Ezra Hainsworth, a junior communication major from St. George, and Kendall Pitts, a junior communication major from Las Vegas, are both running for student body president. They advanced to the final round of voting after making it through the primary elections last Wednesday and Thursday, in which Colton “Moses” Campbell, a junior English major from Long Beach, California, was eliminated. News Editor Markee Heckenliable asked the two candidates, as well as the candidates for vice president of academics and vice president of clubs, the following questions:
Questions for candidates:
1.) Why are you running for this position?
2.) What qualifies you to be in this position?
3.) What is your platform, and how does it set you apart from other candidates?
4.) What is the biggest problem at DSU, and how do you plan to fix it?
5.) Why should students vote for you?
6.) The Dixie Sun received a Letter to the Editor concerning a candidate running even though that candidate was arrested in the past. What is your stance on the matter?
Ezra Hainsworth, running for student body president
Kendall Pitts, running for student body president
1. It is hard for me to come up with one spot on reason of why I am running for Student Body President, if I had to come up with just one answer I would say because this school has directed me on a path that I am proud to take. My time at Dixie has been the best years of my life. I can absolutely say this is my home away from home. The ways I have grown here has changed my life forever. I want to be able to take that same experience and give it to the students that attend this university. Dixie has so many wonderful opportunities, if I could help the students seek them, the spirit on this campus would be magnified in all that the students do.
2. I feel I am qualified for this position because I have gained so much leadership experience in my three years on campus. I have been a part of the Dixie State University Student Association (DSUSA) for three years, two of those years I have held the position as the Social Events Chair under the Student Life Branch. In this position I plan large interactive events that appeal to traditional and nontraditional students. I planned the largest events held during homecoming week last year with 4,300 students in attendance. I planned the first branded Halloween Dance Dixie has ever had (CHAOS) with over 2,000 students in attendance. I have managed a budget of approximately 30,000 per semester. I was appointed as the Black Student Union President, this opportunity has been amazing because I have built relationships with many of the wonderful students in the Multicultural and Inclusion Center. With all of these different perspectives in leadership and the experiences I have gained I am confident I can lead this university in a positive direction with many opportunities for success.
3. The three main points of my platform are: Edify, Unify, Diversify. I want to focus on bringing all aspects of the student body together such as the Multicultural students and the international students. I want our student body as a whole to walk together. Swati Mandela once said, “You can accomplish many things on your own, but imagine the mountains you can move with the whole village.” Dixie is already dead to a road of growth and success, imagine the places we could go if the students were all in it together. My platform stands out because it touches the three main sources you need to create a firm foundation. If the foundation is not firm you cannot build anything strong on it.
4. I believe the biggest problem at Dixie State is the lack of cultural competence. When people hear the word Diversity they automatically think of skin color and this leads to thinking about the things that divide people because of their skin color. I chose to use cultural competence because it includes all aspects of diversity. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association said “ Cultural competence involves understanding and appropriately responding to the unique combination of cultural variables—including ability, age, beliefs, ethnicity, experience, gender, gender identity, linguistic background, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.” This is exactly what needs to be applied at Dixie, we have various cultures on campus along with, genders, race, sexual preferences, religions, etc. because of this we need to educate ourselves. Becoming culturally competent can open windows of opportunities for the students to create unity within each other. An individual many not always respect these aspects of culture or agree with them this is that students right. However, if you attend Dixie you have the Dixie Spirit in your heart so you should learn about these points of culture and respect them.
5. Students should vote for me because I am competent. I have had many chances of failure but twice as many opportunities to get back up and press forward. I am passionate about the wellbeing of the students and the progression of this campus. I am a woman of my word. If I say I am going to do something, I am going to see that I give my 110% best effort in doing it.
6. My stance in this, think of all the successful people in the world, if they were perfect would they be successful? It is not my job to judge this candidate based on the things that have taken place in their personal life. I believe that different experiences in our lives lead to new doors of growth. I am not one to say this person should or should not run based on decisions that were made in the past. All I can do is hope the best for this school and put faith into the person that will have the opportunity to lead it.
Weston Zimmerman, running for VP of academics
Kiel Lambson, running for VP of clubs
Kyle Cummings, running for VP of clubs
1. This is my junior year here at Dixie and I have had the opportunity to be associated with clubs since the first semester. As I joined new clubs, associated with new people, and participated in their positive uplifting activities, my attitude and perspective grew toward the benefit and importance of clubs. As time went on my participation increased and I began to move up the ranks of leadership. This past physical school year I have had the privilege of being the Club President of Rural Health Scholars (pre-health occupation club). In all my time associated with clubs and club leadership I believe I’ve made a huge difference and have a lot more ideas that could benefit clubs on a larger scale. I want Dixie to reach the outstanding potential it has.
2. Like mentioned before I have been associated with clubs for four semesters now and served in multiple leadership roles including the Club President for the last physical school year. I am very familiar with clubs and how they operate. Along with clubs, I currently work as a Peer Mentor in the DSU Student Success Center. What this means in a nut shell is that I’ve spent the last couple semesters working with clubs and over one-hundred different incoming freshman on transitioning to the “college life.” I am very familiar with working with lots of different people. People with different backgrounds, different ideas, and different thought processes. Between these experiences and the many leaderships experiences I gained serving as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I believe I am qualified for the job. Plus, I consider myself a very quick learner, so if there is something that people may not consider me qualified in, I can adapt and learn quickly.
3. My Platform of what I want to accomplish starts with three main bullet points:
I. More rewards for club service.
II. More publicity on already existing clubs.
III. Restructure club leadership positions and participation.
These bullet points set me apart from everyone because they are adapted to the 1. the desires of President Williams and 2. the desires of the student voice. For example, more rewards for club service is linked to the desire of President Williams. A semester or two ago he expressed his desires for DSU to receive a national renown service award. By restructuring the way clubs earn merit money it will motivate them to publicize their club and do more service, therefore we can bring home the service award as a school. Another example is many things I want to do as VP comes from what students who have voiced their concerns to me. They’ve expressed how they feel and I’ve taken those concerns, built on them with my own ideas, and found solutions to the problems they have.
4. A couple of problems come to my mind but one of the biggest I want to work on is club publicity. Did you know DSU has over 80 clubs? I don’t think most people do and the reason for that is of those 80 chartered clubs, only about 30-40 of them that are constantly active. Of all the clubs including the 30-40 active ones, I would say the minority of them are publicized regularly. Therefore, as VP I want to clean up the clubs and figured which ones are truly active, figure out what we need to do to activate the rest, and then place the biggest emphasis on publicizing clubs so people know they exist.
5. Students should vote for me because I am a qualified and skilled leader, especially when it comes to DSU Clubs. Like mentioned before I know my way around clubs and how they operate due to my past experiences. On top of that, I am an excellent listener and want to adapt what I do as VP to what the students in the many clubs want/need. My desire to serve as VP comes from the fact that I love Dixie State and I want to make it a better school. I believe clubs are one of the most effective routes to involve more students, grow Dixie, and boost morale and reputation. So, make sure to vote for Kyle with a Y, because he has the why!
6. I am not familiar with the entire story of what happened regarding the said candidate; therefore, I am unable to make an appropriate judgment regarding this situation. I believe in second chances – people make mistakes and can work towards correcting them. However, I believe someone who wants to lead Dixie and represent the school should be a respectable person who has a positive uplifting reputation. Dixie is an amazing school and deserves the best representing it.
Casey Banner, running for VP of academics, did not respond to Dixie Sun News’ requests for comment.