News analysis: Sizing up the contenders

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In addition to voting for a student body president, seniors at the U can also vote for a senior class president in upcoming student government elections.

While candidates for senior class president often receive less attention in the elections process than candidates for president and vice president, the position holds sway over several campus events.

The senior class president primarily works to plan and organize Homecoming Week, commencement ceremonies and the senior class gift, in addition to overseeing the Senior and Freshman Councils.

Although candidates for the position are elected separately from the student body president and vice president, they are often tied to a party.

By selecting a senior class president who has been involved in different areas of campus than the candidate for student body president, a party can broaden its appeal.

The following is an analysis of the senior class president candidates’ experiences and the impact they could have on their parties.

Cami Cardon (Activate Party)

Of all the candidates, Cami Cardon has the least amount of experience in the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

Cardon has held no formal position on campus outside of her sorority, Pi Phi.

But Cardon thinks her position as an ASUU outsider may help her campaign. She said students want to see “fresh faces” and ideas in the student government rather than the same routine policies.

However, without any prior experience organizing campus-wide events, Cardon may struggle with the job.

Cardon may also benefit her party because her Pi Phi sorority membership could draw support from students on Greek Row. Greeks make up a disproportionably large number of the students who participate in student government elections.

Megan Maxfield (More 4 U Party)

Megan Maxfield has experience in ASUU as a member of Senior Council and the Campus Relations Board.

However, her advantage as a candidate will likely not be her student government experience, but rather her membership in Chi Omega, the largest sorority on campus.

Maxfield’s greek connections may help to win her party support from students on Greek Row. Joe Coccimiglio and Craig Hammond, her party’s candidates for student body president and vice president, are not members of Greek Row, so they could use her tie there.

She is also a member of the LDS Institute of Religion and could bolster her party’s already strong connection there. Both Coccimiglio and Hammond are members of the institute, as well.

But being strongly connected to the institute could also come as a disadvantage if her party is unable to reach out to students beyond the LDS voting block.

Nicole Nguyen (FUSE Party)

With a rsum that tops that of both her party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates’, Nicole Nguyen is the most experienced candidate vying for senior class president.

Nguyen has served as vice chairwoman and a representative in ASUU General Assembly where she worked as a liaison between the legislative and executive branches.

She has also worked as president of a student group to raise AIDS awareness, a peer adviser in the LEAP program and a resident adviser in the Residence Halls.

Because she has been so widely involved on campus, Nguyen will likely be able to lobby support from many different students.

Also working to her advantage is her diverse background. As a Vietnamese American and an officer in the Asian American Student Association, she may draw support from students who want to see more diversity in ASUU.

Brittany Bell (Forward Party)

Brittany Bell’s advantage to her party may be her ability to bring balance to the ticket, which is led by two former vice presidents of the LDS Institute of Religion. Clayton McDonald, the party’s vice presidential candidate, also served as vice president of the institute.

Because Bell is not a member of the institute, Forward Party presidential candidate Rick Pehrson said, Bell will attract non-LDS students and broaden the party’s appeal.

Bell has a good amount of ASUU experience from serving as a representative in the ASUU General Assembly and as Campus Relations Board secretary.

Her experience extends beyond ASUU to Crimson Nights and the Residence Halls, where she works to recruit volunteers and as a resident adviser.

Trevor Dopp