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Manuel Valverde ’12

Among the crowd of seniors pulling all-nighters in the library sits this week’s Campus Celebrity, Manuel Valverde, a Wylie resident and Torrance, California local. Double majoring in Diplomacy and World Affairs and French has called for a heavy comps workload (including a 40 page paper) but Manuel doesn’t regret it at all.  He says, “I got to study abroad in France, immerse myself in their culture, and I’m using the experiences I had in France in my DWA comps.” 
Besides doing large amounts of schoolwork Manuel is also involved in many other clubs and activities.  He is Vice President of Greek Council, Co-president of Diplomacy and World Affairs major association, Student Assistant for Alumni Relations, a member of O-team, and he is also an active member of Phi Psi.  As rush recently ended and new members have joined Greek life, there is a ton of Greek love on campus, and Manuel has plenty of it.
Manuel decided to rush his sophomore year because he liked the idea of a “diverse group of guys open to different kinds of people.”  Phi Psi’s emphasis on brotherhood especially drew him towards the fraternity. His favorite memory was being initiated as a brother, but his favorite moments are abundant and continue to add up.  He enjoys hanging out with his fraternity brothers and also helping out with philanthropy and service, especially when he can “help out the community that gives us so much.” He describes Occidental’s relationship with Eagle Rock as “mutual and organic”.  His favorite community service activity is gardening in a Phi Psi plot in East LA.
Although he has been in the fraternity for a while, he still enjoys Phi Psi as much as he used to.  “Getting to meet the freshmen and interact with the first year class was enjoyable experience,” he explains, “It’s cool to know that all of these guys are sensitive to social issues.”  To the freshmen that have recently joined Phi Psi, Manuel advises, “Be open to different experiences and make sure to interact with different groups of people.”
Besides joining Phi Psi, another one of his favorite memories during his college years was studying abroad.  He traveled to 12 cities and 5 countries—UK, France, Spain, Italy and Belgium.  His advice for those traveling abroad? “Travel, travel, travel.”  He stressed the importance of taking advantage of the opportunity, “it is the only chance you’ll have where you get to be in a country for 4/5 months and experience a different culture.”  He also hinted that the workload isn’t as tough as it is anticipated to be.
If you see Manuel studying hard in the library make sure to say hi and wish him luck on his comps!

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