As the school year draws to a close, so does the journey of Student Body President Gregory J. Layton.
There have been ups and downs this year according to Layton, a senior English major from Cottonwood Heights. He is proud with his accomplishment of gaining the trust of the students, faculty, administration and the board of trustees. He said he wishes he could have helped make the attendance of activities better.
Layton said he worked hard to be the best representative of the students. He did this by being hard-working, professional, personable, responsible and reliable.
“I met with administrators from other schools in Utah and even in Japan who were shocked at how much our leaders listen and act based upon the opinions of students,” Layton said.
Layton said it is also special that he is not only a student but a board of trustees member as well. He said having this position didn’t give him any power: Power is earned. He said he gained enough respect to have his opinion matter.
“Many of the student initiatives and desires would not have been considered if administrators didn’t have respect and trust in me,” Layton said.
Layton said he worked hard to build relationships, and that helped him to become a better leader because he knew what it was like being on the opposite side of where most students are.
Layton said next year’s student body president, Matt Devore, a junior integrated studies major from Mesquite, Nevada, plans on continuing with the changing the identity and will not let anything fizzle out; it will be completed.
“The most frustrating aspect of higher education is the length of time it takes to make changes,” Layton said.
Layton said DSU’s identity has been included in the strategic plan, and it will be completed in May. Layton is not exactly sure what will happen from where he and the other executive council leaders left off, but he knows there will be forward action.
“I do know there is a dire need to improve [DSU] identity from the massive amount of negative and confused opinions shared about where the institution’s nickname and mascot are currently,” Layton said.
Something will happen with the identity. Layton said he isn’t sure what the exact course of plan is, but the effort from students will not go unnoticed.
Layton may be off to bigger and better things, but he said he will miss plenty about DSU, including the students, faculty, staff and administrators.
“There are so many wonderful people at DSU who have made my life so much better that I am going to feel like I lost my family,” Layton said.
He said his time at DSU has been the best period of his life. Layton said he will never forget the fun, difficult, funny and hard times.
“I hope everyone who has played some sort of role to help me become a better person knows that I appreciate their efforts and influence,” Layton said. “Being president gave me a sense of worth that I am going to need to find in my next journey.”