Santiago Chavez will be running unopposed as STUSU president.
The third-year political science and international relations student said he would like to give back to the St. Thomas community that has given him so much.
Born in Quito, Ecuador, Chavez came to STU largely because he saw how much his older brother, Gustavo, learned here.
Chavez said he was normally the studious one out of the two where Gustavo had a hard time focusing on his work.
“I saw that he actually grew up a lot here,” said Chavez. “He focused on becoming a success while still being a good guy.”
Chavez has had struggles transitioning to St. Thomas, especially in his first year. But because of the support he received from the university he was able to adjust.
“My roommates in Harrington and my professors, classmates, have all been so genuinely kind to me and accommodating and have helped me grow,” said Chavez. “I’m very grateful for that.”
For this reason, Chavez would like to spend most of his time in office fostering a bigger sense of community at St. Thomas.
He said a lot of the concerns students have such as mental health, the environment, ensuring a secure job after graduation and even figuring out what to study gets easier to deal with if you have a strong support system.
“I feel that a lot of those things often get heightened and seem worse when you feel alienated. That’s why I think all if not most of my time would heavily depend on everybody interacting with each other and helping each other,” said Chavez.
If he gets the “yes” vote from the student population, Chavez will be the first international STUSU president since 2006.
He feels less nervous now that he knows he’s running unopposed, but said there’s still a level of nerves around.
“It’s mostly excited though, especially to see what team comes out,” said Chavez.
Sam Titus will also be running unopposed as vice-president education as well as Travis Aten as graduation class president and Stefen Savoy as at-large representative.
Valedictorian has the most nominations on the list with eight fourth-year students running.
Voting takes place on Feb. 24 and 25 and students will be able to vote online. Chavez would like for as many students to vote as possible.
Here are the nominees for each position:
VP Student Life:
Student Senator (two positions):
Board of Governors Reps (two positions):
Grad Class President:
Off-Campus Rep (three positions):
AQ Board of Directors (four positions):
-Emma Chapple (at-large rep)
-Nathan Delong (second-year rep)
-Brandon Hicks (fourth-year rep)