Photo Credit: Gabi Campbell | @gabicampbellphotos
UVUSA Debate | Transcript
Team Up Introductions & Opening Statement:
Mike Wade: Hi, my name is Mike Wade. I’m a junior in communications and I’m running for student body president.
Haelly Kirk: Hello, everyone, I’m Haelly Kirk, and I’m president of the Anti-Human Trafficking Club. I’m running for vice president of student activities.
Cristobal Villegas: Hello, I’m Cristobal Villegas. I’m a junior, my major is political science, I’m from Springville, Utah, and I’m running for executive vice president.
Teresa Wilson: I’m Teresa Wilson, I’m currently serving as the president of the Breast Cancer Awareness Club. I’m also on the honor board of senators. I’m running for vice president of academic senate.
Wade (T-UP): First of all, I want to thank everyone for coming, want to thank Tyler for moderating this whole thing, and thank Team One for being here. Despite some of our proposed ideological and political differences, I can say that all of us [?] and we’re happy to be here on stage with you.
Team Up. We’re called Team Up, because we want to go up. That means progress, that means growth, that means, in essence, change. We believe we can do this by focusing our platform into three areas. Number 1, we want to be more accountable for students. Number 2, we want to be more collaborative and number 3, we want to be more empowering. Throughout today, throughout the campaign and throughout the debate, we can understand more specifically about that platform.
Team One Intro and Opening Statement:
Matt Robins: Hi, I’m Matt Robins and I’m currently the senator of the college of humanities and social sciences and I’m running for vice president of academics.
Phil Varney: Hi, my name is Phil Varney, I’m the chief justice here at UVU, and I’m running for executive vice president.
Dylan Swartz: My name is Dylan Swartz, I’m currently the senator of the Woodbury school of business. I’m studying accounting and minoring in Spanish, and I’m running for student body president.
Jake Larson: My name is Jake Larson, I’m currently the UVUSA social chair for the activities branch. I’m a political science major and I’m running for the vice president of activities and student life.
Swartz: Thank you. I’d like to thank everybody for coming. We like to see this many people that are invested and care about who is representing them. It’s a very important subject, and it’s important that you know the issues, and platforms of both teams. Our mission is to unite our large student body as one. [?] collaboration of student organizations in order for us to grow together and create a new standard of wolverine pride. We promise to advocate for our students, and to uphold ourselves and our constituents accountable in all that we do.
As students fighting for students, we are one. Thank you.
What do you see as the most important issue on campus right now, and how do you propose to address it?
Team One: Currently, we believe that the biggest issue at hand with students, is we have had a very fast growth here on campus, becoming a university over the past few years, and we have many organizations and departments on campus who have been growing, but not necessarily together. We believe that if we can help them grow together, help the students grow together, that will enhance the pride and overall campus atmosphere here at UVU.
Team Up: That’s a great question. We’ve talked to a lot of students. We’ve interviewed and surveyed over 300 students, and talked a lot to the administration. We wanted to get a really good pulse of what students [care about?]. From the data we received, it’s actually not unity, but the number one issue from students is parking. We’ve come up with a plan to combat that, and it involves a 5-step plan. 1- To help incentivize students to use the UTA systems, make the UTA systems more effective, to implement carpooling, to  a shuttle system, and also to keep the students .
Team One: According to the spring 2014 omnibus survey, parking was the subject most complained about by students. That’s also something that we care about, but we feel the greatest issue that can be done to change things overall is unity.
Team Up, in your platforms, you speak of creating incentives for students that live less than a mile to carpool together. What incentives, without using excessive student fees, will you initiate to make this happen?
Team Up: It is true, a lot of students that use cars park here on campus are generally from a one mile radius from campus. The services that we would provide are pretty simple. One of the key ways is to make sure their voice is heard, maybe through setting up places where they can talk, where they can see who’s riding, and where they’re riding to. Also, with incentives, one of the great things we can do is provide the UTA bus. Because it’s going to go up every year, we want to see if MAWL and Student Alumni registration fees can be incorporated into UTA. In order for students to stop paying out of pocket, in order for students to obtain more, while still paying the least possible.
