By Sacha Leah Kirby
Student body president Matt Blackner and student body vice president Andria Uale are on the job ensuring that BYU students have a voice in the administrative chambers of the university.
Blackner and Uale meet regularly with administration and faculty to relay students” concerns and give input for change at the university. They also meet with President Bateman regularly.
“We get to know the administrators well so that when we give student input it is heard,” Blackner said.
BYU is unique in the way the administration works with the student body presidency, Uale said.
Because the student body presidency attends conferences with other schools, they have seen that student inclusion is not the norm. Instead, they have seen a different situation, students against administration.
“They have two separate visions so they clash and fight against each other to get their separate goals met,” Blackner said.
Uale said she feels blessed that she doesn”t have to deal with those frustrations.
“Seeing this makes us so grateful that we are at BYU. We see how good we have it here,” Uale said.
At BYU, the administration and the student body presidency represent the same vision, an aim prompted by President Gordon B. Hinckley, Uale said.
“The administration, including President Bateman, truly care about the students and what the students think,” she said. “They are working just as hard, if not harder than students, to bring about improvement on the school and to meet student needs.”
Because Blackner and Uale represent all BYU students they want students to inform them of their wants and needs regarding the school.
“We want students to know that we are like them. We are students too, we understand and we are here to serve them,” Blackner said.
Those who know Blackner and Uale say they are impressed with how hard they work as a team to improve student life.
“Matt and Andria have complete dedication to the university and to the students and faculty. They are definitely not doing it for themselves,” said Jeremy Jenkins, executive director of BYUSA clubs and organizations.
Blackner and Uale are a unique team compared to past presidencies, said Janeal Thornock, BYUSA legislative assistant.
Thornock has been working with BYUSA administration for three years now and says she has never seen a presidency with more energy focused to helping students.
“They are so energetic it”s insane”, she said. “They actually get things done.”