The Associated Students of the University of Utah held an inauguration for the new student body presidency and other elected student government officers on April 24, 2019. Outgoing officers and student body presidency were also recognized.
Caroline Ranger, outgoing elections registrar, welcomed those in attendance and also conducted the inauguration. Ranger announced that this year’s ASUU election saw the largest amount of seats filled after an election and increased voter turnout by 53.6 percent.
Outgoing ASUU Presidency
Cole McCubbins, the outgoing attorney general, spoke first and disclosed the judicial year in review for ASUU. “This year has been one that has helped to define the attorney general’s office for years to come,” McCubbins said. He remarked that he has seen a positive change in helping get back to the student part of ASUU.
Kaitlin McLean, outgoing senate chair, reviewed the number of bills and other legislation that came to the senate and said that the Senate “had some of the most robust and inquisitive debate [she had] ever seen.” McLean discussed her appreciation for the members of the senate who “represented their students and college well.” When looking back on her accomplishments she said “the most important thing for me this year has been student advocacy” and she expressed her excitement from “convincing faculty to put a safety paragraph in the syllabus.”
Mitch Kirkham, the assembly chair for both this year and next year, talked about how he was “proud of everything [the] academic senate has accomplished.” Kirkham also said he is “excited to lead assembly again” and that “there is so much potential in the legislative body.”
Maggie Gardner, outgoing vice president of university relations, reflected on the different initiatives she led and participated in. She mentioned how a focus of her time as vice president of university relations focused on working to recognize nontraditional students, such as student parents who “are often an overlooked part of the community.” Gardner also said the highlight of this year was “working with the counseling center and Marriott Library on two ‘Stress Buster’ weeks.”
Connor Morgan, outgoing student body president, reviewed several of ASUU’s accomplishments over the past year. Morgan stated, “We wanted to turn ASUU into a more collaborative office” and Morgan said, “I think we have been unequivocally successful” at “making advocacy our first priority.” Morgan continued, “Improving campus safety has been a focus of our administration” and “we continue the work our predecessors started of improving mental health on campus.” He concluded by thanking many different people and said his work with ASUU “has been the greatest honor and privilege of my life.” Morgan’s speech was met with a standing ovation from those in attendance.
Incoming ASUU Presidency
Following the remarks of the outgoing student government, elected and appointed ASUU student representatives for the 2019-20 year gathered together at the front of the room to take the oath of office together.
Erica Anderson, director of leadership and involvement, addressed the outgoing ASUU student leaders and said she was “so impressed and amazed by the work students have been accomplishing.” Anderson finished by addressing the incoming administration, “I’m very excited to work with you — your advisors look forward to working with you.”
Damon Ngo, the incoming senate chair, commended McLean and the senate’s work over the past year. He spoke to the new ASUU representatives saying their positions will “challenge you to be advocates not just representatives” and urged them to “do more, to go further, because that’s where change truly lies.”
Seodam Kwak, the incoming attorney general, said that during his term he will “ensure the constitution within our student body is obeyed by everyone” and to “serve no interest for anyone but the students” in order to “provide students with the best experience possible.”
The incoming ASUU student body president, Anna Barnes, expressed that running for student body president was the “best decision of my life.” Barnes said that in order to get things done they have to work together. “We don’t have to do any of it alone, nor could we.” She further discussed the focuses of her administration’s platform, advocacy, wellness and involvement.
Latifa Yaqoobi, the incoming vice president of university relations, and Gabe Martinez, the incoming vice president of student relations, both expressed their motivations for running, the privilege they feel towards being elected and their gratitude towards various people in ASUU. They also discussed how ASUU can work towards continuous positive change and discussed their plans for the upcoming year.