Team One, you have mentioned in your platforms that you want organizations to be one. What is the purpose of having multiple organizations with different goals, demographics and constituents if you want the organizations to just be one? Why does it matter to the student body at large, with a large percentage of students not in student organizations?
Team One: Overall, competition, in general drives innovation and it makes for a better overall atmosphere. The fact that we have different organizations that do have different purposes is an amazing thing, and it offers a lot to our students with [?]. However, instead of competing with each other, we need to be competing against institutions across the state, across the nation, and in order to drive that innovation to be more effective, the plans that we’ve implemented and you can see on our website and Facebook page are very direct, and will serve for a more united campus.
Specifically to the presidents, what experiences do you have to make you the most qualified candidates, which includes becoming a member of the Board of Trustees, member of the President’s Council, Foundation, etc?
Team Up: That’s a good question. I’ve been in school for a long time. Next year, I’ll be a fifth year senior. I’ve been involved with a lot of different organizations, student government, student senator, alumni association, and the most important thing that I’ve learned through all of these opportunities and experiences that I’ve had is core principles, like hard work, perseverance, an attitude of service, and dedication to truly care about other people. Those are the four things I have learned and things I want to bring to the table for UVU and things that I think will help us become a better school.
Team One: I can think of three things that make me the best candidate for student body president. That is experience, motivation and respect. I have the experience from being a senator, being able to be there to represent the students. As student body president, you’re representing not just the students in your college, but in the entire university. You have to represent them to the Board of Trustees, to business professionals, to the President’s Council, and all of the deans. I have worked really hard and I have the respect of a lot of campus authorities and administration and I have developed that relationship with them and they have respect for me and know that I am passionate for UVU, as well as for the students. The students know me, they know I am hard working and will fight for the students.
Both of you have platforms that will make student fees more transparent. How, and why?
Team One: This is something that is a platform almost every year, on every team, is to be transparent. We want to be different. I know last year, and the years before, they’ve said that they’re going to be transparent and post student fees, but it really doesn’t happen until the end of the semester or the end of the year. We promise to, as soon as student fees are done and we are in office, post them online, and not only post them, but have them easily accessible and have each department showing exactly where those student fees are going.
This hasn’t been done before, they’ve only posted how much and who’s getting it. We want to show not only who’s getting it, but how they’re using it. Students are paying a lot of money and they deserve to know this and we promise to do this.
Team Up: Our team feels the same way, that this needs to be a transparent organization and through the use of the internet, that we are able to get this information out to people and in a very timely manner. They need to be able to respond. They need a voice. Student voice is so important. We need to hear back from them, and how they feel about where their student fees are being spent and they don’t know how they’re being spent unless they’re told. We need to be out in the halls and spend time with them and say, “How do you feel about this?” Poll them, ask them questions, and be a voice for them and be accountable for those things, as it’s their money spent.
Follow up. Both teams have said they will post fees online or via the UVU Review about where money is being allocated for each event and program for UVUSA. Are you, as a team, agreeing to post every cent, including candy, travel, the cost of speakers, DJs, supplies and etc., and how will you take action to respond to students?
Team Up: The most important thing for us is this falls under our first platform of being accountable. If we can let students know where their money is going, we can be transparent in that regard, and more accountable as UVUSA. In terms of every penny, every cent, maybe that’s something we can look into, but the general census, the general purpose of this is to make sure that students know where their money is going.
Team One: Our plan wasn’t to include every single cent, but to include the general categories, specific to that, because going down to the cent would be very difficult to do. But if that’s what students want, we will find out.
Both of you have expressed a sincere desire to represent the students. Wolverines are truly diverse population, with many different types of people. Which group do you feel is most underrepresented, and how do you plan to reach out to them?
