Meet the 2017-18 student body officer candidates

Student Body President

Rob Smith

Rob Smith

If elected, Smith will place student success as his top priority. UVU is branded with a vision of student success and Smith’s goals seek to reinforce and accelerate that momentum. In doing so, Smith plans to avoid reinventing things that already work.

Smith has not been involved in student government at UVU in the past, but he sees that as a strength. His decision to run for student body president is built on a desire to lead by example, especially when it comes to student involvement.

“Electing someone who is not already in the student government system will show people that they can get involved,” said Smith. “It doesn’t have to be student government. Find an organization or a club and get what you need from your time [at UVU].”

As a presidential intern, Smith has learned how to communicate with university administration on behalf of the student body.

Smith wants to be a voice for traditional and nontraditional students. As a husband and father, Smith recognizes that 40 percent of UVU students are married; 35 percent are at least 25-years-old; and 20 percent support a child.

“That’s a big portion of our student population,” said Smith. “In a lot of our leadership organizations, that big portion is not very well represented.”

Jakell Larson

Jake Larson

Larson wants to get to work and will use previous experience to serve, connect and inspire students. Having been on both the student and administration sides of issues is an advantage, according to the former vice president of activities and current presidential intern to Linda Makin, vice president of budgets, planning and human resources.

“I don’t have to spend a year learning how to be student body president, I know how to be student body president,” said Larson.

If elected, Larson will be the second woman to serve as student body president since the university began. Larson compiled a report for the ElevateHER challenge, which strives to put more women in leadership positions. “I got to start taking a look at women demographics and in all stages,” said Larson. “I think that more women should be mentoring other women, that they can apply for positions and they should.”

Allocating student fees, approaching administration and sitting on the President’s Council are things that Larson is already familiar with due to her experience.

Alex Trujillo

Alex Trujillo

Alex Trujillo has considered running for student government for the past two years. During that time, he has served as the marketing director of the UVU Service Council and is a presidential intern.

Trujillo cites both selfless and selfish reasons for his candidacy.

“I’m a pretty religious guy,” said Trujillo, “and I want to serve to the most capacity that I can.”

“[My] selfish reasons are building a network,” said Trujillo.

Trujillo describes himself as a blue personality on The Color Code and says his strengths rest in intimacy and connecting with others. Trujillo believes his ability to connect with people personally will translate into his leadership as student body president.

Influencing community perception is important to Trujillo. He plans to create a symbol which will help the community see UVU as no longer being a small university.

On the subject of diversity, Trujillo recognizes that diversity means more than racial differences, it includes sub-cultures as well.

“I do think though it does give me an edge,” said Trujillo, “to have that [multicultural] experience, and to be of a different ethnicity that my opposing candidates.”

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) enables undocumented students the opportunity to gain an education.

“As president,” said Trujillo, “I would hope I could establish an environment of safety for these undocumented students.”

Executive Vice President

Tanner McQuivey

Tanner McQuivey

McQuivey, who is currently the MAWL president, says if elected he plans on “reaching out and trying to get students involved,” in regards to students participating or running for office in UVUSA. He believes that there are a lot of opportunities but not enough students are being reached.

“I want to try and make these opportunities and show the students that there are all these ways to get involved,” he said.

Vice President of Academic Senate

Chelsie Kraczek

The reason for student government is to be the student’s voice and understanding what they need, according to Chelsie Kraczek, a major in personal financial planning.

Something that spoke to Kraczek the most about student government is the outreach to students. “My main thing is being the connecting piece to helping students in education,” she said.

Kraczek is currently the coordinator for the UVU Service Council and wants to be part of student government by making the university’s resources more accessible to students.

Her main platform is to help students stay in school. Kraczek is passionate about it because of her experiences with community service.

Solutions addressed which could help students voice their needs for housing or financial aid could be through an organized forum titled, “Tips and Tricks.” Kraczek wants to expand the demographics who take school surveys.

“I feel like too often, the same types of people are surveyed and I want to make it more accessible for other kinds of people who allow themselves to be surveyed,” she said.

Kraczek recognizes students who struggle to get by. She wants to make suggestion boxes and contact information for resources more visible and heard through the tour guides given on campus.  

Logan Cottle

Logan Cottle

Logan Cottle said that most important part of the position of vp of academics is creating a way to empower student success by using student voice effectively.

“Being able to help students individually and helping every student see that there’s a place for them here no matter what it is. Our job as students in UVUSA is to help them see and have opportunities,” Cottle said.

Cottle’s method to connect with more students is through listening to their needs by running outreach programs in areas on campus less surveyed. He wants to organize forums for students that are more interactive.

He currently works as assistant to vice president of academics and plans to continue communication through the student speaker series and an new academic resource called, “Department Day,” which is similar to Club Rush.

Cottle said that issues are making progress, such as student fees and parking, but that having UVUSA be more transparent with students will make an impact.

“Students maybe don’t even understand there are students in government trying to advocate for them, so if they can know that’s what we’re here for, then they’ll be able to use us more effectively,” he said.  

Jaxon Olsen

Jaxon Olsen

Olsen wants to be a liaison voice between the faculty/administration and students. With the student voice in mind, he plans to meet with all deans and senators of colleges once a month to listen to their concerns, something that the current vice president of academic senate does not do.

“I want to meet with the deans of each college along with my senators, because I never want to go behind the back of my senators, and I want to ask them how to improve the senator positions and how we can improve the department reps,” he said. “There’s two avenues, there’s one where I need to listen to the student voice and hear what their concerns are, and then I also want to hear on the administration and faculty on how they want to improve that or how they can best utilize the student government.”

Olsen also wants to break down the stereotype that UVSS is an exclusive group. Olsen plans to create an inclusive culture around UVUSA and wants to be a voice to underrepresented students at UVU.

“Transparency is really important to build inclusivity,” said Olsen, current president of UVU’s service council.

Vice President of Student Activities

Gage Marberger

Gage Marberger

Marberger wants to inspire students to get involved on campus and believes that this could work by using different departments and resources on campus.

He thinks that in order to instill pride, students have to acknowledge that they are UVU and they are great.

“When we team up, it’s a lot easier to have a more broad scope of who we’re reaching,” he said.

Dustin Draper

Dustin Draper

Draper wants to see new things in school. He wants students to know who their students leaders are. He believes that going to housing complexes and reaching out to non-traditional students is a way to get more people involved.

“It’s going to take a lot of personal time and I want to establish a personal relationship with as many students as I can,” he said.

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