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Gov. Evelyn De Oliveira and Lt. Gov. Madison Sosa.

Meet the new student leaders at USF’s Sarasota-Manatee campus

Students on the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus have elected new student government leaders Gov. Evelyn De Oliveira and Lt. Gov. Madison Sosa.

While the two rising seniors ran unopposed, they took their campaign seriously.

“We wanted to give everyone the opportunity to get to know us,” said De Oliveira, a psychology major. “We didn’t just want them to vote for us because we were the only option.”

In the months leading up to the election, De Oliveira and Sosa created an Instagram account and developed the acronym “O.N.E.” – which stands for opportunity, nourishment, empowerment – to introduce themselves to their constituents and highlight their initiatives, including a plan to revamp the MyUSF Mobile app, plant a garden on the Sarasota-Manatee campus and update the "Bull’s Country” discount program.

Neither De Oliveira nor Sosa are new to student government. During the 2021-2022 academic year, De Oliveira served as deputy chief of staff under Gov. Riffatul Islam and Lt. Gov Jovanna Arce while Sosa served as the assistant director of marketing and promotions.

“I worked directly with Riffat and Jojo, so I saw a lot of what they did,” De Oliveira said. “The job is a lot of meetings and a lot of meeting new people. I learned to always keep an open mind and be open to new ideas.”

For Sosa, a biology major, forming personal relationships with colleagues before “talking business” was the most important takeaway.

Both De Oliveira and Sosa flew to Denver this summer with their counterparts from the Tampa and St. Pete campuses to attend a conference hosted by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA).

“The conference provided us with an opportunity to get to know the other governors on a personal level,” Sosa said.

As a result, De Oliveira and Sosa expect to see effective collaboration across the three campuses this fall.

“We all experienced this pandemic,” Sosa said. “And we know it hit every individual differently. Our main goal is to get students involved again, to see everyone happy and healthy and to let everyone know that we have resources ready for them. If they need help with academics, with overall wellness, we’re here to connect them with the available resources and to advocate on their behalf.”

“We’re excited,” De Oliveira said. “I think we’re going to do great things in the upcoming year.”

Student Government is hiring for the 2022-2023 academic year. Visit www.joinhandshake.com to apply.

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