Meet the new president

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Students elected Rob Smith as student body president for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Smith’s decided to run for student body government intended, in part, to show students they don’t have to be in a clique to get involved. “Electing someone who is not already in the student government system will show people that they can get involved,” said Smith.

In high school, Smith was involved as a student leader, but was unaware of opportunities for student body government at UVU.“I was this kid up the road, in leadership, and I didn’t even hear about things like this,” said Smith.

Smith has been referred to as the dark horse between the three candidates. After the debate, students commented on Smith and his platforms.

“Smith seems the most professional, “said Jenny Carlson, senior biology major.

“Rob will probably get my vote,” said Jessie Carlson, freshman early childhood education major.

Jakell Larson and Alex Trujillo also ran for the position of student body president and currently work closely with Smith as presidential interns.

“The student body president needs to understand the students they serve,” said Larson. Larson described Smith as being frugal with his time and encouraged Smith to have unplanned and untimed interactions on campus.

“You as a student body president represent 35,000 students,” said Larson. “Sometimes that takes time. Student body president is a mechanism for student success at this university. It’s about the mini victories for students every day. Anything less is a disservice to the student body and those who elected you.”

Trujillo was unavailable for comment.

As a presidential intern for UVU Chief of Staff Justin Jones, Smith has learned how to communicate with university administration on behalf of the student body. “He recognizes the tough issues facing fellow students and will be a trusted voice while serving on UVU’s Board of Trustees and the President’s Council,” said Jones. “Rob is a natural leader who easily balances the care of others while working diligently to accomplish difficult tasks.”

From the beginning, Smith vowed to be a voice for nontraditional students. 40 percent of UVU students are married. Smith, a husband and a father, brings fresh perspective concerning this demographic.“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.”

Smith plans to continue with policies already in place. He intends to avoid reinventing things that already work. Instead, he wants to change only policies and plans which are ineffective.