Election preview 2005
With a year of the executive branch under his belt, student body vice president Andrew Aubery is ready and willing to continue what he has started.
“I have been serving as student body vice president for the past year, and because of that, I have already built relationships with administrators, faculty and staff — I know where to go and who to talk to, to get stuff done,” Aubery said.
The junior in finance has lofty goals for USF and for himself. Graduate school is in his sights, as well as practical experience and application before striking out on his own.
As for the goals he has for USF, Aubery wants to put USF on the map and in the minds of people around the globe. He wants the name of USF to stir the same kind of feelings and reassurance as names like Harvard and Oxford.
“(My running mate Jessica Asuncion and I) have the same goals; we have the same ideas for the university,” Aubery said. “We just want to succeed in (having USF) be No. 1 across the nation and the world.”
While that is a very big goal for his ticket, Aubery does have smaller goals that he is ready to achieve.
“I know who to talk to about it to get it completed. It will make my administration that much better next year,” Aubery said.
Coming back a second year to try to win the election has put Brandon Faza’s career plans on hold, but the biology major feels as though it is something he must do.
“The reason that I have decided to run for the election this year, as opposed to going straight to medical school, is I realized that I have such a passion for this university and making the university better that I realized that if I left, I may not have another opportunity to give back to the university that has truly made me who I am,” Faza said.
If he wins, he said he will pursue a master’s degree in biology here at USF, but if he does not, he is going to pack things up and head off to medical school and begin a career as a doctor. Faza has been involved in all aspects of USF including undergrad biology research, supporting athletics — he started the USF Beefstuds — and SG.
Coming close to winning the election last year, Faza has come back this year with a new running mate who he believes gives him an edge on his ticket over his opponents.
“(I have the best ticket because of) the diversity of experiences that I have had on this campus, with respect to school spirit and research and experiences with SG and a proven positive track record with SG, as well as a partner (Brittany Link) who balances with my strengths and weaknesses in an extremely good manner,” Faza said.
Glenn Gilzean is thinking big, not only about things he would like to change here at USF, but also in his future.
“My overall goal is to be future surgeon general of the United States,” Gilzean said. “So after this, it is going to be medical school and politics.”
As a bio medical science major with a minor in medical physics, Gilzean has proven that he can take on a lot of responsibility while still looking at the bigger picture. Upbeat but patient, Gilzean wants SG to be a respected entity.
“We are willing to sit down and work out any problem there is,” Gilzean said. “We also have the personal relationships with the administration, so anything we need to get accomplished will get done.”
As for getting things done, Gilzean is proud of his efforts to get financial aid to cover parking permits, something that should go into effect this summer and something he sees as a major goal if he gets into office. His other goals include academic advising reform as well as financial aid reform, all things he is confident he can fix quickly.
“Everything on our platform is executable within a year,” Gilzean said.
Maxon Victor — mass communications major, hip hop artist, politician, self-proclaimed man of the people.
“Versatility — the fact that I work with SG and I work for a student resource agency and so when need be, I am professional and I take care of business; on the same token, I can be performing with my hip-hop group doing a USF song or performing at midnight madness or the homecoming masquerade ball,” Victor said. “It is the different things that I do that represents the lifestyle of the students.”
Pursuing a career in event coordinating, Victor says that he brings a personal level to student politics and will indeed be a more personal president if he gets elected. He says he can and will connect with the student population better than past presidents have.
Victor has carefully picked a running mate that balances the ticket out.
“I look at it like a (Michael) Jordan and (Scottie) Pippen kind of a deal,” Victor said. “We are both very strong at what we do. (Ahmed) is excellent as far as being technical and being analytical.”
He wants to see the university take a leading role in the community and have the student body united and focused on campus-wide goals.
“My number one goal is to make this campus more cohesive,” Victor said.
You can call Mike Johnson “Mr. President,” because no matter if he wins the student body elections or not, he still has the title in other circles.
The multifaceted candidate is president of Phi Delta Theta and was elected president of the year, as well as president of the Midnight Marketing Association, an organization he founded. Johnson’s other posts Johnson has held include vice president of the Order of Omega Honor Society and officer in the Interfraternity Council.
“Our qualification is kind of our ticket overall,” Johnson said. “(My running mate) Kyle Myers and my experience is representative of the student body. I think it is most representative of the student body as a whole.
Being president of any type of organization is important to Johnson and he feels as though it clearly sets his ticket apart from his opponents.
“We are the only ticket where both members of the ticket have been presidents of organizations,” Johnson said. “I think that is pretty special because a lot of candidates are going to come in here being part of committees and what not, but it doesn’t really mean anything because — I mean, you can be involved in as many committees as you want, but you do not know how to lead an organization.”
As USF starts to pull away from the commuter image, Johnson believes specific action needs to be taken.
“Our No. 1 goal, I would have to say, is support of student organizations,” Johnson said. “There are over 300 student organizations on campus. Now everybody has this mentality that we want to become more of a traditional school than commuter school, and we share that mentality, but I think that you have to start with square one. Start with student organizations.”
Born into a bi-partisan military family, Silverlee Hernandez has had her hands on the pulse of politics for as long as she can remember.
“My whole entire life, with my dad being in the military, politics has been a part of my life, and I have a lot of family members in Puerto Rico that have ran for office,” Hernandez said.
Politics must run in her blood, because the once wannabe doctor took a few political science classes at USF and hasn’t looked back since — she is now double majoring in political science and international relations and looks forward to a life of lobbying or something similar. She has also participated in a directed study program in which she studied the education budget and was part of the Legislative Internship Program.
Despite her experience in politics and USF Student Government, Hernandez thinks that her ticket can bring a fresh perspective to campus politics.
“Something that I think is unique about our particular ticket is that I have kind of an insider role — I have been in Student Government for a while and helped out through my whole four years here at USF doing an array of different things in student government — while (my running mate Matthew Couret) takes an outside role because he is an outsider looking in,” Hernandez said.
She thinks that they will not bring enough new ideas to the table. She is concerned that SG is not doing enough to communicate with the student body while perpetuating events that are not working.