DSUSA candidates make pitch to voters in final hours of election

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Ezra Hainsworth, a junior communication major from St. George, and Kendall Pitts, a junior communication major from Las Vegas, are both running for student body president. They advanced to the final round of voting after making it through the primary elections last Wednesday and Thursday, in which Colton “Moses” Campbell, a junior English major from Long Beach, California, was eliminated. News Editor Markee Heckenliable asked the two candidates, as well as the candidates for vice president of academics and vice president of clubs, the following questions: 

Questions for candidates:

1.) Why are you running for this position?

2.) What qualifies you to be in this position?

3.) What is your platform, and how does it set you apart from other candidates?

4.) What is the biggest problem at DSU, and how do you plan to fix it?

5.) Why should students vote for you?

6.) The Dixie Sun received a Letter to the Editor concerning a candidate running even though that candidate was arrested in the past. What is your stance on the matter?

Ezra Hainsworth, running for student body president

1. After losing last year I didn’t want to run again, but enough people approached me throughout the school year and convinced me to run again. I’m running because students wanted me to and I love Dixie. I’ve spent the last 4 years at this school dedicated to this institution and figured this would be the best way to accumulate my service here at Dixie and give back after receiving so much.
2. I’ve been in student government since my freshman year, so I know the ins and outs of the organization. I’ve been highly involved on campus and have attended as many events as I possibly could over the last four years of my academic career. I know Dixie and I’ve worked hard to build relationships with students in different groups and organizations on campus in an attempt to understand their needs. 
3. My platform builds off of what Sarah Ramaker did last year and her focus on unity. Building off of her amazing progress, I’ve decided to focus on community: bringing people together from what they have in common to strengthen and build lasting relationships. Open Educational Resources is an online database of course material that teachers can pick from allowing students access to them without spending insane amounts of money. I also have worked alongside the Dean of Students and understand that he has a plan that could give free visits to the health and wellness center. What sets me apart is my dedication to the wellbeing of each student: financially, physically, and emotionally. 
4. School spirit has been lacking. We faced lots of problems getting students involved at sporting events through the years. As the Stampede President, I worked hard to create an environment that was conducive to school pride and spirit. We did a good job for it being the first year back in Student Government, however, I recognize the need for growth and improvement. I plan on combating this issue by creating a “community” atmosphere, allowing students to feel more included while still recognizing their differences.
5. Students should vote for me because not only do I say I love Dixie, but I continuously prove it by supporting a variety of school activities and programs. I have the time to dedicate to this school and the drive that will allow us, as Dixie, to be successful inside and outside the classroom. Actions speak louder than words and people are my business. My entire time here at Dixie has been spent getting people to come together.
6. I believe that there is more to everyone’s story than meets the eye. We can’t judge a person by superficial information and I know firsthand the situation and do not perceive it to be a problem attesting to their integrity or ability to fulfill the role of the position.

Kendall Pitts, running for student body president

1. It is hard for me to come up with one spot on reason of why I am running for Student Body President, if I had to come up with just one answer I would say because this school has directed me on a path that I am proud to take. My time at Dixie has been the best years of my life. I can absolutely say this is my home away from home. The ways I have grown here has changed my life forever. I want to be able to take that same experience and give it to the students that attend this university. Dixie has so many wonderful opportunities, if I could help the students seek them, the spirit on this campus would be magnified in all that the students do.

2. I feel I am qualified for this position because I have gained so much leadership experience in my three years on campus. I have been a part of the Dixie State University Student Association (DSUSA) for three years, two of those years I have held the position as the Social Events Chair under the Student Life Branch. In this position I plan large interactive events that appeal to traditional and nontraditional students. I planned the largest events held during homecoming week last year with 4,300 students in attendance. I planned the first branded Halloween Dance Dixie has ever had (CHAOS) with over 2,000 students in attendance. I have managed a budget of approximately 30,000 per semester. I was appointed as the Black Student Union President, this opportunity has been amazing because I have built relationships with many of the wonderful students in the Multicultural and Inclusion Center. With all of these different perspectives in leadership and the experiences I have gained I am confident I can lead this university in a positive direction with many opportunities for success.

3. The three main points of my platform are: Edify, Unify, Diversify. I want to focus on bringing all aspects of the student body together such as the Multicultural students and the international students. I want our student body as a whole to walk together. Swati Mandela once said, “You can accomplish many things on your own, but imagine the mountains you can move with the whole village.” Dixie is already dead to a road of growth and success, imagine the places we could go if the students were all in it together. My platform stands out because it touches the three main sources you need to create a firm foundation. If the foundation is not firm you cannot build anything strong on it.

4. I believe the biggest problem at Dixie State is the lack of cultural competence.  When people hear the word Diversity they automatically think of skin color and this leads to thinking about the things that divide people because of their skin color. I chose to use cultural competence because it includes all aspects of diversity. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association said “ Cultural competence involves understanding and appropriately responding to the unique combination of cultural variables—including ability, age, beliefs, ethnicity, experience, gender, gender identity, linguistic background, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.” This is exactly what needs to be applied at Dixie, we have various cultures on campus along with, genders, race, sexual preferences, religions, etc. because of this we need to educate ourselves. Becoming culturally competent can open windows of opportunities for the students to create unity within each other. An individual many not always respect these aspects of culture or agree with them this is that students right. However, if you attend Dixie you have the Dixie Spirit in your heart so you should learn about these points of culture and respect them.

