Asay and Jones: Increasing student involvement

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Amberly Asaywouldn’t have believed it had she been told a year ago that she would be running for BYU/SA president.

“I would have laughed,” said Asay, a public relations major from Mapleton.

Asay learned what it meant to be a leader after choosing to become an executive director of the Student Advisory Council, and the rest is history.

Amberly Asay and Austin Jones are running for BYU/SA president and vice president.
Amberly Asay and Austin Jones are running for BYU/SA president and vice president respectively. (Photo courtesy Asay and Jones)

“Being a leader isn’t about having power, authority or a title,” Asay said. “Being a leader is being the ultimate server of those around you and those who work for you.”

Things didn’t work out as well as Asay would have hoped at first. Her first running mate got married and the second went to medical school. With only days to find a replacement, Asay finally found Austin Jones, a pre-business strategy major from Arvada, Colo.

“Austin had pure motives and really just wanted this opportunity to be able to serve,” Asay said. “I was super impressed with that. Austin was the right fit for this kind of thing and a person I wanted to work with.”

Jones said he wasn’t expecting it when he got the call from Asay.

“I thought about it and realized the great potential that there was to help other people and to do some good,” Jones said.

The two teamed up and created three initiatives, which Asay said cover many entities on campus.

“The whole reason we are running is because right now the mission in BYU/SA is not really being met so that it will affect all the students on campus,” Asay said. “Our initiatives cover such a wide array of students. We all really just want to let everyone know that we are here for the students.”

Asay and Jones feel that BYU/SA could be an outlet to get students more involved in campus life.

“One of the aims is to influence a lot of different people,” Jones said. “I know BYU/SA is not a good fit for everyone, but through BYUSA, we can influence a lot of different people. Right now, there are over 90 active clubs. Just by using our understanding of campus and our knowledge, we can still be able to help students know more about what’s going on.”

Asay said if students are not interested in one of the six areas of BYU/SA, they will help direct them to other organizations on campus.

“You might be interested in Y-Serve, in Student Alumni or in men’s or women’s chorus,” she said.

Asay and Jones have learned a lot about leadership from their time in BYU/SA.

“Right now I’m kind of in a unique position in that I’m the executive director over volunteer appreciation,” Jones said. “We appreciate those who are serving, and so I will be able to do the same thing, but on larger scale. I will make sure those who come into the office feel like they are making a valuable contribution.”

The two have plans to unite BYU’s campus and students.

“Austin and I have a good vision of what we could do with each area and what more we could be doing. There’s a lot that could be done,” Asay said. “Our initiatives involve the HFAC, the library and dining services. BYU is great, and they have great entities on campus, and what I would like to see more of is everyone working together to make it more unified across campus as a whole.”

Asay and Jones have come up with three initiatives for their campaign.

1. Academics: Getting a vending machine in the snack zone in the Harold B. Lee Library

  • Work with the library and Dining Services to get a vending machine in the snack zone in the library.
  • Hungry students won’t have to leave the library to buy food and can have more effective studying time.

“Right now there are no snacks in the snack zone, so it doesn’t really make sense,” Asay said.

2. Adventure: Creating organized student trips

  •  Work with the activities part of BYU/SA to create organized trips for students, such as mountain biking at Moab and attending the Sundance Film Festival. The plan is to have one big trip a semester and six trips throughout the school year.
  • These trips will help students meet people with similar interests, create a sense of belonging and provide opportunities for students.

Jones said anyone who is interested can go on the trips, and the the point is that students can meet new people with the same interests.

3. Arts: Create an all-arts pass

  • This is similar to an all-sports pass. It will allow students to attend the plays, concerts, art shows, etc., that BYU has to offer.
  • Celebrates the artistic talent at BYU and encourages development in these skills and areas.

“We want to celebrate those talents that aren’t usually celebrated in the arts,” Asay said.

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