OGDEN — Weber State University students turned out in record numbers to choose new student executive officers.
“We had 2,356 students vote, and that is the highest number in almost 10 years,” said Anna Adamson, student election coordinator.
Adamson said she believes the record turnout is a result of the higher-than-usual number of candidates.
“With more running, they talked to more people and reached different groups,” she said. “More candidates allow for a better selection, and it allows you to figure out who you think will be best for the position.”
A total of 23 candidates ran for eight offices.
“Normally, there are two people per race, and some candidates run uncontested,” Adamson said. “This year, we had more people interested in running. We had five people in one race.”
The swearing-in ceremony will be in April, and those elected will serve for a year.
“We have a great team, and I can’t wait to get to work,” said Andrew Gardiner, student body president-elect.
“I’m super-excited about the team elected. We can work together to accomplish our goals.”
Gardiner said his own goals for Weber State include getting students more involved with the community.
“It’s important to go through school getting experience outside the classroom, not just a diploma,” he said. “It makes you more prepared for the workforce and to raise a family.”
Gardiner would also like to see more buy-in from Ogden, such as more Weber State goods available for purchase in Ogden stores, and more purple on display.
He would also like more locals to attend WSU sporting events.
“I’d like to see a lot more people support our athletic teams,” Gardiner said. “We have strong athletics, and I’d like to see more community support.”
He said he’d also like to see more students involved with WSU clubs and organizations, and he sees the higher-than-usual voter turnout as a great sign.
“Almost 10 percent of the students voted, and we’re excited about that,” he said. “It’s a sign of things to come.”
Several candidates, asked last week by the Standard-Examiner, spent from $150 to $700 on their campaigns, and those questioned said they knew of candidates who spent much more.
Those elected get a two-semester tuition waiver, which saves Utah-resident winners $3,773 and nonresident winners $11,485. They also get a meal card and a stipend.
The students still pay $775 in fees and about $800 for textbooks over two semesters.
An election for WSU’s 20 student senators, the legislative branch of student government, takes place this week.
Adamson said she thinks more students campaigned for executive branch positions because the student government advertised more “and did a better job of reaching out to students. You never know what grabs people’s attention.”
Nancy Collinwood, Student Involvement and Leadership director, said she’s excited about the next year.
“These student officers work so hard for Weber State, they really earn their stipend and waivers,” she said.
“And this year’s student government did a fantastic job. The new officers have some really big shoes to fill.”
New WSU student officers
The following people were elected to student body offices:
• Andrew Gardiner, student body president;
• Brady Harris, legislative vice president;
• Michael Diamond, programming vice president;
• Mindy Chamberlin, diversity and unity vice president;
• Julia Saxton, service vice president;
• Mandie Barnes, leadership vice president;
• Abelardo Saucedo, clubs and organizations vice president;
• Alexis Marquez, Davis campus vice president