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Tolson, new ASUSU leaders look ahead to challenging year

April 3rd, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Ty Rogers

LOGAN – At a time when Utah State University is going through so much change, including budget cuts and new colleges developing, at least one thing will remain the same for the next year—Tyler Tolson.

Tolson, re-elected to a second term as the Associated Students of Utah State University (ASUSU) student body president, already knows the job.

“As student body president, you sit on about 25 to 30 councils and committees, so I already know everybody and how to work with them,” Tolson said.

Tolson’s first year as president was challenging. He dealt with issues that ranged from university budget cuts to Haiti relief projects.

That experience was key in Tolson’s victory because he had already been through the election process before and felt that he knew what worked and what didn’t. “You need something to entice them and say, ‘OK, I’ll stop for a second and vote,’” he said.

As usual, the campaign for the various ASUSU elected posts drew a variety of techniques and strategies, as candidates covered the campus with giant colorful signs, slogans and pictures, and handed out flyers, candy and coupons trying to grab students’ attention.

“Human involvement is one of the most important things here at USU,” said new Diversity & Organizations VP Kaho Fiefia. “Do something to make Utah State yours.” Fiefia represented cultural diversity by handing out out 300 leis to encourage students to vote for him.

Several candidates hosted election booths with laptops set up for the student voter’s convenience. These booths didn’t force students to vote for specific people, but offered a quick way to vote, while seeing a candidate’s face and name before doing so.

“Students are notorious for their apathy in voting,” said new Student Advocate VP Dan Ricks. “The easier you make it for a student to vote, the more likely they will.”

But not all newly elected ASUSU officers had the same experience.

Executive VP Brent Crosby ran unopposed in the final elections, which Crosby said let him enjoy the election period without stress and gave him the chance to focus on more important issues such as budget cuts. Crosby went to the Utah Capitol to lobby against a proposed additional 3 percent cut in state support for higher education.

“I plan to continue to fight against budget cuts in the upcoming year and to create a more politically aware and involved campus,” Crosby said.

ASUSU officers come out of the same population as the rest of the student body. They are students who spend their weeks on campus in class. They are simply an extension and a voice of the student body at USU.

“They [students] are all interested in seeing the school improve and if you have the means to make a difference, they really respect that,” said new Student Advocate VP Dan Ricks.

In his reelection victory speech, Tolson quoted LeGrand Johnson, who said, “If you’re going to leave footprints in the sand of time, you better wear your work shoes.” Tolson said he already has his work shoes on and plans to keep making footprints in hi second term.

Tolson is already working on various projects, including an extravagant new student recreation center. The building is an enormous project that will take years to complete but Tolson is doing his best to create a better environment for students at Utah State.

“I’m excited to have another year to improve and do a better job,” Tolson said.


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