The race for Dixie State University Student Association’s executive council is on.
Though the primary campaigning does not begin until March 23, three DSU students have already declared their candidacy for student body president, including Sarah Ramaker, Christopher Dever Jr., and Ezra Hainsworth.
Each candidate has already fulfilled the preliminary requirements of submitting a letter of intent with a $100 deposit and collecting letters of recommendation with 100 student signatures.
Mike Long, a senior psychology major from Hurricane, will oversee the course of elections as DSUSA’s chief justice. He said DSUSA has put certain restrictions in place to ensure the election process is fair for everyone. For instance, candidates cannot use student government equipment or seek endorsements from any of the athletic teams.
Long said the upcoming elections will be competitive, and the key to success is twofold: working hard and working smart.
“The harder you work, the more votes you will get,” Long said. “Competition breeds excellence.”
All three candidates plan to increase student involvement by stimulating interest in the athletic events and instilling pride and a sense of identity via the new mascot.
“It says in our constitution that DSUSA is any student that pays student fees,” said Ramaker, a senior dance major from Midland, Michigan, and acting vice president of student life. “I want to make people aware of that … (and) to make people feel like they are a part of DSUSA.”
Using the analogy of a basketball game, Dever, a senior business administration major from Provo, said: “there’s five guys in the court, but the sixth player are the students at the stands … I am going to fill each stadium with [students’] butts.”
Hainsworth, a junior communication major from St. George, was the public relations officer for DSUSA and said he started the Red Storm roll and “dorm storming.”
“We coined the hashtags ‘thedixielife’ (and) ‘igotodixie,’” Hainsworth said. “My main focus will be the spirit and culture of [DSU].”
The differences between the three candidates are most pronounced in their secondary goals.
Ramaker is running with two unique goals: to propose cheaper alternatives to traditional textbooks and to build a new diversity center for people of different religious beliefs.
Dever is running for student body president under the slogan of “creating your legacy.” His platform is unique on the basis of two ideas: bringing more franchises to the Red Rock Café and realizing the idea of “anytime dining,” which would give students 24/7 access to nutrition on campus.
Hainsworth said he wants to bring change, unity and enlightenment to DSU. As student body president, Hainsworth said he would change the two-strike rule for athletes to a five-strike rule, as it is in most other institutions, he said. A strike refers to a rule violation by an athlete, and as of now, DSU athletes who violate rules two times are kicked off their teams.
Having shared the details of their platforms, the candidates also exposed their weaknesses.
Ramaker said her weakness is her empathy toward others as it sometimes has a negative impact on her assertiveness. Nonetheless, she said empathy can also be viewed as a strength, and students should consider her because of her serving nature, hard work and maturity.
Dever said his desire to serve makes him qualified to run for student body president despite his lack of experience. He met with a few members of DSU administration as well as President Biff Williams to receive counsel on what they would want to see in a student body president.
Dever said he is constantly working on his weaknesses as “a day without improvement is a day wasted.” However, he said he still has a hard time letting go of mistakes and sometimes gets frustrated when people don’t see his view.
Hainsworth said his biggest weakness is his pride and he used to feel like DSU owed him for all of his hard work as the PR manager in the past. Eventually, he said he realized it is him who owes DSU for all of the opportunities he has gotten and he plans to repay the institution through his service as the next student body president.
The voting for primary elections begins March 23 at 8 a.m. and ends March 24 at 3 p.m. Only two candidates — those with the most amount of votes — will proceed to the final elections.
The voting for final elections begins March 30 at noon and ends March 31 at 4 p.m. The winners will be announced via social media.