The banners that covered the campus are gone. The fliers that once were littering the hallway are a thing of the past, and cotton candy machines and fragrant popcorn no longer linger through the hall of flags.
The election results are final, and a large victory was awarded to Team Uphoria, the newly elected student government that will take the college into university status next semester.
President-elect Joseph Watkins ensured the student body that his team is going to continue with the platforms they promised during the campaign.
"We want to make sure that the things we told students that we’ll do will get done, get accomplished," said Watkins.
Vice President of Academics-elect Dave Smith said, "We want to make sure we’re honoring those commitments that we did make."
The selection process for the committees will begin over the next few weeks. Smith commented how the selection process will ensure that individuals represent the vast diversity of the campus.
"As we begin to piece together next year’s council, [it’s important] that we respect the diversity that the school has, and that we pick folks that are going to be passionate towards the students," Smith said.
Trevor Tooke, the newly elected executive vice president is excited to get to work for the students, beginning with the interview process for the new council.
"We’ve been promising people that we’re going to work hard; we need to start now, start planning, and start recruiting candidates to fill the positions," Tooke said.
Clean campaign makes for smooth election
The elections this year were relatively civil compared to years past, according to election officials.
"I think it went a little smoother this year because both teams had a better idea of the rules, and how the elections work," said Kris Coles, the current student body president. "The experience of both teams really played into it."
Walker said, "We chose to run on our platforms, and not sit around and talk bad about everybody. There is a lot of stuff to be said for a team that goes out there and runs on what they believe in, and that is what our team did."
Smith said both Teams Uphoria and Empower originated from current student government council officials, which made experience an important issue.
The leaders of each team are currently roommates, which made competing against each other a unique situation, adding extra incentive for the teams to play fairly.
Walker said, "I ran against my roommate, and I’ve been living with him for the last few months. We still have a job to do; we’re all on council and we have over a month of good, strong work ahead of us. That is one of the main reasons we wanted to keep things clean, and we wanted to walk away from this knowing we didn’t offend anyone."
Smith said, "We’ve all been on council, but we all made agreements that we wanted to keep the relationships professional."
Despite a clean campaign, tears were still shed when the results were announced.
"Obviously there will be some disappointment on that side, and it will take time for relationships to get back totally to where they were, but it will happen," Smith said.
The team emphasized the desire for both teams to come together again to finish out the school year for the ASUVSC.
"It’s part of leadership. You make sure you can work well with people, no matter what, and no matter who it is. I am not worried. It will be fun," said Courtney Welch, vice president of student life.
Kyle Brown was also elected as vice president for clubs.
Brown, who was allied with Team Empower, now joins Team Uphoria as part of the winning circle. Walker was quick to say, "Kyle is Family."
"One thing we are glad [about] is that Kyle has been amazing in his positions the last couple years, and we are glad that we are going to have the opportunity to work with him," Walker said. "Even though Kyle initially was running with the other team, we are glad to have him, and glad to be working with him."
ASUVSC to transition to UVUSA
This newly elected student government will be the inaugural executive council for the newly re-named UVUSA (the Student Government Association), beginning July 1, when the college becomes a university.
"It’s an honor. It’s an awesome feeling, and we’re very proud," Welch said.
"We bleed green. That spirit and that passion we have that we exuded in the halls this last week, we want that passion to extend to all of the council next year," Smith said. "And as that passion comes out, we can set the trend for UVUSA, so that whoever takes over next year, they will be embodied in that same culture … we want to be able to set that culture for the next 10 years."
The name change to UVUSA was agreed upon by an overwhelming 75 percent-approval rating. This association and its elected officials have vowed to represent the students.
"As UVUSA, we represent the students. We keep their voice loud, that’s one of our platforms," Tooke said. "We are going to make sure that all the students are proud to be going where they’re going."
Brown said, "We are here for the students, not the other way around. They are the customers; they are the ones that chose us to represent them."
In any campaign or office, the first 100 days represent the legacy of the officials.
"There is a lot we can do now, between the end of the school year and through the summer, that can really help us out throughout the following school year," Walker said. "I think we’ve got the team to be able to do it. When you say ‘hit the ground running,’ we are already on top of it."
Walker was quick to thank the students for their support, urging student involvement with next year’s council.
The College Times staff independently verified the 2008 elections results. The raw data was reviewed and analyzed in relation to the numbers presented by election officials.
The News staff also reviewed the raw data of the last two student government elections, after concerns and reports of impropriety surfaced.
All results and data supported the information presented by ASUVSC for the 2006 and 2007 election years.