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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Q&A with ASUA President Manny Felix

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Bill Mason, Cat Tran Driver (Brown hair) Dennis Cady, Cat Tran Driver (black and white striped shirt) AJ Dowgiert, Cat Tran Driver (Plaid/Checkered Shirt)

Outgoing, reliable and a leader are a few words current ASUA President Manuel Felix uses to describe himself.

Felix, a double major in political science and Spanish interpretation and translation, is actively involved on campus in the UA Chain Gang Junior Honorary, SOPHOS Sophomore Honorary and Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity International. He also serves as the president and founding father for the Beta Omega chapter of Delta Sigma Phi.

Although this is his first year involved with the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, Felix explains that he had a prior understanding of how the organization functions.

“I have been learning and reading about ASUA ever since I was a freshman,” he said. “Also, all of my friends were involved in ASUA, so it almost felt like I was already a part of it.”

Felix secured his position as ASUA president with 238 votes after his initial disqualification from the election was overturned in March. He said he looks forward to collaborating with the other in-state universities to avoid future budget cuts from the state and Gov. Doug Ducey.

“I love meeting people and making new friends,” Felix said. “I always tell anyone I meet they can rely on me for whatever they need, and I will do my best to help, and I am a leader because I love advocating for students—speaking for those who feel like they don’t have a voice or are not being heard.”

Q: Where are you from?

A: “Here’s the story: I was born in Tucson, Ariz. However, months after I was born, we moved to Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, Mexico, with my maternal grandparents. I lived there for 11 years, up until fifth grade. I then moved to Nogales, Ariz., where I finished middle and high school. Even though for the most part I grew up in Mexico, I do consider Arizona to also be a part of my upbringing.”

Q: What did you want to be when you were a little kid?

A: “When I was a little kid I dreamed of being an architect.… I enjoyed assembling and disassembling toys and later trying to figure out how the pieces came together, and I also really liked math. Even though now I aspire to be a lawyer, I greatly admire architecture and landscape anywhere I go.”

Q: What made you realize you wanted to be in your field [law]?

A: “I participated in a law camp hosted by the University of Arizona when I was in eighth grade. The camp was only supposed to be for high school students; however, I received permission to enroll. I completely fell in love with it and really enjoyed learning about the concept of law. The biggest factor that helped me realize I wanted to be a lawyer was my stepfather. He is an attorney himself, and just seeing and hearing about his work really persuaded me.”

Q: What’s your favorite movie this summer?

A: “I’m the kind of guy that enjoys a good laugh. Fun fact about me: In high school I received the senior superlative for most contagious laugh. I believe laughter is the most infallible cure to anything. ‘Entourage’ is definitely a good movie to watch if you want some comedy-action. ‘Minions’ is definitely a great pick and is sure to make you laugh.”

Q: Why did you choose to run for president?

A: “There is nothing I like to do more than to help others, and I felt being in student government is the best way to do so—especially as president. I am putting the entire student body before myself, and I think that it is one of the most selfless things I could do. At the end of the day, nothing puts a smile on my face more than knowing I was able to help students in any way, even if it was just one student.”

Q: Favorite place to eat on campus?

A: “If I’m not working or in class, you can definitely find me munching on food somewhere on campus. My favorite spot to eat on campus varies, depending on what I feel like eating. If I had to choose one meal, however, it would be the Cowboy Burger from The [Cellar].… And if you want the perfect dessert, you can find delicious Nutella with strawberry and banana crêpes; I don’t consider it a full meal without dessert.”

Q: Who is someone who inspires you and why?

A: “This might be a very cliché answer, but I wouldn’t expect to give any other: my family.… They motivate me to succeed and to never give up. My mother was a single parent for 11 years and raised my sister and I before she married again, and then my stepdad soon became one of my biggest role models. My grandmother is a fighter, and ever since my grandfather passed away she is trying to be stronger than ever. If I had a definition for perseverance it would be my sister; she never gives up. And lastly, my grandfather is who I aspire to be. Funny story: He was mayor of his hometown many years ago, and I consider being elected president of [ASUA] following in his footsteps.”

Q: What’s your favorite book?

A: “I love reading, and this summer I’ve been reading more than ever. My favorite author is John Grisham; he is a lawyer and an author renowned for his legal thrillers. I enjoy all of his books. Recently, however, I just finished reading a book in Spanish called ‘Cien Años de Soledad’ by Gabriel García Márquez, and it’s definitely amongst my favorites as well.”

Q: If you could give 18-year-old Manny a piece of advice, what would it be?

A: “I would tell 18-year-old Manny not to stress, to live in the moment, for before you know it, you’re a grown-up. Life only seems to go by faster, and we should take it slow and enjoy it one day at a time.”

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