On the campaign trail ‘13

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Empower is not a team, they are a movement. That’s the central philosophy guiding the candidates during this UVUSA election.


The candidates, captained by Marin Reynolds, are looking to shake up the status quo with a different kind of student body presidency for the students at Utah Valley University.


“We came to the conclusion that this is ultimately going to be a protest of the original campaign and the traditional campaign ideas,” said Christopher Mevs, campaign manager for Empower.


Empower said they are looking to address a problem within student government and to correct a broken system.


Mevs explained that too often campaigns for student office are run the same way, with the same action taken and disconnect when the officer is elected. Empower is hoping to remedy that.


Empower is unique in that it was created at the insistence of other students who wanted something different than the two existing teams. While the two other parties had been preparing since last November or earlier, Empower came together earlier this year with a legion of frustrated students behind them just making the deadline.


“We are different here. We don’t want to mold into other universities, we don’t want to mold into other types of student bodies,” Reynolds said. “We want to embrace what UVU has to offer here.”


With a three-fold mission focused on creating a vast network of engaged students, embracing the school’s diversity and offering transparency to the student body, Empower has set some lofty goals. Their rallying cry being that UVU can do things better, they may be able to accomplish those goals if elected.


With tuition potentially on the rise and the construction of the new Student Life and Wellness Building and parking structure on campus, this year’s student body elections are more important than ever.


#Avenue’s campaign is focused on the idea of unifying the student body at UVU, which the team admitted would be a bit of a challenge as UVU is still considered a fairly young university.


“We have three platforms we’re going for, that we want to bring to UVU,” said #Avenue team member Natalie Lier. “They are connect, feedback and pride.”


Key focus points for #Avenue in the upcoming year are the Testing Center and fee days, the continual lack of adequate parking and the much needed funding for more space on campus.


“Space is a huge issue,” said #Avenue student body president candidate Zach Dearing. “[Funding] is something we’re working on a lot this year already.”


Even though the student population at UVU is greater than that of the University of Utah and Utah State University, the university does not receive a comparable amount of funding other schools receive, which directly affects the amount of space per student.


Team #Avenue candidates are Zack Dearing for Student Body President, Natalie Lier for Executive Vice President, Aubree Hill for Vice President of Activities and Jessica Barney for Vice President of Academics.


“We really care about the school, we love UVU,” Lier said about the major difference between #Avenue and teams that have run in the past. “We want to be involved and help the students out.”


Team Ignite, with Jono Andrews as their presidential candidate, seeks to encourage diversity and individuality and ignite the student body and faculty though transparency and student advocacy.


Along with Andrews, current UVUSA club ambassador, other Team Ignite members Elizabeth Jarema, Kiahna Campbell, Caleb Tippets and Tyler Brklacich hope to actively engage students of diverse backgrounds with UVUSA and not just have it be friends of friends that apply.


“[Diversity] is something that you can actually see within our team,” Andrews said.


Team Ignite executive vice president candidate Jarema, a mother and Figi-born international student, will be the first international student executive if elected.


“I think it’s important to not just bringing cookie-cutter speakers to campus but speakers that appeal to other groups on campus,” Andrews said.


Other than goals to make student government a more collaborative effort on campus, Andrews hopes to lobby at the Salt Lake Capitol building for additional classrooms to be built on campus.


With $10 million short of a $55 million classroom building planned for construction north of the library, a major issue for the next UVUSA president will be lobbying at the state level for more funding.


“We need it to be able to meet the size [of the student body] of 46,000 that’s projected in 2020,” Andrews said.


Unlike other UVUSA members who are “overloaded with 15 credits,” Andrews, a senior who is “theoretically finished with his degree” seeks to dedicate his final year to student government.

By Alex Sousa, Nathan Turner and Natalie Sullivan

5 thoughts on “On the campaign trail ‘13

  1. I am absolutely disgusted by the amount of waste created by this campaign. UVU prides itself on being a “Green” campus because of all the recycling bins but does not put a limit on how many posters Student Body campaigners can hang up all over the hallways. Note to candidates: Having an identical poster hanging 1 foot away from another exact same poster does not make anyone want to vote for you more.
    Why don’t you just take an axe and chop down all the trees on campus too since you apparently don’t care about the environment at all?
    Seriously, the amount of posters and ads hanging up are so unnecessary and no one cares so you are wasting paper, tape and string that will go to the landfill for no reason.

    1. Jessica,

      As one who studies what effects individual choices and why I can tell you, factually, that placement of every advertisement does make a difference. I can understand why your frustrated by the ‘waste’ you see. How do you think these ads are being disposed of? Do you know whether or not these advertisements will be recycled? Additional consideration should go to how much paper this really is compared to the university’s daily consumption (I would guess the ad paper is minuscule in comparison).

      Also, stating that ‘no one cares’ is the opposite of what you should be saying about these local campaigns if you truly wish this university to be more green. Fight for a candidate that will push more green agendas at the school. How do you think we got recycling bins in the first place?

      Stop being offended and doing something productive.

      1. Two years ago I watched members of a running party throw away dozens and dozens of their campaign posters into the trash. On those very posters was a claim that their party would be “green” and “implement a recycling program.”

        While Jessica’s comment might be a little over the top, I think that her concern is valid.

        So, Samuel, fighting for a candidate that “will push more green agendas at the school” seems ineffective to me. Candidates will do and say things that will make them look appealing, but might not actually follow through. Admittedly, my opinion is only based on one experience, but it was enough to leave me a bit jaded with the whole student election thing.

  2. To Jessica,

    You would do the same thing if you ran for Presidency at UVU.
    Since you care so much I suggest that you get involve with the elections committee and the UVUSA organization.

  3. Jessica, if you look around the school you’ll notice that Empower has very few posters hanging, because they share your same views. Not only have they mentioned to me that over-saturation of publicity annoying to students, it is also a waste of resources. Make sure you talk to them, as well as voice your concerns to the candidates you feel have been wasteful. I’m sure they would like to hear your views on the subject! Thank you for voicing your opinion!

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