Late debate reveals LDSSA concerns

Latter-day Saints Student Association leaders say their group-the largest student organization on campus-is being underrepresented in student government and their chance to address the issue with their future leaders didn’t come until the day the polls closed.

The LDS Institute of Religion Student Council-whose members also are all members of LDSSA-revealed their concerns in their debate questions, most of which were aimed at measuring how candidates would represent the roughly 15,000-member LDSSA if elected.

“The leaders [of the Associated Students of the University of Utah] sometimes forget we have 15,000,” said Dan Kimball, a council vice president and LDSSA president. He also said that though “they are great to work with,” some ASUU officials have lost their backbone in representing his group.

“They feel pressure from the louder, smaller groups to not represent the Institute…We’re so dominant, and they scream louder,” Kimball said.

Kimball alluded to the fact that other, significantly smaller student groups of fewer than 200 members have received almost as much funding as LDSSA this year.

“We don’t want to be the judges of what’s fair, but it should be noticed…We need to be considered more,” he said.

He clarified that money wasn’t the biggest issue. “It’s great that other groups receive funding.”

Co-Vice President Bradden Cannon also isn’t completely satisfied with the representation of past administrations.

“I just want somebody to represent me and all the others like me…We need a friendship,” he said.

Adrian Johnson, ASUU’s president, is also LDS. He said the task to be fair in representation is difficult, and added that ASUU “does its best” to represent all student groups fairly, as well as those that don’t already have representation.

In order to be more fair, he said it “might be wise to consider allotting money to student groups based more on membership totals.”

If such a procedure were passed by ASUU, it would either allow bigger groups like LDSSA more money, or give less money to smaller ones.

Some students attending the final and probably most well attended debate between the Grassroots and RE: Parties wished the issue would have been brought up sooner.

Student Grant Van Noy said he would have voted differently had he been able to hear the debate sooner.

“Why didn’t they have this several days ago? It’s kind of worthless having it today,” he said.

[email protected]