In an unexpected turn of events, Rob Smith will be 2017-18 student body president of UVUSA, defeating the pattern of traditional students who have won past elections. Smith will oversee the allocation of the estimated millions in student fees and become a voting member for the UVU Board of Trustees for the 2017-18 school year.
According to results provided by UVUSA, it was a close election as Smith won with 1,505 votes, leading Jake Larson by 239 votes and Alex Trujillo by only 79 votes.
“It feels super exciting. I’m really excited for this next upcoming year,” said Smith. “Hopefully we can get a lot done, continue the great work that’s already happened here at UVU.”
Running unopposed, Tanner McQuivey was elected as executive vice president. Chelsie Kraczek was elected as vice president of academic senate and Dustin Draper was elected as vice president of activities. Brett Gonzalez will be the new vice president of clubs.
Public relations major Krista Winward said that Smith’s constant presence in the halls might have won over voters.
“I think him and his family ran a really good campaign. They were on campus every day asking people to vote for him,” said Winward.
Smith’s first priority will be to fill positions with student leaders who he believes will help the school move forward.
Some voters were shocked by the results.
McKell Wall, a communication major who voted for Trujillo said, “I was honestly really surprised, but I think next year’s executive council will do great. I think they’re going to do awesome things and I think the student body is behind them.”
“I thought it was shocking,” said speech communication major and presidential intern Jess Fowler. “I feel like despite who’s won and who’s lost it’s still going to be a good year.”
Madison Hanson, a behavioral science major who voted for Trujillo said, “Every candidate was great and it was a very clean race, it was very fair. I think everyone gave it their all, I’m not really surprised with the results. I’m very happy with who got it.”
Current student body president Birch Eve’s goal was to turn last year’s 8 percent voter turnout to 10 percent.
“I teared up,” said Eve when he found out that 16.3 percent of the 26,276 eligible students voted. “It’s the second-highest percentage of student voters. It will just get better and better every year, I’m ecstatic.”