Team One: The underrepresentation is a spectrum, it isn’t really a line. A lot of students are underrepresented in many different ways, this ranges from minorities, different philosophies, different programs. To be as inclusive as possible, we need to open up, we need to preach the idea of being a campus, and use UVUSA as a foundation, not as a peak. We offer services, and students will come to us. We need to brand the organization as a place where all students can come to if they have any needs or any questions.
Team Up: From the State of the University that President Holland gave, he gave very interesting facts. One of the biggest facts that I saw, was that 28 percent support at least one child. 25 and a half is the average age of our students. Personally, I feel that the students that have families are the ones that we often forget. We say that we care for them, but often we do not. That’s why, as a team, we sought out someone who has been there, who has lived those trials, because there are certain people on campus that come and have to go home and clean, go back and take care of their children and still go to school and still go to work and still, their voice is often left out, often not heard through UVUSA. UVUSA, we want to be the spine, not the face of the university.
Team One: With the omnibus survey that was done, it’s actually 31 percent have children still at home, 47 percent of our students are married. For activities, specifically, I think that our non-traditional students are underrepresented. We have fantastic opportunities on campus for those students, and we cater to those students, but one of my plans, once I’m elected, is to get find out from those students, to make sure that we get the feedback to see what activities those students would like to see on campus.
Currently there are initiatives to make UVU a tobacco-free campus. Are you for or against the initiative and what actions will you take in respect to this issue?
Team Up: Being for or against it… it’s not about that. If we’re going to represent the campus, we need to listen to the student voice. We need to talk to the students and see what they want. There are reasons to be a tobacco-free campus, and they should [?]. This is something that is moving forward, but even so, we need to listen and be aware of what the desire of our campus is.
Team Up: Personally, I don’t smoke, that’s not something that I like to do, but as the student body president, representing students from all councils, student council, Board of Trustees, I’m not going to do necessarily what [I?] want to do, I’m going to look at all of the different demographics, different associations, different feedbacks, different wants, and go from there.
Team One: I just want to point out that there have been surveys, asking students on their thoughts about a tobacco-free campus. The most recent omnibus survey surveyed 1,473 students, and in that survey was found that 77 percent of the students are for a tobacco-free campus. We’ve also done, as part of academic senate, we’ve also done a student forum, focusing on a tobacco-free campus, and we received a lot of feedback from students supporting it, as well as those against it. That’s something that we’re definitely going to continue to look into. I know that we all have differing opinions within our own team, but we are also going to fight for what the students want and continue to survey them and fight for what students want.
Both teams have stated that they want tuition to be transparent, including student fees. Why? Where is the need from students to know where they go? Only five other students attended Truth in Tuition that weren’t required to be there. Do students actually want to know? If not, why are you spending so much time on a useless platform?
Team One: Students do want to know. Just because they don’t come to Truth in Tuition doesn’t mean they don’t care. That’s been one of the most common complaints that I’ve received from students personally. Student fees are expensive, and they don’t know where they’re going. I have personally always wanted to know where they go. It’s their money and we believe they have a right to know. It’s not difficult to do, and it should be done. Yes, it’s a big platform of ours, but it’s not a platform that’s going to require a lot of time and energy to put into it. It’s just something that needs to be done that the students need to have access to.
Team Up: Although Truth in Tuition wasn’t in high attendance, I feel that us as students have busy schedules. Maybe that wasn’t a convenient time for students to attend. That’s why us as a team want to be able to go out and be in the hallways and give feedback at different times, because students have night classes and jobs and extracurriculars. They want to know, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.
As representatives of students, how will you make sure only the best professors earn tenure?
Team Up: This is also a concern nation-wide, as many more adjuncts are being hired than professors. As students, and we’re paying tuition, do we really want to have an adjunct teaching us who may only be a year or two ahead of us, or do we want to have a professor who has actually had experience, done field research and actually had the time and experience to put into teaching? I think it’s imperative that we work hard to have quality education, by having excellent professors, that we have feedback from students on who is a better teacher than another, and that we have more professors than adjuncts.
