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Growing up in Pleasanton, California, agricultural business junior Owen Schwaegerle spent much of his childhood outside exploring with his three brothers. He participated in Boy Scouts and eventually received his Eagle Scout badge.
Schwaegerle was also a founding member of both his high school’s speech and debate team and football team, sang in the choir and played a number of musical instruments, including the fife and the flute.
He found his way into student government, serving first as the sophomore class’ chaplain and then as the senior class vice president.
Former ASI President Jason Colombini encouraged Schwaegerle to get involved in student government. Schwaegerle talks to Colombini, his great-grandbig in Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT), about once or twice a month now that Colombini works for the fraternity’s national office.
In the same way he was anchored to ZBT, Schwaegerle wants students to get anchored to their own group on campus.
Schwaegerle’s campaign slogan is “Anchor with Owen.” Find out more below.
“Jason was just hugely inspirational,” Schwaegerle said. “He was honest in everything he did, and he held (me) to a very high standard, and that inspired me to be a man of quality that lived up to those standards.”
One important aspect of Schwaegerle’s life is his faith. He identifies as a non-denominational Christian and attended a small religious high school called Valley Christian School.
Schwaegerle got involved in the campus Christian organization Cru, shortly after coming to Cal Poly and participated in Bible study.
“Two things about Christianity that I really think don’t get expressed enough: It’s about loving God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind, and loving your neighbor as yourself,” Schwaegerle said. “What I try to do, as a Christian, is love others as God loves us: unconditionally.”
Current ASI President Joi Sullivan was active in both ASI and Cru before her election, which may have helped her win over certain demographics. Colombini went into his election as the Interfraternity Council (IFC) president, which encouraged fraternity and sorority members to vote for him.
After completing his freshman year in Fremont Hall, Schwaegerle returned as a resident advisor as a sophomore. He joined ZBT the same year and was voted the new member class president.
Already involved in University Housing and greek life, Schwaegerle successfully ran for ASI Board of Directors in the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) at the end of his sophomore year. He has served alongside political science sophomore Cyrus Ebadat, a fellow ZBT.
“He’s very organized, always on top of his stuff,” Ebadat said. “He’s all over the place, but he’s organized with it, so that’s what I love about him.”
Schwaegerle’s primary campaign team includes campaign manager and architecture senior Young Choi, graphic communication junior Nicole Smith, communication studies junior Chris Lopez and his girlfriend, biology sophomore Camille Lethcoe.
Lethcoe is a member of the University Union Advisory Board (UUAB) and Sullivan’s executive cabinet. She commended Schwaegerle’s outgoing spirit and love of others.
“He has this genius heart full of love and compassion, and he wants to share that with other people. He doesn’t stop until he gets the job done, which is something that I really admire (about him).”
Once a week, Schwaegerle finds a random person on campus, has a conversation with them and posts a picture to Instagram for what he calls “Total Stranger Tuesday.”
Open campaigning begins on April 12, and Schwaegerle has no distinct plans for his 10 days to win over Cal Poly voters besides distributing T-shirts. But he’ll be out shaking as many hands as he can, trying to win over voters one at a time.
“I want to move people,” Schwaegerle said. “I want them to feel connected to Cal Poly, and inspired to get involved. That’s what I really want to do.”