Student Government is hosting its annual student body election this week and voting will run through March 1. The Digital Bullpen caught up with presidential candidate Omar Rodriguez and his running mate, vice presidential candidate C.J. Abeleda, to learn more about their Run with the Herd campaign and who they are outside of the political arena.
Here are the top five things you probably don’t know about Rodriguez and Abeleda (with a bonus five thrown in for democracy):
1. Both Rodriguez and Abeleda are presidents of multicultural fraternities. Those fraternities just happen to be rivals. After some bad altercations between the two organizations, Rodriguez and Abeleda wanted to change the way the two groups interacted. Thanks to the hard work of the two presidents, the fraternities have learned to put the past behind them as they work together to build more positive relations.
2. Although Rodriguez recently began pursuing a law career, he originally planned on becoming a history professor. One of his favorite pastimes was spending his lunch period with his history professors.
3. Abeleda graduated from the International Baccalaureate Program at his high school. Throughout his childhood, his parents stressed the importance of getting a strong education. He was a self-proclaimed “nerdy jock.”
4. Both Rodriguez and Abeleda have backgrounds in governing their peers. Rodriguez is currently a student government senator for the College of Arts and Sciences. Abeleda was the vice president of the student body at his high school.
5. Rodriguez was raised in Frostproof, FL, which is a region largely controlled by J.D. Alexander. Although his parents work for organizations led by Alexander, Rodriguez has personally written him to express his disdain for the senator’s representation of the area.
6. Abeleda plans on becoming a sports psychologist in order to help athletes become well-rounded role models for admiring youth.
7. Rodriguez is the visionary leader who dreams big and sets the high-level goals. Abeleda is the one who stays grounded and practical, nailing out the details and deadlines.
8. Both candidates originally thought twice about joining a fraternity. However, both gladly explain how the experience has provided them with solid values and supportive brotherhoods that allow them to be strong leaders on important issues.
9. Rodriguez was born in Mexico and moved to the United States when he was four years old. Abeleda’s parents married and moved to the United States from the Philippines before he was born. Both candidates learned the power of hard work and dedication by watching their families work to reestablish themselves in their new opportunities.
10. Both Rodriguez and Abeleda came to USF specifically because they saw a chance to leave a real impact on the growing university. They both strive to make the university experience a lasting one for the student body as a whole.