It’s election season at BYU. The six candidates for BYUSA President and Vice President will speak to the student body at a public student Q and A session Feb. 26, at 11 a.m. in the Wilkinson Student Center Varsity Theatre. All students are invited to attend.
The campaign schedule is rigorous and continuous, and the candidates want to be seen and heard in every capacity. The candidate groups this year have their own slogan and personality.
Brennan Staheli and Kylee Marshall: Open doors
Brennan Staheli, an accounting major from Colorado, is current vice president of Student Alumni and is running for BYUSA
president. Kylee Marshall, a family studies major from Nevada, is an executive director in the involvement category of BYUSA.
“We want to focus on the students,” Staheli said of their platform. “All the things we say we are going to do are 100 percent in our control.”
Their main platform is called the key team, a campus preview experience that would promote attending campus events and volunteering with multiple organizations.
“The purpose of the key team is to gain more support for campus events,” Marshall said. Brennan and Kylee want to collaborate with on-campus organizations to increase involvement. Their vision focuses on creating “Zion communities” and opening doors for students in all areas.
Brennan and Kylee have social media events planned, including weekly themes with hashtags. One example is #simpleservice, where students can document service done for others. They want to highlight the best parts of BYU through their Simple Service plan.
Staheli said the best part of his BYU experience came from his interactions with caring people.
“The worst thing that could happen to a student at college is to feel isolated — when you have a hallway of 25 guys and you can only talk to two of them,” he said. “I met people who cared about who I became and made me more than I was. I want to do the same for others.”
Doug Shumway and Drew Hooper: Service: See more. Do more. Become more.
Doug Shumway is from Scottsdale, Arizona, and his vice president candidate, Drew Hooper, is from Mesa. Shumway introduced Hooper to BYUSA, and the two share a strong level of cooperation and friendship.
They both study business (Shumway with a pre-med emphasis, Hooper in organizational behavior), they both bring the gospel and service to the forefront of their campaign, and they even room together. They don’t let the stress of school, work and elections get in the way of their friendship.
However, Shumway did not choose Hooper because of their similarities; he said he wanted to run with someone who challenged his thoughts. Shumway said he has a “go, go, go” personality, and his partnership with Hooper is successful because Hooper makes sure everyone is cared for.
Shumway repeated his desire for students to have “meaningful experiences” on campus, especially within the realm of service. He also wants to improve the communication between the Student Advisory Council and the students’ feedback.
“Right now, if someone wants to get something done, they have to come to the council,” Shumway said. “We want the council to come to the students.”
The two have also come to the students in activities, events and one-on-one interaction. Their Instagram account shows the two candidates attending a Living Legends performance, playing ping pong in the Wilkinson Student Center and even singing karaoke at The Wall.
Doug said social media helps show the things they’ve already been doing. “We don’t want it to seem like, ‘OK, we are going to go out for two months and act like we’re involved,” he said. “This is what we have been doing already.”
Matt Dubois and Aubree Monson: Connecting our Campus
Matt Dubois, known by most as “Dubs,” has spent three years in BYUSA, giving him an in-house knowledge of the organization and its processes. Aubree Monson is a dance major involved in Y-Serve groups and the Phi Eta Sigma chapter.
Their core team consists of 11 members who cover everything from finances to social media. Monson said Dubois and the team bring a “passion and energy” element to the table. Their campaign focuses on the students and comes with understanding.
“We understand that not everyone can get involved,” Monson said. “Sometimes they go to work and school, and that’s it. That’s why we want to incorporate more on-campus events and games and even dress-up days.”
Their slogan consists of two goals: (1) providing involvement opportunities and (2) promoting school spirit.
“We want to bring more to Homecoming Week,” Dubois said. “Right now the Homecoming team handles a lot and has so much to do, so we want to help.”
This is Monson’s second year in BYUSA, and she has made the jump out of the “big pond” of BYU. “You hear it from professors all the time, that you will be a ‘little fish in a big pond,'” she said. “That was true for me as a freshman. I’m grateful to have that low so I have this high and I can better help those needing involvement.”
Dubois and Monson encourage those who don’t know much about BYUSA or the elections to do something about it. Dubois said involvement and learning can happen outside the classroom, which is what he hopes to promote. “I heard once from a professor to not let your education get in the way of your learning,” Dubois said.