Team One: The avenues for getting good feedback are already there. Every semester we, as students, fill out SRIs, which are evaluations of our professors. We all fill them out, and in some cases to get our grades earlier, and where have these results gone? What are we doing with them? We’ve been hearing that they aren’t being taken as seriously as they should. If students want that, if they want more feedback on professors, then they use these SRIs. Representatives in the Student Center make sure that these aren’t laughed at, they are taken seriously. Students are very passionate about good professors and we will make sure they are taken seriously from this point on.
Team Up: The SRIs are very important, but it would be nice to have some sort of bar graph that said, “This is what your results were,” just like on RateYourProfessor. You can see what is being turned in on UVU professors. This might be something we can do, it’s not that hard. It’s a software issue.
For activities, how will you go about getting events and programs geared toward non-traditional students?
Team One: There are a lot of things that qualify someone as a non-traditional student. Something that I plan to do, specifically, falls under our platform of advocacy. When I’m elected, and once our chairs are elected, I will be out in the hallways, with my chairs asking specifically what activities they would like to see not only for themselves, but for their spouses, their children. What can bring them on to campus? What can make them feel a part of UVU? They pay student fees just as much as traditional students, and they should have activities that cater just as much to them. How would they be able to know about those activities if they don’t know what’s going on? I believe that our marketing needs to be for non0-traditional students during night campuses. Most non-traditional students aren’t here during the hours of noon to one, when most of our marketing is done, but from 5:30-6:30, when the night classes are done. I’ll make sure that my chairs and I do that before we calendar for the next year.
Team Up: We need to become a more unified university. We’ll have traditional events and non-traditional events cater to those students. I think that, for example, before the Emerald Ball, we could have a daddy/daughter ball. We want to make our university to cater to not just traditional and non-traditional, but be more meaningful and have more events [?].
Team One: When we are marketing for our more large-scale events, for example, Mardi Gras or Insomnia, as we’re talking to these students, they’re saying, “I don’t want to go to a dance, I’m married, I have kids.” So yes, I believe that we should have unified events, and all students are welcome to all events, but there should be events specifically catered to those that do have children and those that are married, more of a date night, something low-key. Something that will bring them on campus.
Directed to the executive vice president- you are the voice of the international and multicultural council of UVUSA. Why do you think that you would be a better ambassador than your opponent?
Team Up: Thank you for the question. I strongly feel that I know I can represent these individuals because I know how it feels to be from there. I know how it feels to be from certain places in the school. One thing about me is that my parents didn’t graduate from high school, and it has been very difficult for me to come to school. But I have been asking questions, and that’s kind of like my attitude. I know that I can pass this attitude to even more students. I know and I feel the concerns of the international students, as well as the multicultural students. But also, within my branch, is the service council and UV mentors. UV mentors particularly pertain to the freshmen. So many freshmen come to the school just as I did, and do not know where to go, and do not know how to do things. I lived that. That’s why I feel I can best represent as the executive vice president.
Team One: Specifically going to the international and multicultural students, I can say that I have been highly dedicated, not just this year, but throughout my whole life, to understanding the celebration and the love of ethnic diversity. I’m an international business major because of certain times in my life that I was surrounded by many different people of many different backgrounds, religions, cultures, customs, and they have inspired me to be better, and to want some of those. I have not missed a Diversity Dialogue except for one time, when I was in Florida with Cristobal, for a branch, and I have loved [?] diversity. No matter what happens with elections, this is a part of my life that is going to be strong, starting from last year, as German club president, meeting with international students there on a personal level, and coming up with [?], speaking with multicultural students and services. I know that I’m the best to represent the students.
Team Up: And I definitely think so as well. Phil Varney is an amazing person. For Diversity Dialogues, I was one of the first people to initiate it. It started last year, in the fall, with only three people attending. Nowadays, we have about 30-35 people attending. Once again, Phil is an amazing person.
