Behind the BYUSA presidential election process

The 2021-2022 BYUSA presidency has the initiative of having “No strangers among us.” Paul Victor (far right) is the current BYUSA president. (Photo courtesy of BYUSA’s Instagram)

BYUSA has run presidential elections every year since its creation in 1988 to expand and improve student experiences on campus. This year, students will be able to vote for the 2022–2023 BYUSA president online for one day on March 3.

“The hope is that they’re providing support and unity throughout that whole organization to see that as many students as possible are able to receive the benefits of the BYUSA vision,” said assistant director of the Student Connection and Leadership Center Logan Mann.

According to Mann, one of the requirements for a student to run for president is they must have at least two semesters of volunteer leadership opportunities, one of which had to be with BYUSA. They also need to be in good academic standing and good Honor Code standing. They also must be willing to commit their spring and summer terms to preparing for the upcoming school year.

This infographic shows the general timeline for the 2022 election. (Created in Canva by Kamree Laursen)

Mann works with the BYU Office of Information Technology to build a voting system specific to this election so that only BYU students are able to vote. Students will log in with their net ID and are only allowed to vote for one candidate.

Once voting has been tallied up, the candidate with the most votes is announced as the next BYUSA president.

The election process is important to have on a college campus, according to the BYUSA Elections Handbook. The purpose of having an election is to “initiate a productive dialogue and generate positive interactions between future student leaders on campus and the students they are striving to serve.”

The election campaign allows students involved with BYUSA to inform themselves about the mission and values of BYUSA, as well as create a Christ-centered community of leaders, the handbook says.

Those elected as president have multiple responsibilities and duties to fulfill. As stated by the BYUSA Elections Handbook, the president’s responsibilities include creating connections with the student body, listening to other student leaders and representing the student voice to upper-level administrators.

Paul Victor, business strategy major and 2021-2022 BYUSA president, said the process of running for president was time-consuming and a lot of work.

Last year, most of Victor’s campaigning was done on social media due to COVID-19. In comparison, this year candidates are able to go door-to-door campaigning and actively get involved with the student body.

Victor said it was not an easy task to run and get his campaign team together, but when he did, he was satisfied in knowing that his team represented different types of people. There were many times he considered dropping out, but then he would remember why he was running in the first place — to share the stories of other students and connect with them.

“I think the key was I surrounded myself with people who believed in me and kept pushing me,” Victor said.

Throughout his year of being president, Victor has been able to represent the student body at many meetings and engage with people across campus. His motto and initiative is “No strangers among us.” He said he believes there are no strangers in the world, just friends he hasn’t met yet.

Victor has implemented this initiative by making himself known around campus and making sure students know they can come to him for anything. He has also advocated for mental health resources, diversity and inclusion awareness.

“Being president is rewarding. To see the growth in my life and be able to be a beacon of hope for minority students, helping our students, is rewarding,” Victor said.

Readers can learn more about the ongoing election at the BYUSA elections website.

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