Multimedia editor Justin Seecharan interviewed Student Body President and Vice President Cesar Esmeraldi and Elizabeth Volmy about their plans for USF as they step into their new roles.
You’ve had a few months to get accustomed to your roles over the summer. How have you settled into your jobs as student body president and vice president?
Elizabeth: I think we’ve been settling in really smoothly, partly due to the fact that we’ve been in student government before. So just the experience that we had is really helping us…. especially [with ]our support team that we have as well.
Cesar: We’re very grateful. I just want to thank everyone who supported us throughout the election. After the election, everyone in student government, our advisors, admin… We’re very excited.
As fall semester begins, what is one thing you have already accomplished and one thing you’re looking forward to working on?
Elizabeth: I think something that we’re looking forward to is just working with our cabinet and making the dreams a reality…just planning out our initiatives and making them come intact.
Cesar: I will say our main accomplishment this summer is the fact that we hired a great cabinet. They’re great people, motivated, hardworking, and with a great group, we’re gonna do great things.
What’s the most exciting part of your positions?
Elizabeth: Another part we love about the position is just getting to meet new people every day, and really just make that impact and building those connections.
Cesar: I think the best part is being able to have a positive impact in our community. And I really mean it. Both Elizabeth and I are very passionate about USF, about the students. We’ve been in student government for a couple of years each. And now, we feel like we have a real opportunity to do great things and actually be there for all the students.
How do you balance the stress of being a full-time student while maintaining the responsibilities of representing your student body?
Elizabeth: I find it easier to balance things I love. I feel like I love my role. And I love being a student and learning and you have to learn within this role. So, it’s kind of the best of both worlds for me.
Cesar: As much as it gets hectic, we’re very passionate. And I wouldn’t say we stress. It’s more about being able to have good time management and do everything we want. And I think we’re doing good so far. Like I said, we have a great team behind us. So I’m very excited. I wouldn’t say we’re stressed. I think we’re planning everything for a great year.
With a new class of students starting their university journey, what piece of advice would you give them?
Elizabeth: I would say always be true to yourself and do not be afraid to get involved on campus. There’s so many different opportunities to find things you love, and maybe make a new experience and find new friends. So really, just get involved as much as possible. And don’t be afraid to take advantage of all the opportunities that can help you achieve your future career goals.
Cesar: USF is a great place, you’re gonna meet great people, and you’re gonna have a lot of opportunities. Like Elizabeth said, get involved, follow your dreams, do things you like and have an open mind. I think everyone, every incoming freshman, even transfer students, you come in, and you know what you like, you know what your passions are. But if you have an open mind, you’re gonna find even more things. And USF is a great place for that.
You underwent a difficult election process. What is one lesson that experience taught you?
Elizabeth: I would say just staying true to yourself and making sure if you work for something, push through and make sure you work for it until the end. Hard work pays off.
Cesar: I think the main lesson is if you’re hardworking, transparent and you don’t cheat, people are going to support you. People are going to have your back. If they know your truth, if they know you’re pure with your intentions, it’s going to be great.