In writing, I hope to clear up some misconceptions. I feel that UVUSA has been somewhat misrepresented in the UVU Review.
Two weeks ago, it was implied that the elections committee was inherently nepotistic because there are members of UVUSA on the committee. Those who have been through the election process know this could not be further from the truth. Extremely rigid rules were enforced this year, and I feel as though the rules are stricter with teams comprised of current UVUSA members than teams without.
A lot of questions have been asked by members of the UVU Review, students, and teachers about how the election process may be flawed because in recent years it seems that only a team comprised of incumbents wins.
Allow me to ask a question in response. How is this different from any other election in our country? Think about it for a moment. If I were to try to run for Congress against Jason Chaffetz, how do you suppose I would fare? Most likely, I would be easily defeated. You could argue that it is not fair or that we have a corrupt system, but I would counter that if anyone wants to get involved in politics on any level, they need to start from the bottom and work up.
All four candidates running wish we had faced an opposing team. Healthy competition can bring out the best in people and generally, the more choices students have in an election, the better.
Wouldn’t we prefer leaders who have worked their way up the ladder to ensure they have the necessary experience? Similarly, most who have applied for the Editor-in-Chief of the UVU Review for the upcoming year have significant experience writing or editing for the paper. Isn’t this ideal?
Unfortunately, team Innovate was the only team that ran this year for the student body elections. This has not happened in over 20 years. All four candidates running wish we had faced an opposing team. Healthy competition can bring out the best in people and generally, the more choices students have in an election, the better.
Next year I plan on being more proactive in advertising how to run for office so that more people apply. However, I do not feel that this should take away from the months of hard work and planning our team put into this election and the coming year.
The fact that only 6 percent of the students voted in this year’s election is discouraging. Last year, with two teams running, we had roughly a 10 percent voting turnout. This begs the question, why are students so apathetic?
I feel there are too many variables that come into play to try to pinpoint only a few specific causes. It should be understood that this behavior is not necessarily unusual. Vice President of Administration Val Peterson was recently elected into Utah’s House District 59 with a voting turnout almost as paltry as a typical UVU student body election.
I wish more students cared enough to participate. I hope students will stop me in the halls and ask me tough questions because they care about our school. I hope next year we have 50 percent or more of the students voting for the student body elections. That would be a tremendous achievement for our school.
Like most everything in life, the student body elections at UVU are what you make them. I hope we can look back on this year’s election and learn from what did and did not work. Most importantly, I hope we, as students, can develop increased passion and interest in our school and everything that happens on our campus. UVU is an amazing institution and deserves that respect.
– Christopher Loumeau
President Elect of Student Council, VP of Academics