UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 08, 2022

Campaigning begins with student election primaries this week

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Student government elections are underway, and the primaries will be held this week.

Dixie Sun News spoke with the candidates in a Q & A session. Four students are seeking the office of Student Body President, one student is seeking the office of Vice President of Academics, and one student is seeking the office of Vice President of Clubs. Each candidate was asked the same questions.  

Physical voting for the primary elections will be held on the Diagonal Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and online from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at www.dixie.edu/elections.The candidates are listed in alphabetical order according to their last names. 

Candidates for president

The students running for Student Body President are Mazie Ludlow, a junior communication major from Turlock, Calif.; D’Andre Matthews, a sophomore biology major from Las Vegas; Carlos Morgan, a junior communication major from Santa Clara; and Taylor Nelson, a junior undeclared major from St. George.

Mazie Ludlow

What qualifies you for the position?

“I am the only person running who has been a member of the executive council. Along with experience, I would say passion. I’ve been learning from Brody (Mikesell). This job isn’t one you do for a resume or you do for anything other than that you’re passionate about it.”

What made you decide to run for office?

“The biggest thing was watching Brody work. [I saw that] the president is the one who’s able to push forward with the most influence on the school. I wouldn’t say I’m going to fill his shoes because he’s going to leave some really big shoes, but I would be able to continue what he’s doing. I saw myself as the only person who is able to make that continuity come about.”

What needs to change most? 

“I think there needs to be a growth in culture. I think that we have a real opportunity, as we become a university, to expand our view and our frame of reference. The biggest thing I want to see is to grow into a community where we are all very open to all sorts of ideas.”

How will you implement that change?

“We need to renew the Dixie spirit. Everyone on campus needs to be feeling that love and joy and pride for the school. It really starts with the leadership on campus. I plan on being that type of leader that approves activities that applies to more than one genre of people.”

D’Andre Mathews

What qualifies you for the position?

“I started school here back in 2009 and served on student government and student Ambassadors at the same time. I served on more than 10 clubs. I also was an athlete at one time here at Dixie.”

What made you decide to run for office?

“I saw a school and community that had been ripped apart because of the name. Something about me really wanted to show the world that we’re not racists down in southern Utah. I want to be able to show minorities and show anyone that you can come to Dixie State and get a quality education and leadership opportunities.”

What needs to change the most? 

“The acceptance. I want to see a community and a school that accepts everyone for who they are. Here, especially in St. George, I want to help people to accept and understand.”

How will you implement that change?

“I want to set up a student government that is very diverse. I want to find a Polynesian, the best white kids, the best black kids, I want a gay kid, I want the best of everyone. I intend to go out and really get to know the students. If I can be able to get out and shake people’s hands and find out where they come from, it can really have an impact on their education.”

Carlos Morgan

What qualifies you for this position?

“I’ve served in three different branches of student government. Having that perspective, I can see what needs to change and what needs to stay the same. Serving those three branches of student government has come to mean a lot to me.”

What made you decide to run for office?

“I always wanted to run for some kind of position to make some kind of difference at this school. I was going to run for VP of academics, but looking back on it, I knew what I really wanted to do was run for president. That’s where you have the greatest possibility of making an impact on students and the school.” 

What needs to change most?

“The biggest thing I want to see happen is having students be engaged (and) feel like they’re involved in making Dixie the school they want it to be.”

How will you implement that change?

“I would utilize all the branches of student government. I’d start with student life and reaching out to students and having them come up with ideas. I’d push for more aggressive outreach in the clubs branch, so everyone on campus feels like they have a place here. I’d push for senate to promote what it has to offer to the student body more.”

Taylor Nelson

What qualifies you for this position?

“I’ve served in leadership capacities before. At the college I served on the Institute Council. I served an LDS mission and served some pretty big leadership callings there.”

What made you decide to run for office?

“I looked at the elections last year and I saw that Brody ran unopposed, and I saw a lot of community members and alumni who aren’t happy with what’s happening now. It’s my duty to start getting involved. I plan on staying in St. George my whole life. I thought I’d better get involved when we started becoming a university.”

What needs to change most?

“There are a lot of things at Dixie that don’t need to be changed. But I think it’s imperative that we stay consistent with the culture of St. George. Where the college gets all it’s money is from all the people in the community.” 

How will you implement that change?

“I think it’s all going to start with change in the culture. It’s how we do in activities and how we respect community members. As a president, you have more control over how that culture plays out and how it’s reflected. Every college is about making their community happy and [giving them] the confidence that the college is doing good things. The culture of student government is where it all starts.”

Candidate for vice president of academics

Gregory Layton, a junior English major from Cottonwood Heights is running for the office of vice president of academics.

Gregory Layton

What qualifies you for this position?

“It’s something similar to what I’m doing right now. I’ve had many experiences at Dixie that qualify me for the experience. Writing for the newspaper has provided me experiences where I get to meet with administration and faculty and talk to them about topics that are important to the school. It gives me the opportunity to be a liaison between students and faculty.”

What made you decide to run for office?

“I like to be involved. I love this school, and a lot of my interests line up with this position. A few people encouraged me to do so, and I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to learn and to grow, especially with [DSC] being a university next year.

What needs to change most? 

“I don’t think there are any monumental things that need to be changed. I feel like Dixie is very student-oriented and allows for student opinion and output. I feel like student government, the way it’s set up, works pretty well. I would just hope to build on what the previous student governments have been able to accomplish and set up our game as we transition into a university. 

How will you implement that change?

“Making our initiatives, our programs, our activities just bigger and have more meaning and bring in the big boy topics. I want to create programs and initiatives that help better the student body, especially for struggling students. We’re a university, and we’re going to show that we’re up to the task and up to the mantle.”

Candidate for vice president of clubs

Brandon Lewis, a junior communication major from Coalville, is running for vice president of clubs

Brandon Lewis

What qualifies you for this position?

“I’ve been affiliated with the clubs and organizations as a service club rep for two semesters. I feel like that has given me a great outlook on how it’s run. I’ve also held many leadership positions in my LDS mission. In my experience with college, it’s really helped me get a grasp on how students need to be involved.”

What made you decide to run for office?

“I’ve never really been affiliated with student government before this year, and I found it to be a lot of fun. Working with Gregory Noel and the rest of the representatives on Clubs and Organizations is something I really enjoy doing, and I love being involved with it.”

What needs to change most?

“Not so much change, but improved. More involvement. I’ve been at a school where all I did was go to class and go right home. I didn’t think I was connected. For me, I think the best way students can get involved, and get that Spirit of Dixie in them, is get involved on campus. Clubs, sporting events, Student Life, DSCSA—involvement is huge. I’d love to see more student involvement.”

How will you implement that change?

“By getting [my] face in and actually showing kids this is fun, and that they can be involved. I know school is very important—getting an education, but so is showing school pride. [I’ll try] to get more kids involved, not just kids on the councils and student government.”