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USF Student Government Elections Will Determine the Allocation of $14.6 Million Budget

USF students will have the opportunity to vote for the student body president, vice president and other student senate members in an election that will affect students’ everyday lives on campus.


Student Government presidential candidates Sammy Hamed and Andy Rodriguez.

By Helen Beirko
     USF News Intern

TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 13, 2015) - The University of South Florida student body Presidential and Student Senate elections will begin Monday, Feb. 16. The election will run through Thursday, Feb. 19, and the winning candidate will be announced on the following day.

Introducing the Student Body Presidential Candidates

This year’s presidential candidates are Sammy Hamed, running with vice presidential candidate Alexis Sacasas, and Andy Rodriguez, running with vice presidential candidate, Mike Malanga. These students are running to replace the current student body president and vice president, Jean Cocco and Rhondel Whyte.

Hamed and Sacasas’ main goals are to increase campus security, grow within the community, be open and honest with USF students about student government and provide them with the necessary skills and connections to graduate without fear. Their slogan, “All In,” represents their passion and determination to help students achieve success.

Rodriguez and Malanga strive to be the voice for the student body and provide students and organizations on campus with the resources they need. This pair also focuses on safety and integrity, and they hope to create student foundations for fundraising, more campus traditions and an overall positive student experience.

For more information on the individual candidates’ platforms, visit their Facebook pages at Andy & Mike 2015 and Hamed/Sacasas 2015.


Student Government vice presidential candidates Alexis Sacacas and Mike Malanga.

The Powers and Responsibilities of Student Government

As student body president, the elected candidate will have a lot of power within the university, mostly affecting students’ daily lives. The student body president will have the opportunity to be a member of the Board of Trustees if selected among the student body presidents from the three USF system campuses. This upcoming year, the student body president will control a 14.6 million dollar budget and be responsible for indirectly hiring hundreds of student government employees. The vice president assists in these tasks, but also works closely with the alumni association. These are integral roles for students to have because they affect the current lives of students and the relationship students will have with the university post-graduation.

They are also full-time positions. The president makes over $15,000 per year, working 35 hours per week, which is funded by students’ tuition. Each semester, USF students pay $11.75 per credit hour towards an Activity and Service fee. These fees make up the multi-million dollar budget that is used to provide the university’s entertainment, campus resources, student government payroll and student organization funding. Student government works in conjunction with organizations like the University Lecture Series, the Center for Student Involvement, Campus Recreation, Parking and Transportation Services, etc. to provide students with the best possible campus experience.

The student government representatives act as liaisons between the students and the decision makers of the university. By voting in the student body presidential election, students will have more influence over the outcome of USF’s campus life and the resources provided. For a full list of executive branch powers and responsibilities, click here for more information.

How to Get Involved

In past years, 2,500 - 5,000 students have voted in the student body presidential election. As a large university, involvement with SG has the potential to expand dramatically. With more students’ votes, the president, vice president and senate members can better determine the needs and wants of the student body and provide them with a stronger voice.

Students can vote throughout the week for the candidates who best express their vision for the future of USF.

Visit the USF Student Government website between Monday, Feb. 16 and Thursday, Feb. 19 to fill out the voting eballot.



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