Fransico “Frankie” Pastor-Rivera, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, has been elected to be the first openly gay and latino president of the Creighton Student Union as of late Tuesday night.
Alongside his running mate Leilani Hung, also a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, the duo claimed their titles after 1,876 students voted throughout the day.
“I sought the student body presidency to make Creighton a more diverse community,” said Pastor-Rivera. Minutes after winning the election Pastor-Rivera was surrounded on the Skutt staircase with supporters giving their praise and congratulations.
“I wanna thank you guys for having faith in us, because we are sophomores, and I can assure you that we’re ready to do our job and we’re ready to be the back-bone of the Creighton student body,” said Hung.
At the Monday night “Meet the Candidates’’ event, both Pastor-Rivera and Hung answered questions from the former executive team and the audience. They addressed
several projects they’re excited to get into the works.
“Number one, since my freshman year till now, I’ve been trying to [work with] Creighton bookstore, and successfully, I got them to start printing out creighton apparel that has the word Creighton in LGBTQIA+ colors. Because of the framework of contracts with our suppliers, it’s getting a bit delayed, so it’s getting that out as soon as possible,” said Pastor-Rivera.
As for the second project on their list, “starting to push through a voting rights initiative of education, so that every freshman that comes here to campus knows how to request an out of state ballot, knows how to register to vote, knows how to do those simple civic duties,” said Pastor-Rivera.
CSU advocates for all of Creighton’s colleges, including its graduate schools. As the next executive vice president.
“We’re here to represent you guys. We’re here to hear you guys and we just want to make sure that you guys understand that you have a voice here at Creighton,” said Hung.
Pastor-Rivera and Hung met each other freshman year through the Freshman Leadership Program.
“I saw his aspect of how he wanted to change Creighton, so I think as President and Vice President we plan to just keep that communication. He’s like my best friend, so I think we work hand in hand,” said Hung.
Pastor-Rivera expressed similar thoughts.
“It was only natural that I chose Leilani to be my Vice President,” said Pastor-Rivera.
Both of them represent the latino community and “at times where we felt out of place on this campus we often relied on each other, to cry on each others' shoulders, uplift each other and talk about embracing our heritage,” said Pastor-Rivera.
Pastor-Rivera and Hung will step into their term under fairly traditional settings, an advantage that wasn’t given to the outgoing executive team.
“Transitioning between a semester with strong COVID regulations on campus to a more traditional year made this team really flexible. We were able to bring back a lot of in-person programming and events in the fall because of this and made a smooth transition for CSU back to more regular operation,” said current President Parker Rieffenberger, a junior in Heider College of Business via an email interview.
As the current Executive Vice President Ashley “Nelly” Nelson, a senior in the Heider college of business, said in an email interview, “Delegation and thinking on my feet have really developed throughout my time in this position. Student government can have its fair share of surprises and learning to take those changes with grace and turning them into positives has been integral to this role! I would like to be remembered as a passionate, caring leader who loved representing their Bluejays!”