Brandon Beck can remember a time when he truly felt ownership of his BYU experience.
“I remember walking across campus the other day; there was garbage falling out of a garbage can,” Beck, a business strategy major from Bountiful, said. “I went over and picked it up without thinking about it. I started reflecting on why I did that, and I think being involved on campus has really helped me to view my time at BYU as giving back to the community and making it a better place, as opposed to just receiving.”
Beck hopes his opportunity to give back will come in the form of becoming BYU/SA president, the position he is running for on March 4–5.
His running mate, Erika Nash, a marketing major from Salt Lake City, said the idea of running occurred to her while hearing the BYU/SA student president speak at New Student Orientation.
“I remember it briefly crossing my mind, ‘That would be a great thing to be involved in,’ but after that, I don’t think it ever really dawned on me until Brandon approached me with this opportunity,” Nash said.
Fittingly, then, the tagline of their campaign is, “Be a part of it.”
“We just really want students to feel like through supporting us, they will be able to take ownership of the changes we make and will be able to contribute to BYU (by) becoming better by the things we do,” Beck said. “We really feel like our initiatives are a reflection of what the student body wants.”
Beck and Nash have taken time to find out what students want from them.
“Really, we’ve made our campaign focused on students,” Nash said. “The last few months, we’ve been out talking to students about what their needs are and what they want out of us as a candidate pair. We have put that into our initiatives and hope that the student voices are really in our initiatives.”
Nash and Beck said they have different leadership backgrounds, which give them unique perspectives.
“Our reach has been over very different parts of campus,” Beck said. “The skill sets and the people she knows, and the skill sets and people I know, blend together very well. We can understand the student needs, having different backgrounds.”
Beck said he and Nash have each been involved at BYU for three years, and understand students’ perspective.
“This is what the experience is now,” Beck said. “How can we build on that to make it better for all students across campus? How can we be able to benefit way more students than we are currently helping?”
Nash said involvement is something she would like to bring to students’ BYU experience.
“One thing I’ve learned is really the importance of being involved at BYU,” she said. “One of my favorite parts of being in leadership has been watching students change and seeing the progress they’ve made as a result of being involved.”
Beck said he is willing to put energy into helping students have a positive experience.
“The biggest change, we believe, is really providing that quintessential college experience for students with a lot of energy and passion and really helping them to get the most out of their experience,” he said. “BYU is much more than an academic institution. It was founded to create this experience for students, and we believe BYU/SA plays a huge role in creating that experience.”
Beck and Nash have come up with three initiatives for their campaign:
1. Expand Opportunity
- Transform BYU/SA into the “involvement hub” of the university to help all students connect with meaningful involvement and leadership opportunities across campus.
- Create a student calendar accessible online and through the BYU app that will allow students to be aware of student activities on campus and find activities that fit their personal preferences.
2. Empower Change
- Work with the mayor’s office to address predatory towing and booting practices in Provo.
- Accurately represent the student voice to the administration by filling the Student Advisory Council with capable, diverse and responsive individuals.
“We are hoping to empower students to make the changes that are important to them,” Nash said.
3. Elevate Experience
- Create the tradition of a major end-of-year event and concert for students.
- Work with BYU Athletics to enhance the game-day experience for students by unifying the student section, plan pre-game events and work with the city to “BYU-ify” Provo.