Student body officers ‘Ignite’ review of campaign commitments

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UVUSA will soon be holding elections for the next year’s student body officers. These positions include student body president, vice president of academic senate, vice president of clubs, vice president of activities, and executive vice president.  Throughout the next few weeks, UVU will be voting for student body officers for the upcoming school year.

Last year, Team Ignite was elected to fill these positions. Ignite consisted of Jono Andrews as student body president, Tyler Brklacich as vice president of academic senate, Caleb Tippetts as vice president of Clubs, Kiahna Campbell as vice president of activities and Elizabeth Jarema as executive vice president.

Themes of Ignite’s campaign platform included simplicity, collaboration, passion, opportunity and efficiency. After a year in office, Team Ignite reviews their campaign commitments and accomplishments from 2013.

As Student Body President of UVU, Jono Andrews serves as the representative voice for the students.  He attends roughly 18 board meetings throughout a typical week and constantly works to improve student life. Andrews also conducts student surveys to determine what decision would best represent the student opinion.

His current endeavors include working to replace computers around campus and trying to create a LGBTQ center along with a veteran center, places where everyone can feel welcome.

“Being a member of the LDS Church, there are things you wouldn’t normally fight for, but you do anyway because of your position,” Andrews said. “As an officer, you will encounter times when you have to play the devil’s advocate to make sure everyone is represented equally, even if it conflicts with your personal beliefs.”

Andrews admits he does encounter failures.

“There is just not enough time in the day.  The struggle I see the most is making sure that I don’t fight too many battles,” Andrews said. “So many problems come up on campus, and I have to pick certain ones that would affect students further down the road.”

In cue with his platform of change, he also wanted to reach out to student leadership groups such as the UVU Student Alumni, Multicultural Student Council and Service Learning. His advice for next year’s president is to make sure to represent the individual student more than just the majority student.

“Officers will see more successes with the more collaborations they have over the year,” Andrews said.

Tyler Brklacich, UVUSA vice president of academic senate, watches over the senators that represent all colleges on campus.  He is in charge of obtaining feedback from students and coordinating guest speakers at UVU.

He attributes his greatest success to his efforts and the efforts of other students in bringing Lauren Manning here to speak at UVU on the anniversary of 9/11. Although there were three other events going on campus, more than 800 people attended Manning’s speech.

His advice for next year’s vice president of academic senate is to not only make the effort to get feedback but to encourage it as well.  He also advises that his successor should be able to work well with the senators and build a good relationship with administrations.

Caleb Tippetts, vice president of clubs for UVUSA, works with all the clubs on campus.  His largest success so far was having the highest attendance at Club Rush. Tippetts has been working on labeling the club’s slogan “Do more of what you love” on everything.

Following his team’s campaign promise for change, Tippets made policy changes in favor of clubs.  There had been a rule that food at meetings was only allowed at the student center.  Tippetts made a policy change allowing clubs to have food at meetings anywhere else as long as the classrooms are cleaned afterwards.

“It’s vital that officers know how UVUSA works and what it does,” said Tippetts.  “My relationship with Liz Miller, last year’s VP of Clubs, was so great that I continued her legacy.”

Kiahna Campbell, vice president of activities, is in charge of planning and organizing activities that take place at UVU.  These activities include: UVU’s Best Dance Crew, Mardi Gras, Insomnia, Halloween Kids Night, Mr. UVU and others.

Her biggest success was having around 2,500 students attend Insomnia, which generated enough money to hold Mardi Gras, UVU’s biggest event of the year.

Campbell has worked hard on collaborating with other organizations with her events.  For example, she collaborated with Student Alumni when it came to planning the Emerald Ball. Her biggest difficulty was retaining committee members because not having enough committee members adds more stress and work for her and those who work with her. Her advice for next year’s VP of Activities is to have passion and show people that you love what you do.

As executive vice president on UVUSA, Elizabeth Jarema oversees the independent branches.  She also works with the Chief Justice, International Students, UVU Mentors, and she even helped the Multicultural Student Council get established. She has been trying to get other students involved.

“There are about 32,000 students at UVU and only 200 students are involved,” Jarema said. “We have been trying to reach out to more students.”

She wants all students informed of the opportunities that UVU provides.

Her advice for next year’s executive vice president is, “Find out what you’re passionate about on campus and what you would change.  Be aware of what’s going on in student life. As soon as you hit office, you’re going to have to work and connect with students, and you only have one year to do so.”

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