BYUSA President-elect Paul Victor is considered an inspiration by his peers and colleagues.
When running for BYUSA president, Victor said he did not expect to win. He was running to make friends and get to know people.
“I think it’s easier for people to say, ‘he’s just trying to be my friend because of the election.’ But for me, I’ve been making friends and being personable since I’ve been here. I try to make myself approachable,” Victor said.
Victor said he started at BYU as an introvert who had no friends, but believes students don’t have to be the labels they are given. “You can be whoever you want to be.”
When he decided to run, he said he already had a large network of people to support him. He said he hopes him being president gives inspiration to other students that they can do it too.
Kelsey Nield has served with BYUSA for a year and a half and said she is excited to be working with Victor as his vice president.
“He’s exactly what this office needs right now. He’s inviting and friendly and I think he will do a great job. He’s just a great person to be around,” Nield said.
She said she and Victor want to do as much as they can to facilitate change and improve student life. “Paul and I both have a similar vision of emphasizing diversity and inclusion this year and really want to make sure the campus feels like they belong.”
Student Connection and Leadership Center Director Anthony Bates said Victor is extremely personable and incredibly kind. He hopes the campus can benefit from that because he thinks the world could use more of it.
“The vision BYUSA strives to achieve is to ‘inspire BYU students to create lasting connections, foster an inclusive campus, cultivate skills and talents and live with integrity.’ My hope is that some aspect of his message and campaign appealed to one or more of the aspects of this vision,” he said.
Bates said to his knowledge, Victor and Nield are “the first ethnic minority BYUSA President and Executive Vice President in BYUSA’s history.”
“Minorities that I have talked to say they are proud that I’m president because they now feel they are being represented,” Victor said.
Sociology and Latin American studies major Erick Calderon said he didn’t think students voted for Victor solely on his ethnicity. “If you’ve ever met Paul you would know why people voted for him. I believe that will inspire other students of color to run in the future. Especially freshman who will come in the fall.”