Student Body Elections: Get to Know the Candidates

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While there are a great number of boards and committees that share governance at UVU, elected student body officers are the primary source of advocacy for the student body. Given that administrators, faculty and staff are appointed by university stakeholders without any student involvement, student body representatives are the primary advocates for students. As noted in the UVUSA Elections Packet, student body officers make a promise to “fight for the students and pursue their best interests,” (p. 10). With yearly elections, student participation in appointing representatives is crucial to the induction of campus-wide measures that impact their lives. 

The following is a short summary of the structure of student government, and the corresponding responsibilities associated with each role. For a full list of all of the officers’ duties, go to ttps://

Student Body President:

As the title suggests, the student body president serves as the head of student government, supervising the student body vice residents, as well as the chief of staff. Additionally, the chief officer chairs the Executive Council, Student Council meetings and represents the student voice in administration within the President’s Council, University Executive Council and Judicial Committee. 

During their tenure, the student body president also serves as a voting member of the UVU Board of Trustees, overseeing student fee reviews and allocations. Along with on-campus positions, they serve in the Utah Student Association as university representatives. The conjunction of these roles sets the stage for a position that requires a great deal of decision-making. 

Karen Magaña

Photo by Annie K Peterson

Keep Moving Forward

With upwards of 40,000 students, it takes a village to ensure that there are inclusive and equitable opportunities so that we can get the most out of our college experience. I’m running for student body president because I want to make sure students have the resources and opportunities they need to be successful. I want to fight for students’ access to decision-making while being mindful of who has been left behind in the process. I want to work with you to continue making UVU a place for you. Let’s keep moving forward, Wolverines.” 

Listen to the UVU Today interview.

Chris Shelton

Achieve & Expand Potential

My focus is for better career resources, to build the sports program, get top-of-the-line food places, build on our strength of diversity and build the brand name of UVU. The goal is not only to help individuals achieve potential, but open up life possibilities. There should be no resource UVU doesn’t offer that can enhance each individual student’s quality of life, during college and especially after. Let’s get the best college experience, both for a post-college career and the most fun in-school experience.”

Listen to the UVU Today interview.

Jaden Muir

UVUSA election candidates take their headshots in the studio on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah, February 2, 2021. (Erik Flores, UVU Marketing)

Room Enough For Everyone

“I’m the most qualified and dedicated candidate for this position. No matter what your background is, what you’re studying and what path you took to get to UVU, we NEED you here! Additionally, I recognize COVID has changed the college experience for every student however, wherever you are taking your classes or doing your homework, there is always room for you at UVU. My goal is to help unify students through transparency, inclusion, building a community, and most importantly, having fun!”


Listen to the UVU Today interview on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

Executive Vice President:

The role of the executive vice president is closely associated with the daily operations of the student body. They plan and coordinate student council activities, chair the Independent Branch meetings and may serve on a variety of committees as directed. 

Furthermore, a substantial portion of their work entails supporting the UVU Student Associate (UVUSA) relations with other campus organizations while also helping with their branding and reporting of associated activities. Overall, this post focuses on the organizational effectiveness of campus-wide student organizations requiring a keen awareness of strategic goals and timelines. 

Bryson Finley

Let’s Do Good

“In a time when it is increasingly difficult to interact with each other, I want every student to be able to find a place where they feel like they belong and get involved. I’ve had the opportunity to see how the outreach of others can change the course of one’s experience on campus and I want to do that for others. And as things return to normal, I want our campus to feel more like a community again, and [to be] sure we are communicating and prioritizing inclusion will be my first steps in doing so.”

Listen to the UVU Today interview.

Colton Stettler

WE can fix it

“Hey, what’s up you guys? It’s your boy, Colton Stettler, and I am running for student body executive vice president! I have attended Utah Valley University for the last 3 years after transferring from another school. I absolutely adore UVU, but there are a lot of changes I would like to see in our future, inclusion being my top priority. Your voice is an essential part to my campaign as I cannot create change alone. I plan to incite unity between our different organizations on campus, closing the gap on overall inclusion and boosting school pride. Remember to vote Colton Stettler for your next executive vice president, because WE can fix it.”


Listen to the UVU Today interview.

Vice President of Academics:

The vice president of academics concentrates on student advocacy for academic issues within the faculty senate, academic affairs council, and department deans to “ensure that students receive the education to which they are entitled” (pg.6). 

Similar to the executive vice president, they also serve on a variety of committees as assigned although their primary focus is overseeing the academic senate, a group composed of student senators from each of the eight schools and colleges across campus. 

Settings their sights on academic goals and achievements, the VP of academics is tasked with promoting initiatives and resources to help students get a valuable education. 

Dylan Christensen 

Be a Voice, Not an Echo

Students of UVU!  Did you know there are hundreds of UVU resources, programs and groups specifically designed to help students succeed, feel included and have fun?  My goal is to help students discover these resources and utilize them in their college experience. As a current university college senator and a fellow student, I can help find these resources and make them more accessible to you. It can start with a vote for Dylan.”


Listen to the UVU Today interview.

James Cisneros

I will be your voice and Anchor!

“My name is James Cisneros, you are my student body and I care about each of you very much. My father is an immigrant that had the opportunity to go to school here in Utah when he was young. I was always appreciative of that opportunity given to him and I want to make sure everyone here has the opportunity to learn and do what they love! My goal is to help you, vote for equality inclusivity. Vote for people, vote for UVU, Vote James Cisneros as academic VP.”


Listen to the UVU Today interview.

Vice President of Student Activities:

The vice president of student activities has a set of responsibilities with the purpose of promoting student pride and events on campus. Perhaps the most important part of their role is the oversight of UVUSA sponsored events that include a large part of the university community. 

Along with their managerial undertakings, the VP of student activities is in charge of training and recruiting students for the “planning, promotion and implementation of campus events” (pg.6). As with all student officers, they serve on different committees as appointed. 

Having a hand in a great number of campus-wide events surely impacts student culture and experience at UVU. 

Hayden Harward

Let’s Build Together

“I am running for vice president of student activities because I am passionate about helping students have a memorable and fun college experience. Classes are so important, but the memories you make outside the classroom will last a lifetime and I want to help students experience that here at UVU. I want to work to build involvement, inclusion and community among our student body next year. With my two years of experience planning events at UVU both in person and virtually, I am ready for whatever next year might bring. I am a proud Wolverine through and through and I want to be your next vice president of student activities!”

Listen to the UVU Today interview.

Michael Perez

Be the Change

“There are so many reasons why I wanted to run. One of the main reasons was to enhance student’s experience inside the classroom just as well outside of the classroom. I believe that UVU has so much to offer for the student body and I want to promote much more for them, starting from the English lab all the way to mental health services. I can’t do this job without the help of all the students, so I encourage everyone to vote. My name is Michael Perez and I want to be the change for you.”

Listen to the UVU Today interview.

Elections for student body officers will be held Feb. 22-25. Go to to cast your vote.

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