Flavio Bravo was voted the new president of Loyola’s Unified Student Government Association (USGA) last Friday, beating opponent Phillip-John Puzzo.
According to the official voting results, Rambler voter turnout for the USGA elections was around 29.2 percent, a 5 percent increase from the previous year. Bravo, 19, a sophomore philosophy and political science double major, will be leading the USGA with Vice President Michael Fasullo, a 19-year-old sophomore political science major. They beat Puzzo and his running mate, Samantha Juarez, by 9.7 percent.
Last Friday, Bravo sat down with The Phoenix to discuss his win and help his fellow Ramblers get to know their new president better.
How did you get involved with the USGA?
My [resident assistant] is the one who told me about the opportunity to run for student government last year. I worked on three campaigns before coming to Loyola, and I just really love campaigning. I love getting signatures and meeting people and letting them understand it is OK to bring a humble approach to the position. [It] is so much more than something to put on your resume — it is a love of serving others.
What are you most excited about going into your presidency?
I think the change … and the retreat in the fall for the [USGA] senators. Michael [Fasullo] and I want to see how we [can] start planning for the retreat now to make sure it is a time to inspire every single committee chair to do the best work they can. We want to make sure that Senate and Executive have a very close relationship.
What will be your first task as president?
The first task, this weekend already, is that [Fasullo and I] want to meet with all the newly elected presidents of student organizations, especially those who we asked for support. A lot of the organizations we reached out to said they had never been approached by USGA. We want to make sure that is different.
What do you hope to have accomplished a year from now?
I want students to feel more comfortable with the USGA, for every organization to feel like they have received more guidance from us than just allocated funding, and I want USGA to set the example for how an organization should be run. I want more students running for positions next year.
What do you feel is your biggest strength to help in your role as president?
[Fasullo and I] can relate to the students. And, that being juniors next year, we can commit our entire year to USGA. We won’t have to focus on graduation requirements, or graduate or law school.
What do you think your greatest challenge will be?
[Fasullo and I] have to show results in the first month. We have to make sure that every single senator buys into what we are saying. It is an all hands on deck approach; we need everybody.
Who is your role model, and why?
Cesar Chavez. He became a very popular advocate for farm worker’s rights in California. My uncle was his right-hand man when they did a nationwide boycott on table grapes. I have always looked up to Cesar Chavez. And I think that it is really special that today [Friday, March 28] the movie comes out [about Chavez’s life].
Where is your favorite spot at Loyola?
The Corboy Law Library — that is where I know I can get my work done.
What was the last song you listened to?
“All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled. That is what I woke up to anyways. People kept telling me, “You have to envision that you are going to win.”
What is a little-known fact about you?
My sister calls me Nemo. People used to think, “Oh, is that because he has a little arm?” And, my sister was like, “No, it is because he has orange hair and swims. He is my little Nemo.”
Bravo said he is excited to be the new president of the USGA, and that he and Fasullo are thankful to all their advisors and students who have given them support. Bravo will be officially sworn in as president at the USGA’s private induction ceremony and end of the year banquet on Friday, April 4.