UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | April 18, 2024

Meet the student body election candidates, see their visions for a better future

It is that time of the year again when the vote depends on the students choosing their new student body president and vice presidents to represent Utah Tech. There are six student candidates with two students running for each position including student body president, VP of clubs and VP of academics. Photo courtesy of the candidates

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With pens poised and podiums waiting, the candidates for this year’s student body government elections have begun their campaigns, carrying their hopes and aspirations for the future of Utah Tech University.

The upcoming election includes voting for the 2024-2025 student body president, vice president of academics and vice president of clubs and organizations. Two candidates are campaigning for each position.

A debate will take place March 5 at 1 p.m. in the Gardner Living Room. Voting opens at 2 p.m. on the same day and closes March 7 at 3 p.m. Students can place their votes online and must be on campus to vote.

But before you cast your votes, read on to learn about each candidate and their goals for Utah Tech.

Student body presidential candidates

Sam New

“By the students, for the students.”

Year in school: Senior

Hometown: Leeds, Utah

Major: Individualized Studies

Platform:

  • Student scholarships
  • Student involvement
  • Inclusion
  • Open door policy

As student body president, New plans to prioritize student needs through streamlining access to scholarships, increasing student involvement, and extending student access to university resources. New expects to work with students through an open-door policy and collaborate with other student leaders to increase the quality of events on campus.

“I want to make sure that all students have an equal opportunity to get an education, no matter their background or where they’re from or who they are,” New said. “And I want students to know that they have buy-in; that their voices matter.”

Bella Estes

“Serving students through opportunities, connections and experiences.”

Year in school: Junior

Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona

Major: Communication Studies

Platform:

  • Opportunity
  • Connections
  • Experiences

As ambassador president for the university, Estes plans on using her recruiting skills in a new light to increase student engagement and retention on campus. Estes hopes to connect the campus closer to the community to provide students with more opportunities in the community and promote student life on campus.

“All students belong at Utah Tech,” Estes said. “I’ve worked as an ambassador bringing students to campus, and now that they’re here, I want to work to keep them on campus. I’m the biggest Utah Tech fan ever, and I want to share that with others.”

Vice president of academics candidates

Alvaro Lopez

“Empower, include and thrive.”

Year in school: Junior

Hometown: Lima, Peru

Major: Finance

Platform:

  • Engage to excel
  • Equity and diversity
  • Sustainable academic growth

Lopez wants to increase course flexibility, decrease waitlist time, connect students to academic opportunities and expand the Utah Tech Student Association’s focus on academics. Lopez aspires to improve student preparedness post-graduation with a focus on “active learning. active life.”

“My goal is to shape a future better for students,” Lopez said. “I’m a passionate learner who never stops looking for more. I believe that if we truly want to see change here, we can do it together.”

Kolby Spector

“Embrace the adventure and grow your future.”

Year in school: Sophomore

Hometown: Fort Ann, New York

Major: Mathematics Education

Platform:

  • Growth
  • Empowerment
  • Bridging the gap

Spector aims to prioritize Utah Tech’s “active learning. active life.” motto by increasing funding for student research and capstone projects, implementing student mentorship programs, and working to connect students with the community. Spector wants to highlight Utah Tech as the only polytechnic institute in Utah and work to prepare students for successful careers.

“Students are the priority,” Spector said. “I want to prioritize their needs, and as a candidate, I want to really listen to what they need and want from their student government and then get it done.”

Vice president of clubs and organizations candidates

Shellsea Ramirez Fuentes

“She’ll see to our success.”

Year in school: Junior

Hometown: St. George

Major: Individualized Studies

Platform:

  • Collaboration
  • Engagement and growth
  • Effective communication

Fuentes is hoping to increase collaboration and utilize resources to expand the reach of clubs on campus. In order to promote student engagement, Fuentes wants to work with clubs to provide a more inclusive environment and increase engagement with the local community.

“I want Utah Tech to be the pride of St. George,” Fuentes said. “A big part of that is community engagement, and clubs are the perfect opportunity to do that. I want it to be like, ‘Yeah, we have Utah Tech, and we’re proud of it.'”

Jimena Roque

“For the students.”

Year in school: Sophomore

Hometown: Wells, Nevada

Major: Elementary Education

Platform:

  • Inclusion
  • Collaboration
  • Communication

Roque hopes to connect every student to a club on campus, creating a home away from home that suits every student’s needs. Additionally, Roque aims to provide training for club representatives and work closely with club leaders to make goals and increase student attendance.

“I want to make sure every student finds their home on campus,” Roque said. “I am so grateful that I got to find a place where I felt like I fit in, and I want to help other students do the same.”

Students can cast their votes here and receive election updates through the Utah Tech Institute of Politics Instagram.