As far as students that rely on financial aid, what can you do to help these students if they require extra help, food, transportation, etc.?
Team One: This is a hard question. It’s always hard when you get to financial issues. Students are not known for having a ton of money. For the most part, the majority of us are in the same boat. We do all struggle financially, and that is why unity comes before progress. We need to be more focused on each other’s needs, not just focused on clubs and organizations, which are still very important. First, we need to be one. If we do that, if we are caring for each other, we will find the means to take care of each other. As we are rising to a different level, as we are getting better, as we are getting more inclusive as a student body and student body leadership, as we continue to focus on these problems, these cracks will fill in themselves, because that love, that camaraderie, will [?] on this issue.
Team Up: Very good answer. This means a lot to me. This week, I had worked with a boy, named Ryan, who was struggling some financial hardship and had to drop out of school. He was unable to read sufficiently to pass his CDL, his commercial drivers license test. I worked with him and worked with him and worked with him so that he could read so that he could pass it. Last Friday, he passed. That was more important to me than the science test that I had to take the very same day. This is a very important subject to me. I’m very passionate about it.
You say you are focusing on growth, does this include lobbying for more courses and graduate work?
Team Up: There are currently talks about obtaining more graduate programs, but some of the things that we need to focus on are general coursework, where it’s hard to get into the math class that we want because we have to work during the day, or because the times that we are able to take classes aren’t available. So yes, there are certain graduate programs we’re looking into, but some of the more pressing matters are definitely the [?] for families to take their classes. If there is enough space for a certain math class, Math 1010 or Chem 1010, those are the more pressing issues.
Team One: Under our advocate program, we are significantly trying to encourage faculty and advisors to share four-year graduation plans, especially with incoming freshmen. We think that’s very important to focus on the undergrad education, before we work on graduate programs. We’re a fairly young university and we only have three graduate programs right now. It’s important for us to get out undergraduate education top notch and making sure students are graduating in four years before we worry about getting more graduate programs on campus. Currently, I am senator for the college of humanities and social sciences and I am working with my college, I’m looking into more graduate school programs that can be offered in our college. I’m excited for that road, to start adding more credit programs and I’ll be working along with that next year as well.
Team Up: We talked about growth. Graduate programs are definitely an area that needs to be looked at, but I think we can grow as a collective school if we just focus on the platforms that Team Up is focused on. We can be more accountable, we can be more empowering, and we can be more cooperative.
To academic senate, what is a different way that you’ll access student feedback other than the suggestion boxes, social media and the normal things that student government is already doing?
Team One: I’ve been on the frontlines of this as a senator, and we’ve seen a lot of online growth on our feedback form that Mallory Wallin started. It has gotten very successful. Students are starting to understand that they have a voice on campus through not only our feedback boxes, but through the online forum. I also encourage all of my senators to spend at least one hour out in the hallways, actively seeking feedback from students. That’s one way I can see us increasing the feedback we get from students.
Team Up: I think one thing we need to realize, is that as we are elected, we don’t really impact the year that we are elected to. We are impacting the future. As we look to the future, we need to look to the future technologies. We need to implement innovative, electronic technologies and get feedback from students that is immediate. So we know what they want, when they want it. That way, we can actually respond to their needs.
As an aviation student, I feel we have no connection to main campus. What will you do to help us feel more connected?
Team Up: I also understand this one. This is what’s fun about being my age, is you’ve had so much experience and even more fun, is I’ve had a chance to have so many students live with me. Right now, I have a young man who’s living with me named Tim Martin. He has just graduated from our aviation program through UVU. He’s very excited, and just got a job with Southwest. He’s headed to Long Beach today. I am very aware of his concerns and about how he felt alienated from the main campus, and how he was concerned that he didn’t actually attend the dances or maybe some of the events on campus because he didn’t know about them. This is something important to me, to let them know and keep them included and provide that unity.
