Campus Celebrity: Mike Malanga

Two weeks ago, when Her Campus USF ran our article on Student Body President Andy Rodriguez, we touched on the charismatic campaign run by Student Body President-Elect and Vice President-Elect, Chris Griffin and Alec Waid. We did not, however, discuss their opponents, Mike Malanga and Taylor Sanchez. 

A year ago, Mike Malanga was celebrating a win with Andy Rodriguez and getting ready to begin his tenure as Student Body Vice President. This year, he is recovering from a loss, and agreed to sit down with Her Campus USF to discuss two campaigns, his feelings about the last year, and his thoughts for the future. 

Malanga may not have won this election, but that isn't to say he isn't doing well. In fact, Malanga, 21, is scheduled to finish out his Masters in the fall of 2016 and is beginning a full-time job in his field of accounting. 

Speaking with either Malanga or Rodriguez, it becomes very clear that they're proud of the campaign they ran a year ago, and the way they've tried to keep any promises they may have made. Having seen two student body elections happen in his time at USF before running for president, Malanga resolved to commit to actually get things done if elected. "I'm most proud that we stuck by that."

Another accomplishment Malanga is proud of was the implementation of reading days, which take effect this semester. He and many USF students along with him are excited to see students succeed as a result of reading days, and hopes that the extra days between the final days of class and exams will make a huge difference in the health and wellness of future students.

The expansion of Safe Team hours, as well as the subsidized test preparation programs, and the Student Philanthropy fund are other accomplishments Malanga and Rodriguez take pride in. 

It's obvious to anyone who has seen Rodriguez and Malanga in action that they're close, but that was not always the case. When Rodriguez was Senate President and Malanga a Senator, the two didn't cross paths often. "Actually, I voted against Andy when he ran for Senate President. I just didn't think he had enough experience, but he proved me wrong." The two disagreed in the Senate, and still disagree, reportedly "fighting like an old married couple."

Still, Rodriguez referred to Malanga as "a bad-ass senator," and asked him to run for office with him. This was the beginning of a successful term, and a friendship Malanga says he feels lucky to have. 

As for the future, Malanga has this to say: "Obviously, I would have preferred to win, but I'll be rooting for Chris and Alec."