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Gov. Alexandra Lopez and Lt. Gov. Bethsagena Thalon

New student government leaders prepare for first-ever residence hall

By Georgia Jackson, University Communications and Marketing

Students on the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus have elected Gov. Alexandra Lopez and Lt. Gov. Bethsagena Thalon to represent the campus for the 2023-24 academic year. Together, Lopez and Thalon plan to support campus efforts to build momentum for the first-ever residence hall, set to open for the fall 2024 semester.  

For Lopez and Thalon, the new student center and residence hall is a “truly exciting” opportunity to ensure the six-story, 100,000-square-foot complex meets the needs and preferences of their constituents, many of whom may soon call the Sarasota-Manatee campus “home.” 

“It is definitely going to change the dynamic of the campus,” said Lopez, who plans to assess and advocate for students' needs.

Come fall 2024, as many as 200 students will be able to live in the new building, which will include suites and apartment-style residences, a ballroom, a bookstore, dining facilities, study lounges and meeting rooms, as well as offices for student government, USF World and other organizations.   

“The building of the new student center and housing complex will create opportunities to improve student life, organize events and have more interaction with students on campus,” said Thalon.

Lopez, a biology major and former USF ambassador, cited the close-knit Sarasota-Manatee campus community fostered by her predecessors as the reason she chose to get involved with student government. She plans to nurture the community by increasing on-campus engagement and elevating student voices. 

A transfer student and biology major, Thalon is equally dedicated to representing the student body, promoting student well-being and advocating for student needs and interests.  

Both Lopez and Thalon have plans to attend medical school upon graduation.

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