Team One: Currently we have a senator for the college of aviation and public services. It’s my goal to make sure that we have a candidate in that position who is willing to work with all of the entities of that college and is willing to be out there advertising events for activities and senate and act to get feedback from that college. But we already have someone who is on council who is out there reaching out to those demographics and those campuses.
Student activities candidate, what is your plan for the MAWL?
Team One: We understand that the MAWL sometimes struggles, but the MAWL is so vital to having student participation in athletics and have that student pride. Through athletics, it increases pride by a very large amount, because students feel like they can go and attend the athletic events and feel like part of the MAWL. One of the main things is we’re going to expand the MAWL, but reaching out to athletics and to other organizations that are very involved in athletics, such as the student alumni traditions branch, to be able to grow the MAWL and grow them all collaboratively, with athletics, with student alumni traditions branch, with ourselves to grow it so that students already feel like part of the MAWL when they come to UVU just because they are students. The MAWL is for students, and that is what we’re going to do by increasing the MAWL.
Team Up: When elected in my position, I want to work specifically with the MAWL. At all of our sporting events, we should have an event afterwards, a social event, a dance, a big blackout party. It would be fun to get to know the players. Who am I cheering for? I don’t want to just cheer for a jersey, I want to cheer for the player. I want to know who that person is and we can know who they are through social events, dances, blackout parties. This is what I want to do in my position.
Team One: I have missed very few sporting events, from any athletic team, I am a very public supporter and I have never personally seen Haelly at a basketball game or any sporting event. Another thing we want to do is we are working with the MAWL and athletics to make it more inclusive. Right now it’s an exclusive group – you have to pay $20 to be a member. We want to make that open to all students. All students should be MAWL members and be allowed to be there and participate and become one.
It is always the same promise and the same people that get into UVUSA. How are you planning on changing this and giving opportunities to other students?
Team Up: For us, it’s just being authentic, being genuine. In years past, they said those things, but for us, today, we truly believe in our platform, we believe in our philosophy, and we want to be more accountable, more accessible and more transparent. At the end of the day, [?] technology, we can be more powerful, we can represent students and go up to a better place.
Team One: I like to view myself as a personal example of why that isn’t necessarily true. I was put in council not really having a huge involvement with it. I was put into this even though I wasn’t heavily involved with UVUSA at all. From there, I was able to [?]. Rise had faith in me, and from then, I feel like I can grow. We develop friendships while we are on council, so it seems like we know each other pretty well, because we do. I promise you, we are not exclusive. Anyone – anyone, is open and able to apply. Jakell is coming in as a freshmen this year. She has done so many amazing things this year and broken so many records. I promise you, we will follow by Rise’s example by choosing a good and inclusive council.
Team Up: Team Rise has done an amazing job, and the authenticity comes from the executive. Knowing where our background is from, knowing what we’ve been through, that’s why we say our promises are [?] to you. We want to keep working on it. We know we are [?]. We are only human. We will strive to be the best we can because I have been in that chair before.
How are you going to build on the success on Team Rise, and how will you work with the outgoing council?
Team One: I have seen a lot of success with Team Rise. I’m a senator and Mallory started a new student advocacy program, the Student Voice. Me and Matt both participated in that a lot and got a lot of feedback and a lot of suggestions and be able to switch parts of that program over. We want to continue that. As being a senator, I have noticed a lot of little things about what can be improved, the way that government works, and we want to improve all of the little things and be more efficient in the way we do things at UVUSA.
Team Up: It is very important to build each year. Otherwise, we digress. And it’s true, we talked to Mallory about this as well. Some teams are not productive because they don’t build on the previous year’s experiences. We need to plan for the future, and that’s what we need to look for. We need to look to the future and to what’s coming up.
