UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | September 24, 2022

D’Andre Mathews resigns as VP of Academics

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D’Andre Mathews’ work is done at his position as Dixie State University Student Association vice president of academics and looks to move on to pursue his medical degree.

Mathews, a senior integrated studies major from Las Vegas, who said he has been an active member of student government and advocate for diversity on campus, resigned as vice president to potentially attend University of Utah in the spring.

Mathews officially resigned from his position Nov. 4.

Mathews said that he applied to University of Utah for the spring semester and was accepted. His goal is to pursue a medical degree, and he is 90 percent sure he will attend U of U.

People wonder why he is leaving, Mathews said, but overall everyone has been really respectful of his decision.

“That’s one thing you have to love about DSU,” Mathews said. “You have a lot of people [who] surround you [who] want the best for you.”

Student Body President Gregory J. Layton, a senior English major from Cottonwood Heights, explained the formal resignation process involved Mathews writing a letter to Layton; Jordon Sharp, director of student involvement and leadership; and Dean Of Students Del Beatty. Once the letter was accepted, Mathew’s contract was terminated, Layton said in a phone interview.

“I never want to go through this process with anyone,” Layton said. “If they are not able to perform to a level they should or that they are having other areas of their life affect them, I understand, and it is probably in the best interest of DSUSA for them to resign … Obviously school and our degrees and our personal life are No. 1.”

Layton said from a personal standpoint, he is sad to see Mathews leave. 

Sharp said in an email that he is in support of Mathews and his decision for early resignation.

“Being a DSUSA student leader is a rewarding yet taxing role, and often changes need to be made depending on what is happening in the student’s life,” Sharp said. “D’Andre has been an effective student leader for many years, and although it is hard to replace key leaders mid-semester I believe it is the best decision for him at this time.” 

Being academically successful is important to him, Mathews said, and feeling overwhelmed in school has contributed to part of his early resignation.

“I am taking heavy courses,” Mathews said. “I don’t necessarily feel my academics are where they need to be.”

Mathew applied to the U of U because of the test preparation opportunities for the Medical College Admissions Test. 

The added diversity of Salt Lake City appeals to him, Mathews said. 

Mathews was very involved on campus, he said, and one of the personal goals he said he achieved was to support diversity.

“[One of my goals] was to make students like me feel comfortable at DSU and to feel like they actually have an opportunity [and] they actually have a chance,” Mathews said. “Here is this African-American kid who came from Vegas … and look he is the vice president of academics. I wanted to be that bridge to say, ‘It doesn’t matter; there are all love and smiles from the people here.’” 

The senate continues to hold meetings and pass bills while a new vice president is being determined, said Communication Senator Samantha Tommer, a senior interdisciplinary studies major from La Habra, California. The application process for a new vice president is currently under way, and the official replacement will be announced Nov. 14, she said.

In the meantime, Tommer said she has been pro tempore and has been running the meetings in place of Mathews. 

“We are still rocking and rolling as much as we have been,” Tommer said. “We had our meeting [Nov. 5], and I was able to conduct that.”

Sharp said the new vice president will be announced via DSUSA social media.

When Mathews reflects on his past experience with DSUSA, he said being a part of the student government has given him confidence, and he hopes whomever takes his place will love the role as vice president of academics and love DSUSA.

“It’s been an honor to serve DSUSA,” Mathews said.