SUUSA Elections Q&A Recap

The SUU Student Association (SUUSA) electoral candidates for the 2018-19 academic year answered questions from the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service on Feb. 26 in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Living Room.

Candidates for the Executive Council and the Student Programming Board (SPB) President were given one minute to introduce themselves and their platform, followed by 10 minutes to answer questions from the moderators.

Leavitt Center Executive Council members Taylor Cella, a junior information system major from Syracuse, and Miles Anderson, a senior political science and psychology double-major from North Logan, asked a series of political questions about the candidate’s platforms.

Jon Baker, a sophomore human nutrition major from Sandy, is running for his second year as the Vice President of Clubs and Organizations. Baker said he wishes to work closer together with the SPB President and Marketing Director to raise awareness of clubs on campus.

“I plan to work closely with those who are in those positions over the summer to find better ways to market clubs and (help them receive) priority,” Baker said. “One idea I was playing around with this year, that got brought to light, was to create T-shirts that say ‘SUU Clubs’ on them and giving them to [all] members of clubs … I think working on that over the summer to have it ready by ‘Paint the Town Red’ is something to accomplish next year.”

The candidate for the Vice President of Finance, Caleb Paulson, a junior accounting major from South Jordan and SUUSA’s current Housing and Residence Life Representative, has noticed the SUUSA budget and funding has been difficult to understand. Paulson said he wishes to create an easier way for students to request funding.

“Currently serving on the Budget and Finance Committee and as an Accounting major, I’ve always done well with money,” Paulson said. “I’m frugal. I try to follow a personal financial plan and be really smart with my spending. I feel like that qualifies me to watch over and have guardianship over the budget and funds here at SUU.”

SUUSA’s current Chief of Staff, Johnny Zillgitt, a junior computer science major, is running for next year’s Vice President of Academics. One of Zillgitt’s major goals is to prioritize and listen to student feedback.

“This past year, with a lot of work from the current VP of Academics, Parker Hess, there has been a record number of MySUU Voice responses,” Zillgitt said. “I want to continue doing that and being very active in responding to (student’s) feedback… Within two to three days they should hear back with an answer or additional information.”

The candidate for SPB President is Gwen Elison, a junior theater arts education major. Elison has served in SPB for two years as an event assistant and event director. Her three-tier platform includes growing communication, growing community and growing SUU.

“Through the diversity and allies training and co-sponsored events (will help SPB connect to all students),” Elison said. “It is so important for us to receive the proper training so that we understand and know about every student we interact with on campus and can better plan for them in a respectful and thoughtful way.”

Running for Student Body President is D’Mia Lamar, a junior political science and philosophy double-major from Roy. Lamar is currently serving as SUUSA’s Vice President of Finance and said she wishes to accomplish three goals next year: “to be transparent and informative, to ensure (students) significance and to build upon the foundation that has already been built-in previous years.”

“(Progress and change) will happen inherently when we do get a change, and new members of SUUSA each year,” Lamar said. “Also, I think that it’s important to understand that to do things just because they have been done [in the past] is called ignorance … Not taking the time to search out new ideas and new innovations is something that can be damning to you or your current organization.”

The full Q&A event video can be viewed on SUUSA’s Facebook page. For more information on the candidates, visit the SUUSA Elections webpage. Students vote on the SUU Portal or through the SUU mobile app.

Story By
Ansleigh Mikesell

Photo By
Hayden Coombs 
Operations Manager