5. Students should vote for me because I am competent. I have had many chances of failure but twice as many opportunities to get back up and press forward. I am passionate about the wellbeing of the students and the progression of this campus. I am a woman of my word. If I say I am going to do something, I am going to see that I give my 110% best effort in doing it.

6. My stance in this, think of all the successful people in the world, if they were perfect would they be successful? It is not my job to judge this candidate based on the things that have taken place in their personal life. I believe that different experiences in our lives lead to new doors of growth. I am not one to say this person should or should not run based on decisions that were made in the past. All I can do is hope the best for this school and put faith into the person that will have the opportunity to lead it. 

Weston Zimmerman, running for VP of academics

1. I’m running for VP of Academics because I want to help the University grow by providing opportunities for students to go outside campus and represent Dixie State through presenting research and competing against other institutions. I want to help represent the student voice to administration to keep the things that make Dixie great and come up with new ways to make it even better! 
2. Other than working extensively with the Student Senate this past year, I offer a different insight to the position of VP of Academics. I have worked full time most of my school career, so I understand what the majority of students go through during their time here. I know that with my experience as a non-traditional, I can help the Student Senate make wise choices to help students. 
3. My platform is first, to finish what was started with Open Education Resources and make it available to all students for their general ed. courses. Second, I want to help students get more than just a degree from DSU by facilitating additional extra opportunities available to students that give students’ time at DSU more meaning. The more transparent we can be as leaders, the more capable we are to let the opportunities – to grow and excel – available. Third, I want mental health awareness to be more prevalent on campus. Too many students are struggling with a mental illness and I will work to make help more available.
4. The problem I see that could be fixed is to make class feedback available at midterms. We are all paying for our schooling one way or another, and I believe that we, as students, should have the chance to give our feedback to professors to help have a better experience in class.
5. I’m a regular student. I’m not running for this position to win a popularity contest, or to be recognized for anything. I am running to get stuff done. I want cheaper textbook options for students and I want students to get more from their education. I want to help students do more than just go to class, but give real opportunities to apply their learning.  
6. I believe that everybody deserves a second chance, and that affording people that opportunity gives them the ability to grow and do more than we could have ever expected. I understand why someone would be hesitant, but people change, and most times, for the better.

Kiel Lambson, running for VP of clubs

1. I am running for Vice President of Clubs and Organizations because service isn’t just a some of the time thing for me, it’s my lifestyle. I am ecstatic about serving others and being a large part of helping students have the best possible experience at Dixie State through club participation. I want to be VP of Clubs because I am the most passionate candidate about the position, and it will give me the ability to positively influence a larger number of DSU students with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength. 

2. At DSU I have been involved in student government since the beginning as a committee member and now a club representative. As a Club Rep I know what goes on the behind the scenes of the clubs and organizations branch and I know what it takes to run everything smoothly and successfully. I have served in positions of leadership in my church, school, and sports teams since I was very young. In high school I was the Senior Class President, Spirit club President, Rugby Co-Captain and I am also a recipient of scouting’ highest achievement being an Eagle Scout. To cap off high school I dedicated 2 years to an LDS service mission in Perú also serving as a team leader and training new missionaries finding much success in our goals. I am fluent in Spanish and have international experience to reach out to an even wider variety of students. 

3. I want to apply my experience and knowledge as a club representative to the entirety of the the clubs and organizations on campus. I am a leader who will provide experience based learning opportunities in inter club council and make it fun by radiating positive uplifting energy and trainings to all of the club presidents to take back and apply to their clubs. The next part of my platform form comes from a personal experience I had my first semester at DSU. Just as every new student has the desire to make good friends, I wanted to feel cared about. I was chosen to be a member of the X-Club and they became my brothers. Clubs and organizations give support, motivation and uplifting service opportunities. 
-My first emphasis is to have 100% of the club presidencies organized and chartered at least one month before the fall semester starts so that all new DSU students can find a club that fits them best kicking off the school year with a bang. This will include all students, even nontraditional and international. 
-My next emphasis is to make clubs night one of the biggest and most fun activities on campus by involving DSUSA, the ISS, and the MIC in the planning and executing of the event to make it better than ever. Involvement is a key to a successful college experience. 
-My last main emphasis is to find a solution to the money issue that club sports deal with. Club sports are much different than normal clubs requiring more funding for continuous travel for matches and tournaments. I will find a resolution to that issue so that every club can be allocated the needed funds to operate at full capacity within the overall club budget. 
This platform sets me apart from my opposing candidate because I have club experience. These won’t be processes that I will have to learn, because of my hard work I know how things function. I will be building upon my current goals as a club rep along with the goals set by the previous VP of Clubs Zachary Reed who I have been working very closely with this semester. When higher leadership is gained, previous responsibilities are not lost, only built upon. 

