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

2021 Student Body Elections: Meet the candidates

Voting for student body elections has arrived. Meet your nine candidates for student body president, vice president of clubs and organizations, and vice president of academics. Photo by Kristi Shields

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Video by Stephanie Du Par.

By: Sydney Johnson and Kristi Shields

The student body election candidates for the 2021-2022 school year have been finalized, and campaigning begins Feb. 28.

Five students are running for student body president, three students are running for vice president of clubs and organizations, and one student is running for vice president of academics.

Voting for primary elections opens March 1 at 12 p.m. and closes March 4 at 3 p.m.

Voting for general elections begins March 16 at noon and closes March 18 at 1 p.m.

Click here to vote.

The winners will be announced March 18 after 1:30 p.m.

Student body president candidates

Penny Mills

“It’s really important for our student voices to be heard, and I want to continue to be able to do that,” Mills said.

Class rank: Senior

Hometown: Orem

Major: Communication studies

Instagram: @penny2021sbp

Qualifications

  • DSU’s current student body president

Goals:

  • Build new relationships on campus and build upon existing ones
  • Do things as SBP that she wasn’t able to during the pandemic

Campaign platform:

Mills is running for a second year as student body president. Mills’ platform consists of strengthening the unity among students, faculty and administration on campus. She wants every student at DSU to feel like they belong, and there is something for everyone to be involved in.

Ayana Brown

“I want to help students and future students realize how wonderful this university is, [and] how their student life can be joyful, exciting and happy, not just a work grind,” Brown said.

Class rank: Junior

Hometown: British Columbia, Canada

Major: Accounting

Instagram: @ayana.a.brown

Qualifications

  • DSU ambassador
  • On-campus employee
  • Being an international student has allowed her unique experiences to serve students and the university

Goals:

  • Bring energy and a positive attitude to campus
  • Use her knowledge to connect, include and improve the students’ lives during their time here

Campaign platform:

Brown would like to see the students at DSU grow and connect together as a community. Her involvement in campus activities has grown, and she would like to use what she has learned to positively impact the university. Her main priority is for each student to be happy at DSU.

Cory O’Bray

“I would like to be the person that students can talk to if they feel an issue has come up or an idea they have that they would like to share,” O’Bray said.

Class rank: Senior

Hometown: Ivins

Major: Design

Instagram: @coryobray

Qualifications

  • Current vice president of marketing
  • Communication skills
  • Passion for DSU

Goals:

  • Incorporate more ways to represent how diverse DSU is
  • Make students aware of what is happening on campus through more transparency

Campaign platform:

O’Bray wants to increase student involvement on campus by making the student body aware of all school events. He would also like to incorporate more ways to represent the diversity in activities, students and interests at DSU.

Makayla Ruffing-Teel

“What I’m going to bring to DSU is my passion, my passion to see DSU students succeed, see the school grow and prepare for our best future while also remembering where we came from and what got us here today,” Ruffing-Teel said.

Class rank: Junior

Hometown: Mountain Center, California

Major: Marketing

Instagram: @makaylaruffingteel

Qualifications

  • The care she has for the school, its students and faculty, and what they want to see happen
  • Resident Hall Association president during her freshman year
  • Involved in Institute of Politics for three semesters

Goals:

  • Answer two questions: “What do you as students want to see from me and why are we doing things a certain way?”
  • Receive feedback from students about what DSUSA is doing and improve based on the feedback

Campaign platform:

The future of DSU is important to Ruffing-Teel as she strives to maintain unity between faculty members and students. She wants to embrace the traditions and heritage of DSU while still focusing on the ever-changing future.

Deven Osborne

“I want to make Dixie State University a better place for us to be at as students,” Osborne said.

Class rank: Senior

Hometown: Los Angeles

Major: Business administration

Instagram: @devenosborne1

Qualifications

  • President of the DSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
  • Experience with leadership on campus
  • Worked with the city of St. George

Goals:

  • Allow for the students’ voices to be heard
  • Make DSU a better place to learn and have experience

Campaign platform:

Osborne is DSU’s football team captain. Osborne’s motto is: “Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Create it!” He wants to make DSU a better place for all its students to learn, live and blaze trails.

VP of clubs and organizations candidates

Ryan Hafen

“I’m grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities that I’ve had through getting involved with clubs, and I want to be able to provide other students with that same opportunity,” Hafen said.

Class rank: Sophomore

Hometown: Southfield, Michigan

Major: General studies

Instagram: @ryan_hafen

Qualifications

  • Current recreational and entertainment club representative for DSUSA
  • Passion for helping students and getting them involved on campus
  • Experience with clubs on campus

Goals:

  • Increase student involvement

Campaign platform:

Hafen’s platform consists of increasing student involvement on campus since he knows the academic and social benefits of being involved on campus.

Jose Toral

“I want to be an advocate and representative to those students who want to get involved but don’t know how,” Toral said.

Class rank: Junior

Hometown: St. George

Major: Communication studies

Instagram: @josetoral_98

Qualifications

  • Involved with the Student Alumni Association for two years
  • Worked closely with clubs and organizations
  • Quality leadership skills

Goals:

  • Bring fresh, new ideas

Campaign platform:

Toral wants to continue being a student leader through DSUSA in order to be an advocate for students and he wants to teach students about what it takes to be a leader through the knowledge and experience he has gained.

Cesar Ruiz

“I want students as well as all the leaders on campus to learn from one another, to teach each other, and most of all embrace the differences we all have and celebrate them,” Ruiz said.

Class rank: Sophomore

Hometown: Littlefield, Arizona

Major: English

Instagram: @czr_forvpco

Goals:

  • Bring empowerment to DSU
  • Embrace the differences among students
  • Inspire the entire student body

Campaign platform:

Ruiz wants to make DSU a place for students to connect and inspire one another. He believes it is important for each student to create memories at DSU and discover themselves.

VP of academics candidate

Katie Sanders

“I’m running because I strongly believe in the Dixie motto ‘active learning, active life,'” Sanders said.

Class rank: Junior

Hometown: St. George

Major: Biology

Instagram: @katie_sanderss

Qualifications

  • DSU biology and physical science senator
  • Intern at NASA Glenn Research Center

Goals:

  • Be a source for students to share their voices
  • Bring innovation to DSU

Campaign platform:

Sanders plans to foster a strong community among students and make DSU a welcoming place for students of all backgrounds. She will be a voice for student needs and a listening ear for student concerns.