The 2016-2017 student body presidential elections at UVU have taken a strange turn, similar to the national presidential elections, with the emergence of an anti-establishment candidate sending waves of controversy rippling through UVUSA’s traditional election process.
Jordan Goodrich, an integrated studies major at UVU, is actively promoting himself as a write in candidate for student body president.
“I ran for president when I was in fifth grade, and tragically lost to my friend, but I ran against the wrong guy, because his aunt was like the vice president or something, so I have some experience with being the underdog.”
Goodrich and Wendy Trujillo, both presidential candidates, and Taylor Wilson, executive vice president candidate, are the only individuals running for an office that are not currently serving in UVUSA.
“In an indirect way, I have an issue with the people running in that they are a very specific type of person. It reminds me of my high school, you know, the student council, they were kind of their own clique,” said Goodrich, echoing similar comments made by Trujillo in the debate.
One critique of UVUSA is that they do not do an adequate job of advertising when elections are happening, and that the lack of diversity on the election chair committee creates an opportunity for it to appear that candidates are treated with biases.
“Anyone could do what he’s doing and win: any student has the right to do what he’s doing. It appears to be a joke,” said Dylan Swarts, current student body president.
Goodrich explained that his entrance into this year’s elections started as a joke, but evolved into something bigger.
“I won’t be on the ballot, but how cool would that be if I won as a write in candidate, and then the school wouldn’t know what to do, which would raise all kinds of other topics, like do we obey the formalities or do we listen to what the students want?”
The 2016-2017 candidate election packet given to each candidate interested in running for student body president does not outline rules or regulations for write in candidates, which is just one question surrounding the complicated election process.
“My platform would be accessibility – you’ll know who I am, and I will find out what you want. I’d be known, and I’d be accessible. I would personally ask as many students as I could, and if they came to me with a problem, I would give them a list of how I could help them. Here are your options,” said Goodrich.
Goodrich also mentioned that he would be willing to switch the drinking fountains to Diet Pepsi instead of Diet Coke, because we are a Pepsi campus, and that there are more important issues to take care of than a soda-pop sponsorship.
Despite being an outsider candidate, Goodrich hopes to appeal to voters by being authentic and real, and believes he is more of a relatable candidate for the average student at UVU.