4. In high school I won most preferred for school spirit and I was also the president of the Spirit Club. Coming from an atmosphere of such high energy and excitement at sporting events, an issue that I have noticed here at DSU is the lack of school spirit. After talking with many students who attend games, I have found that the overall atmosphere is low in energy. School spirit is important because it doesn’t only affect performance in athletic events, but as well as in the class room and throughout the clubs on campus. In order to fix this problem or at least improve it substantially I will emphasize the participation of the club presidents and their members to have merit money opportunities for not only being present at the games but by standing and cheering. Little be little, one person, and one club at a time the over all atmosphere will improve. This is a goal that will require the help of the whole student body, I will also work with other student leaders and organization leaders to boost the overall Dixie State moral.   

5. I am the most qualified for the position, I am the most passionate, and I am the most caring towards the university and the students. I truly love Dixie State University. I am one of the most involved students on campus, I have attended close to every single Wednes-D activity this school year, also setting up and taking care of cleaning. I care about every student; I make it my personal responsibility to make sure that as many students as I am able to reach out to feel welcomed, and have an enjoyable experience. I am goal orientated, I know how to prioritize, and I know how to plan out my schedule so that I can execute every responsibility with precision. I am anxiously engaged in a good cause at all times, and I am always willing to go above and beyond to help whoever needs me at what ever time of the day. 

6. I know the candidate personally, and I know that he is not a criminal. I admit that the arrest happened because of a lack of responsibility in time management to take care of legal necessities, but I know that he learned a great lesson and is better now because of this life experience.

Kyle Cummings, running for VP of clubs


1. This is my junior year here at Dixie and I have had the opportunity to be associated with clubs since the first semester. As I joined new clubs, associated with new people, and participated in their positive uplifting activities, my attitude and perspective grew toward the benefit and importance of clubs. As time went on my participation increased and I began to move up the ranks of leadership. This past physical school year I have had the privilege of being the Club President of Rural Health Scholars (pre-health occupation club). In all my time associated with clubs and club leadership I believe I’ve made a huge difference and have a lot more ideas that could benefit clubs on a larger scale. I want Dixie to reach the outstanding potential it has. 

2. Like mentioned before I have been associated with clubs for four semesters now and served in multiple leadership roles including the Club President for the last physical school year. I am very familiar with clubs and how they operate. Along with clubs, I currently work as a Peer Mentor in the DSU Student Success Center. What this means in a nut shell is that I’ve spent the last couple semesters working with clubs and over one-hundred different incoming freshman on transitioning to the “college life.” I am very familiar with working with lots of different people. People with different backgrounds, different ideas, and different thought processes. Between these experiences and the many leaderships experiences I gained serving as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I believe I am qualified for the job. Plus, I consider myself a very quick learner, so if there is something that people may not consider me qualified in, I can adapt and learn quickly. 

3. My Platform of what I want to accomplish starts with three main bullet points: 

                        I. More rewards for club service.

                        II. More publicity on already existing clubs.

                        III. Restructure club leadership positions and participation. 

These bullet points set me apart from everyone because they are adapted to the 1. the desires of President Williams and 2. the desires of the student voice. For example, more rewards for club service is linked to the desire of President Williams. A semester or two ago he expressed his desires for DSU to receive a national renown service award. By restructuring the way clubs earn merit money it will motivate them to publicize their club and do more service, therefore we can bring home the service award as a school. Another example is many things I want to do as VP comes from what students who have voiced their concerns to me. They’ve expressed how they feel and I’ve taken those concerns, built on them with my own ideas, and found solutions to the problems they have.

4. A couple of problems come to my mind but one of the biggest I want to work on is club publicity. Did you know DSU has over 80 clubs? I don’t think most people do and the reason for that is of those 80 chartered clubs, only about 30-40 of them that are constantly active. Of all the clubs including the 30-40 active ones, I would say the minority of them are publicized regularly. Therefore, as VP I want to clean up the clubs and figured which ones are truly active, figure out what we need to do to activate the rest, and then place the biggest emphasis on publicizing clubs so people know they exist. 

5. Students should vote for me because I am a qualified and skilled leader, especially when it comes to DSU Clubs. Like mentioned before I know my way around clubs and how they operate due to my past experiences. On top of that, I am an excellent listener and want to adapt what I do as VP to what the students in the many clubs want/need. My desire to serve as VP comes from the fact that I love Dixie State and I want to make it a better school. I believe clubs are one of the most effective routes to involve more students, grow Dixie, and boost morale and reputation. So, make sure to vote for Kyle with a Y, because he has the why! 

6. I am not familiar with the entire story of what happened regarding the said candidate; therefore, I am unable to make an appropriate judgment regarding this situation. I believe in second chances – people make mistakes and can work towards correcting them. However, I believe someone who wants to lead Dixie and represent the school should be a respectable person who has a positive uplifting reputation. Dixie is an amazing school and deserves the best representing it. 

Casey Banner, running for VP of academics, did not respond to Dixie Sun News’ requests for comment.