hopes to pursue a career involving sport and entertainment law or another aspect of corporate law, and judging by her track record of achievement, she will not rest until she is doing just that.
Though Reiser was joking when she sent Tabrizi that text message, she was also half-serious about her friend’s potential for success.
Reiser described her best friend of 11 years as persistent and determined, exactly the type of person who sets goals and then achieves them.
“In 8th grade she ran for the little student body government of our elementary school,” Reiser said. “She put her heart and soul into it and ended up losing. She was pretty upset.”
But Reiser said she was not at all surprised when she heard Tabrizi would be running for president again.
“I knew she was going to win,” Reiser said. “When she sets her mind on something, she’s going to get it.”
And eight years after her first electoral letdown, that is exactly what she did.