Meet the candidates: Connor Avila and Tianyi Li Bueso

Presidential and vice presidential candidates Connor Avila and Tianyi Li Bueso speaking about their platform at the SG presidential debate last Thursday. ORACLE PHOTO/JUSTIN SEECHARAN

Juniors Connor Avila and Tianyi Li Bueso said they are running on a platform of action-oriented change, and plan on connecting students’ needs to SG actions through actively listening to students’ wants and needs.

The candidates said “action-oriented” means valuing “tangible goals and milestones over anything else,” with focus on initiatives that can be felt by the whole student body. 

“We try to avoid using ambiguous language and instead back every statement up with a direct initiative and action we have planned out,” Avila said.

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Li Bueso and Avila are both Resident Assistants and members of the Residence Hall Association (RHA), which puts them in contact with different communities’ specific needs and explains how the ticket successfully represents the student body, Li Bueso said.

“As RAS, we get a big demand from students and it’s part of our jobs to talk to them,” Li Bueso said. “It’s interesting to see what students want across campus.”

A business management major, Avila said his experience interning as a project manager will help him in getting different departments to communicate with one another.

Li Bueso said pairing up with Avila was ideal because as a statistics and econometrics major, she can help facilitate the process of executing their initiatives.

“Both my majors are math majors, and I’m very analytical when it comes to things,” Li Bueso said. “I think I channel Connor’s passion into numbers.”

Related: Inclusivity, sustainability among topics discussed at USF SG presidential debate – The Oracle

Avila and Li Bueso said they’re advocating for free laundry to make students’ lives “better and cheaper.”

“With rising costs, that’s one of the things I hear the most from students, that living on campus housing and everything is just too expensive,” he said.

The project would be a part of the ticket’s Hygienic Bulls Initiative. This would also involve expanding the Period Project, created by SG in 2021. The candidates want to make sure that the boxes aren’t empty when the students need the products. 

Avila and Li Bueso’s long-term impact plan highlights sustainability. One of the ticket’s initiatives, “Greener and Gold,” focuses on rain harvesting, biodegradable confetti and recycling items such as fridges and mirrors students throw away at the end of every semester. 

Related: PHOTOS: Goals shared by USF Student Government presidential candidates at event – The Oracle

The most ambitious part of the “Greener and Gold” initiative, according to the candidates, is the idea of transforming Castor Hall into a “full blown sustainability hall.” Avila said Castor needs a revamp in its infrastructure, which would include the installation of solar panels and creating a garden.

The initiative would require evidence on how such commitment would make a significant impact on the environment and attract more students to USF, but Avila said they are willing to fight for it.

“But this is what Tianyi and I would focus on, doing what it takes to convince the people who need to be convinced,” he said.

Related: Meet the candidates: Alexa Matos and Rithvik Lee Pack

Avila, who was a student ambassador for Feeding Tampa Bay in his freshman year and is currently a mentor for Take Stock in Children Florida, said he tries to be “plugged in” and listen to student concerns.

“When we were both looking to run, we were looking because we felt there was a disconnect between what students would want out of student government considering their budget and what is available to them and what they’re actually getting,” Avila said.

Avila and Li Bueso said if elected, they plan to have weekly open student body addresses, which ensures accountability from SG as a whole.

If a complaint is recurring, Avila said his responsibility would be to involve not just SG, but also the appropriate departments.

“We will not be scared to knock down any doors or let [departments] know how students are feeling,” he said.

This article is part of a series featuring the Student Government presidential candidates. Stay tuned to hear about the other tickets’ platforms on Thursday.