Giovanni Severino looks to pave paths

The Senior, and current ASCWU President, tells stories of past and the future he hopes to create.

ASCWU+President+Giovanni+Severino+listens+intently+during+a+public+meeting+last+Tuesday.+Xander+Fu%2FObserver.
ASCWU President Giovanni Severino listens intently during a public meeting last Tuesday. Xander Fu/Observer.

ASCWU President Giovanni Severino listens intently during a public meeting last Tuesday. Xander Fu/Observer.

ASCWU President Giovanni Severino listens intently during a public meeting last Tuesday. Xander Fu/Observer.

Jason Morales, Staff Reporter

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ASCWU President Giovanni Severino is looking forward to his first full year as president.

Severino is heading into his senior year after transferring from Yakima Valley Community College (YVCC). From his time at YVCC he met his best friend of two years, Taylor Tahkeal, who also transferred to CWU. At YVCC, both Severino and Tahkeal held leadership positions.

“He was part of student government. I was a part of diversity series, which was very similar to the CDSJ (Center for Diversity and Social Justice) here,” Tahkeal says. She mentions how they worked at a small organization, so they had to partner up and get to know each other.

Tahkeal says that the three words she would use to describe Severino are “ambitious, definitely extraverted and loyal.” Severino shakes his head in agreement to what his friend said about him.

“I’m super proud of him and to see the growth of him from YVCC to the bachelor’s level. It’s hard for those students who come from Gio’s background to stay here,” Tahkeal says.

“I was born and raised in south central LA. I come from a low-income family. First generation. Oldest of all my siblings and cousin,” Severino says.

He is glad to be at college so he can be a role model for his younger siblings and relatives. Being in college let’s his family have that mentality of ‘if he can do it, then so can I.’

Severino is very in touch with his family. He calls them at least twice a week, if not more. His siblings call him all the time if they need help with their homework. During the interview his phone rang and he said that was probably them.

“I just want to remind them although I am this far away, although I am doing great things, I am still their cousin, I am still their brother, I am still their son,” Severino says.

Tahkeal recalls many times, from their YVCC years, when Severino brought his siblings to some of the programs there.

“It was really important because for one, it exposes them to college atmosphere from just being on campus, and two, it gets them politically involved,” Tahkeal says.

She mentions how the actions of Severino were important to keep the Chicano X growing, especially in these times, which needs to continue for years to come.

Other than being the family man, Severino is pumped about being in the president’s seat here at ASCWU. While working at the Publicity Center he was part of the Street Team, which had him be involved with many events here at Central. He mentions how just having a job here at CWU  helped him, whether it was at the Publicity Center or not. Having the knowledge of the school is what made Severino successful in being president.

Severino and Tahkeal are both very active on campus. One of the clubs they are in is Movimiento Estudiantil Chinana/o de Aztlan (MEChA). This also led Severino to meet the former president of ASCWU, Armando Ortiz. Severino made a professional connection and a friend with Ortiz.

Meeting Ortiz, being active at CWU and simply being an outgoing person led to Severino’s friends asking whether he was going to run in last year’s election. That was when Severino knew he was going to run for president.

“[It’s] Definitely stressful at times, but a good kind of stress. Definitely something that I will remember for the rest of my life. So many things that I have to do, but I don’t know where to start,” Severino says, when it comes to being president.

At the end of the day, Severino wants you to know that there are role models all around us.

“No matter what, there is always someone looking up to you,” Severino says.” This journey that you are on is not just for you because those pathways that you are creating for yourself, others are going to walk behind you.”

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Giovanni Severino looks to pave paths