Team One: Another reason that Team One is the best in this is that we have experience in this. Matt was a department representative and then he became a senator. He knows what those positions are like. Without that knowledge, it’s impossible to run senate. Jake has been in activities, and she knows how to plan events. She has broken records in events she has run this year. And Phil has been able to work within the executive branch and work with other organizations on campus. And I have been a student advocate in senate. For that reason, we are all best qualified for those positions.
Team One, on platform about on-campus housing, how far along is that and what are your plans?
Team One: The subsidiary stage for this is that we need to fix housing. That is the overall goal. I would ask for a raise of hands, but I’m not going to. Are you moving out? Are you being forced to move out of your apartment during finals week? I know I am, a friend of mine [?] Peterson, has to take a test, and then pack, and then go to Arizona all in one day. We have students who are homeless for a week before we can make any headway on matters. When it comes to dorms on campus, we realize it is an initiative that is going to take years, but it is an initiative that if we want to be taken serious as a university, we need to pay attention to. In getting with this housing schedule, we want to make sure that it is fair to UVU students, and use that momentum to look at on-campus housing.
Team One: We are in the stages of looking at housing on Geneva, and we want to be able to fight to switch that to the main campus and be more involved in everything on campus.
Team Up, two of your candidates are not associated with student government or hold positions. Do you feel this will help you or hurt you as they try to carry out the roles and responsibilities if elected?
Team Up: Yes, I think I know exactly what our campus needs. I’m the president of the Anti-Human Trafficking club and I’m a member of the residential engagement coordinator program and I know what students need. I go to off-campus housing and provide events to them so I know what they need. There are so many people with disabilities and in need of financial aid. I’m one of those also. I know what they need so I can fill those shoes.
Both teams have mentioned a lack of access to student government in the past, with both teams having current members on them. What have you done this year as a student government that specifically reached out to students to teach them what student government does?
Team One: As a senator, with our new Student Voice campaign, I have been out in the hallway with a booth and with flyers, talking to people individually and telling them that I am their representative and that if they have any concerns or complaints about professors, I am their voice and can talk to the administration for them. I have a close relationship with the dean and assistant deans of the business school and I have been able to take some feedback back to them and help students with their needs. A lot of students have told me before that they didn’t even know we had a senator. By being out in the hallways, we’re showing them that we’re not only here, we’re making a difference.
Team Up: As part of the activities branch, I have been in the hallways at activities, a lot of the events, always talking to people, trying to engage and let them know what student government does, letting them know that we’re here for them. But I think we can do a better job. I think we can build on the foundation we have this year. That’s why we have a platform of being more accountable, and more accessible, with different technologies and letting people know more about events on campus, be more transparent, more accessible and people will know more about us.
Team One: As a member of the activities branch, I have planned [four?] events the last few eight months that have increased the attendance of over 100 more people at each event. This has been through the hard work of being out in the hallways, of getting students to know about the events that student government is having, and letting them know of our hard work. This shows, statistically, that we are in the hallways for those events. I know what it takes to get information out to students, and we can always do better, for all of those events, through being vice president of activities, my chairs will [?].
Team Up, how do you plan to improve professor quality and pay, as described before?
Team Up: We addressed this already, when we discussed adjuncts versus professors. However, we can talk about it a little bit more. Again, it’s a national issue. At the University of Wisconsin, they are [?] about the number of professors they have versus adjuncts and it was a major concern that adjuncts were only paid as much as a barista at Starbucks. Is that the person you really want to pay your tuition, and say I got a college education and you only paid someone as much as the person you’re tipping the person who serves you your coffee? It’s time to look at how much we pay our professors, look at who we are hiring, and make sure that they’re not only quality, but that we set a standard, and say, “These are the people that we need teaching our students.”
Team One, please describe how housing works within your job description, and wouldn’t housing make parking worse?
Team One: Our job description is to advocate for what students want, and if students want to be on campus, and to be more involved in things, then that’s who we fight for. We’re currently the only school in Utah other than Salt Lake Community College that doesn’t have on-campus housing. There are ways that, if we have dorms, many people who live on campus don’t need a car. If we had on-campus housing, the majority of students living there wouldn’t need to drive to school. It could do the reverse, it could free up parking.
