UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | July 20, 2024

New student body officers elected, platforms developed

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Student government election results are in, and the winners are no surprise — given everyone ran uncontested.

The elections, which were held Feb. 28 through March 1, consisted of three candidates who had no competition. 

Cajun Syrett, a junior communication major from Bryce Canyon, was elected student body president, while Emilie Namikawa, a sophomore English major from Rancho Cucamonga, California, was voted vice president of academics, and KyLee Cody Wilson, a sophomore exercise science major from Las Vegas, was voted vice president of clubs and organizations.

Syrett said he thinks there should have been more advertising for the positions, but he believes those who were elected will be great officials, and he said next year he hopes to have more of a recruiting aspect for elections.

Candidates shared their campaigns via Twitter videos and put up posters in front of the Jeffrey R. Holland Centennial Commons Building and the Gardner Center. There was advertising on the Blazer Digest and on flyers around campus buildings for the mandatory candidate meetings. In past years, posters were placed in front of almost all campus buildings and debates were held.

“I like to tell people that no one ran because they heard I was running,” Syrett said. “But honestly, I think there wasn’t enough call to action. I don’t think there was anyone in student government who felt ready. There were a few worthy candidates who were going to run, but then they had other opportunities they wanted to go after.”

Syrett’s campaign focuses on putting students first and getting them more involved. 

“I hate regrets,” Syrett said. “So when I first joined student government, I knew that if I got really into it I’d want to [be student body president].”

Syrett said he was able to observe past presidents Sarah Ramaker and Ezra Hainsworth, and their separate visions and love for the school implanted a passion for DSU within him. 

“The two different leadership styles from Ezra and Sarah kind of instilled in me thereafter that I don’t need to be Sarah, and I don’t need to be Ezra, I can be myself as long — as long I have similar values,” Syrett said.

Syrett said he stands for honesty, integrity and transparency. He wants everyone to know what is happening on campus. He said student government is in the process of adding a student voice button to their website, and this button is for students to give input on events, contribute ideas and just share their voices.

“I’m turning to the students more to see what they want in their lives and in their university experience,” Syrett said. “I want to help people find out what we have in common, so we can all connect that way.”

Syrett was previously the vice president of athletics. The new branch organized the student section and was aimed toward helping students have a better athletic experience. Syrett spearheaded the blackout game, which had 4,000 people in attendance — 1,000 more than the usual nearly 3,000 member crowd. 

Wilson is also hoping to give students more of a voice in student government. She was the student organization’s club representative, but this year she wanted to take a leadership role that would let her give DSU clubs more of a voice.

“My campaign is allowing each student to have an opportunity to join or make a club just for them,” Wilson said. “I love people who have a passion and drive to start something new and have their voice be heard.”

Wilson wants students to be able to meet people who have the same interests and desires, and she also wants more exposure to the knowledge about clubs DSU provides. She said she isn’t sure why others didn’t run against her, but she said next year she is hoping for some good competition. “It would have been an amazing opportunity to get out there and debate more,” Wilson said. “But next year we are hoping for a competition.”

Namikawa was the alternative breaks coordinator last year, but she wanted to join in on the growth of the academic’s branch.

“I’m extremely passionate about learning,” Namikawa said. “I think it’s so important for students to enjoy their learning so they will continue.”

She wants to bring more exposure to the academic opportunities outside of classes, like alternative trips and on-campus tutoring, clubs and other resources, to make educational resources available to all students.

The deadline for the rest of the vice president positions was March 7, and were filled this week. The deadline for the rest of the positions is April 1.

To apply for student government, visit dixie.life/applications.