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USU/SA candidates address residents

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 12:02

USUSA

Samantha Behl photo

Global communications major Geoff Andrews addresses the Residence Hall Association and those who live on campus about his platform. Andrews is running for organizations and campus diversity VP.

USU/SA candidates addressed questions and concerns of on-campus housing residents at a town hall meeting Wednesday night. Many centered around future improvements to publicizing campus events and resources and improving relations between residents and administrators.

Doug Fiefia, the incumbent student body president, is being challenged by Ryan Lambert and Joshua LeFevre.

Fiefia spoke of his initiatives to work with both the student body as a whole and individual students, such as speaking at every Student Orientation, Advising and Registration session last summer and serving as a peer mentor to more than 60 freshmen.

“I email them every week and tell them about events, make sure they’re visiting with their advisers, studying, and so on,” he said. “The freshman experience is near and dear to my heart.”

All the candidates agreed it was important to help students get involved in campus events. LeFevre said resident assistants and administrators should be trained about what upcoming events the university has to offer.

“That way, when students have questions, they go to you and know how to get involved,” he said. “It builds a bond, and students will have a better experience.”

Lambert said 30 percent of USU students live in student housing, and there are three types of them.

“There are those who are always involved, those who aren’t, and the people in the middle who don’t hear about stuff or don’t feel capable,” he said. “We need to focus on reaching out to people.”

Executive vice president candidates Matthew Ditto and Spencer Steadman differed in their approaches to the position.

“The Executive VP should be that one student that’s a model of academic, service and involvement success for students to look to,” Steadman said.

“The Executive VP is the person who stands in the back,” Ditto said. “If they’re doing their job, things are running smoothly and they aren’t in the forefront of attention.”

Zoe Fairbairn, Traditions director, is running against write-in candidates Michelle Staples and Oakman Kennedy for Programming vice president. They discussed their ideas publicizing events and increasing attendance.

“The biggest way is to have a network of people to get the word out,” Kennedy said.

“I would actively seek them out and see if they wanted to volunteer and get involved,” Staples said.

“We want to get magnets so when people walk into residence halls, they can see when and where all the events for the semester are going to be,” Fairbairn said.

Sharon Lyman and Leah Calder are running for Service vice president. Each cited her own history of service.

“I spent a fall break serving in Las Vegas,” Calder said. “Since then, I’ve spent every school break doing some kind of service.”

“I felt a passion for service when I was younger,” Lyman said. “Selling beaded geckos for 50 cents (for Indonesian tsunami relief in 2004) was something silly, but it was what I could do to help.”

Casey Saxton, running unopposed for Student Advocate vice president, cited his involvement in starting the myVoice program and his intention to continue improving it.

Geoff Andrews, running unopposed for Organizations and Campus Diversity vice president, addressed concerns about reaching out to international students and helping them adjust to American culture.

Dallin Laird, also running unopposed for Athletics and Campus Recreation vice president, discussed balancing good sportsmanship with the Hurd’s loud cheers and making sure that students get the most out of the upcoming Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

After urging everyone in attendance to vote, the hosts voted to adjourn the meeting until 7:30 p.m. March 19 in the Living Learning Center.

c.r.nicholson@aggiemail.usu.edu
Twitter: @alien236 

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