Student Council votes to do away with giveaways; financial transparency follows in new elections packet

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Student Council voted to approve a new elections packet for the 2024-2025 student body elections that now prohibits candidate giveaways. Campaign finances were also affected, now mandating donation amounts be disclosed.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A new elections packet was approved by the UVUSA Student Council that will prohibit candidates from doing giveaways and require them to disclose donation amounts to their campaign. 

Voting to approve the recent changes during the student council meeting on Oct. 26, the final vote tally was 10-1-1.  

“I did feel heard,” stated Melainie Wolfe, a previous student body elections candidate, who had voiced concerns about how giveaways affected her ability to run for student government and how it disadvantaged many students. “A lot of things that I brought up as a concern were processed within the whole group. So, I feel like this was a victory, and it will help future students have that empowerment to move forward with running [for student government].” 

Giveaways had become controversial during the 2022 Student Body Elections, where candidates had promoted themselves using giveaways of items like mini fridges and gift cards. Former Student Body President Lexi Soto had received criticism for this due to her funding sources, and the perception that this was unfair to other candidates. 

Additionally, another change made to the packet was to how donations were reported. Previously, candidates were only required to get a signed form from potential donors to acknowledge that they were not donating to the university and to the candidate themselves. The amount of the donation, its purpose, or acknowledgment by the candidate was not required. 

With the changes, candidates will now be required to report the amount of the donation, and what it will be used for. Also, it will also require the signature of the candidate in addition to the donor. 

“There are people who have a lot more connections that I feel gives a disadvantage to those who don’t,” Expressed Gavin McLaren, Senator for the College of Engineering and Technology and the only council member to vote no. McLaren had been advocating abolishing donations altogether to level the playing field for candidates. 

This issue became controversial due to a Review report that found outside political organizations had been funding candidate campaigns during the elections, as well as the thought that it wasn’t fair to other candidates. 

Another change that came to the elections packet was to prohibit candidates from wearing UVU apparel at UVUSA sponsored events. The wearing of UVU colors, however, is not prohibited under the new rules. 

For more information on the Student Council and when they hold their meetings, visit their website. For more information on student elections, visit the student elections website.