Do you have any plans that won’t infantilize the student body?
Team Up: Yes, that is exactly why I want to make events that are involving every student, not just traditional and non-traditional. I want them to feel inclusive, I don’t want them to feel like, “Oh, this is the event for the non-traditionals.” I want them to feel like they’re part of UVU. I want our traditional events to become their traditional events.
Team One: The majority job of the vice president of activities and student life is to calendar for the next year’s events and budget for those events. They are to allocate those funds to the activities that are calendared and to manage their chairs and make sure they can manage those events and market those events and make them successful. When I’m elected and my chairs are elected, before calendaring happens, before we talk about what events we want to have on campus next year, we’ll go out and ask students what activities they want their student fee dollars to go towards. Which activities will bring them on campus? This includes traditional and non-traditional students. Students from all across the board [?] activities they will participate in on campus. And if those are the type of activities they want, then those are the types of activities we will plan.
Last question – what has the other team done well, and why should they win?
Team One: One of my favorite people to talk to is on the other team. Cristobal, I love talking to Cristobal. We were both poli-sci majors and so getting into political thought and ideologies is great. He definitely knows how to look at a big demographic of students and understand what students are not being represented, which is a really great thing about Cristobal and the entire team. I don’t know all of them, personally, but from what I have seen from their team, they are very good at representing the students, knowing what students are underrepresented, and making sure the students have light shone on them, in a good way.
Team Up: I’m Cristobal. I know the entire team and they are amazing, not only because of the past month, but because of what they have done in the past several months. They have so many people do so many things. The attraction that they have is really impeccable. I can not think of another team we would be able to run against. They are a very well done team. Another thing that is great about them is their smiles. They always come up to us and ask us how we’re doing. Even though we know we are competing against each other, we always say, ”Hey, what’s up?” sometimes a little frank, but we do what we can.
Team One: Thank you to everyone that has asked questions. We are very grateful to be here and grateful to have this opportunity to represent students and campaign to be your executive council. We know that we are the best for the job and I’d like to give three reasons why we’re the best for the job. That’s experience, unity, and motivation. I believe these things are the most important qualities you can have in an executive council. We have the experience because we have been in these positions in each branch and we know what it takes to grow them and help the students be represented better. Unity, we aren’t just the best ones for the job and we love each other and work hard together. With a lack of unity, an entire council will fall apart, which will be catastrophic to the student government and the student body. We have this unity and we work together and have a great passion for UVU. The last, motivation. We are so hard-working, every single one of them. As I was picking this team, I was looking for those who work hard and are passionate about UVU, and these are by far, the best people for the job and the position. We love UVU and we want to represent the students. We will fight for the students in everything we do in order to be one.
Team Up: There’s no question that Team One is a great team. Definitely [?] people. If there is anything you can take away from our team, it’s this: we’re not here before you because we think we know everything or because we have all of the great ideas, but instead we sit before you here today because we know, deep within our bones, that no matter where you are, regardless of whether you’re an American student or an international student, a traditional student or a non-traditional student, an incoming freshman or a transfer, black, white, gay, straight, low economic status, high economic status, Latino, Asian, we believe that everyone has greatness within them and every student can do great things. If you believe in them, and love people and respect them, no matter what their religious preference is, what their skin color is, and give them the tools they need to be successful, then the greatest things can happen. That’s set to a vision we have specific to [?], we can make this a better place, a brighter place, a place where dreams can come true, and greatness is possible. There’s nothing we can’t do, nowhere we can’t go, and we truly believe we can create the greatest year this school has ever known. That’s why we’re running and we’re going to fight until every single day, every single month is the best. Thank you.
Tiffany is the Deputy Managing Editor for Spring 2015. Follow her on twitter @tiffany_mf