Meet the 2016 BYUSA candidates

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BYUSA presidential campaigns are underway with voting opening Wednesday, March 2. The three teams are: Matthew and Kennedy, Aidan and Malorie, and Avery and Addie.

Matthew and Kennedy

Matthew Maddix and Kennedy Bailey met in a physical science class their freshman year. Kennedy’s mom came to Provo to visit Kennedy for her birthday that year and suggested Matthew and Kennedy run together for the BYUSA presidency someday. They didn’t think much of it at first.

Matthew Maddix and Kennedy Bailey (Maddi Driggs)

“I kind of rolled my eyes and thought, ‘You know, my student council days are past,'” Matthew said.

They split ways, both going on missions. They reunited after three years apart and are now fulfilling Kennedy’s mother’s vision.

“It’s kind of crazy that everything came together,” Kennedy said.

Matthew and Kennedy said they see BYUSA as an opportunity to reach out to individuals.

Matthew participated in the current presidency’s key team this year, which visited with different campus clubs. The experience helped Matthew “see the potential BYUSA has to really help individuals.”

Matthew and Kennedy plan to help individuals find their niche through their service plan: Step Forward in Service. The plan has three parts: campus communication, Cougar community and come contribute. They said they want to implement a campus calendar, coordinate with other campus organizations to build school pride and improve BYUSA office training.

“There’s an experience to be had here on campus,” Matthew said. “Each one of us is a Cougar, and we should be proud.”

Students can find out more about the Matthew and Kennedy’s campaign at their website. They will also host a rally at The Wall on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Aidan and Malorie

Aidan Reiri was in law school in Australia prior to his mission. His mission president asked Aidan to consider going to BYU instead of completing law school in Australia. He decided to “take the jump and come to the Northern Hemisphere.”

Aidan Reiri and Malorie Black (Natalie Bothwell)
Aidan Reiri and Malorie Black (Natalie Bothwell)

Aidan decided he would like to run for president in a year or two after he came to BYU and got involved with BYUSA. Malorie Black, a friend Aidan made during a road trip to California for “The Price is Right,” interfered with his one to two year plan to run for president and asked him to run for the presidency with her this year. He said he hesitated at first but then said yes.

“When I made the decision, I felt good,” Aidan said. “I was stressed, but I felt good.”

Aidan and Malorie want to operate BYUSA in a way that helps students contribute and stand out. Aidan said it’s difficult for BYU students to set themselves apart from the rest because of the homogenous campus culture, but it can be done if students “know the avenues.”

“No matter who you are, you can make it count,” Aidan said. “Everyone has a place and purpose here regardless of the fact that we all have to shave or we all have to wear the same clothes.”

Malorie said she “resonates” with something President Kevin J. Worthen said about having a broader BYU experience than just coming for a grade and then leaving. She said her dad was one who came for the grade and then left, and he regrets it. Malorie, in partnership with Aidan, wants to help students get a full BYU experience, to make their time at BYU count.

Make It Count is the title of Aidan and Malorie’s service plan. The plan has three parts: increase involvement, enhance experience and create community. Their initiatives include an involvement hub, an app that helps students find organizations that match their interests and one-on-one visits between the students and the BYUSA president.

“Quite frankly, I know I can do this,” Aidan said. “That’s my personality. I just get it done. I live by that. I just know that if I get in there, I’m going to get it done.”

More details about Aidan and Malorie’s campaign are on their website. They’ll host a rally at The Wall on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Avery and Addie

Avery Harding served this year as BYUSA Involvement vice president, and Addie Hulme served as an assistant in Avery’s BYUSA area. The weekend before the October 2015 General Conference, Avery suggested to Addie that they run together. Never before had two women won.

Addie Hulme and Avery Harding
Addie Hulme and Avery Harding (Natalie Bothwell)

Avery said she received confirmation of the decision as she listened to general conference. She recognized many talks that addressed the value of women. She specifically recalled President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve saying, “Take your rightful and needful place in your home, in your community, and in the kingdom of God — more than you ever have before.”

“Win or lose, we’re making history,” Avery said. “This is exciting.”

The two talked often about the “Children of Light” mural in the Wilkinson Student Center while serving in the Involvement office.

The mural depicts a vision Alfred Kelly, one of the first graduates from Brigham Young Academy, had about the hundreds of thousands of future students. He shared this vision at the first commencement, and as a result, Jesse Knight committed vast sums of money to sustain the academy during the first years of difficulty.

Avery and Addie said they feel honored to be students at BYU, students who were a part of this great vision. Their hope is to help students remember BYU’s heritage and the unique opportunity they all have to be part of this vision.

Avery and Addie said they feel their campaign is an opportunity to remind students why BYU exists and why they are there regardless of the election’s outcome. They said they believe God wants them to share this message of remembrance.

“The four or five years we have at BYU can eternally direct us,” Avery said.

Avery and Addie’s focus on remembrance led them to title their service plan Remember Y. The plan has three parts: connect students to service, develop student leaders and add unity in the BYU community. They want to provide students with daily service opportunities, make the BYUSA office a place of unity as well as commitment and build relationships with other campus organizations.

“Part of our whole Remember Y vision is to ignite school spirit in students,” Addie said.

For more information, students can go to their website. Students can also attend their rally at The Wall on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

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