ASUU Holds Event to Connect with Students, Encourage Applications for ASUU Positions


Xiangyao Tang

The 2022-2023 ASUU Presidency flashing the U at the “State of ASUU” event at A. Ray Olpin University Union in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Nov.17, 2022. From left to right: Benvin Lozada, Vice President of University Relations. Taylor VanderToolen, ASUU President. Ashlee Roberts, Vice President of Student Relations. (Photo by Xiangyao “Axe” Tang | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Stevie Shaughnessey, Home Stretch Producer, Host


With the deadline for next year’s ASUU applications coming up, ASUU held an event to promote student government and connect more with students.

Taylor VanderToolen, ASUU president, said they wanted the event to be open to students who were interested and tried a different layout to make this possible.

“We decided to change the format this year in order to try to promote anybody coming in at any time and being able to ask any question they have, because I think sometimes it can get a little intimidating and we really want to be able to facilitate communications directly,” VanderToolen said.

The purpose of the event was to show students what ASUU does, how it works and introduce different events and initiatives the organization is currently working on. Benvin Lozada, ASUU vice president of university relations, shared some of the student advocacy programs he is currently working on.

“One of the things I’ve been working on is a campus safety survey alongside the campus safety committee,” Lozada said. “But essentially, that’s going to be allowing students to have a voice in what they are seeing on campus regarding student safety.”

ASUU is also working on keeping up school traditions that have fallen in the last couple of years, such as the conference on diversity excellence and planning events that will normalize mental health struggles, VanderToolen said.

“The Grand Kerfuffle is coming back,” VanderToolen said. “It’ll be a mental health concert, which I’ve spoken a lot about how we want to do this mental health destigmatization push … We’re excited for more traditions to be filled.”

They hope that through this event, more students become interested in joining ASUU, Lozada said, where last semester they had a lower turnout in applications.

“It was a little bit disheartening for us to see so few students, you know, wanting to get involved and wanting to represent their fellow students,” Lozada said. “One of our goals has really been to take that down a level to really be like you can enter even if you don’t have any experience.”

If more students apply for ASUU positions, the student body will be able to be better represented when different events and initiatives are being planned, VanderToolen said.

“We want to encourage anybody to run for the presidency or legislative branches, whatever they’d like to do,” VanderToolen said. 

For students who do want to join and apply for a position, they don’t have to block out their entire schedule to do so, Lozada said, and the time commitment is flexible.

“Any little bit helps, so if you’re interested in getting involved, we don’t want that to be a barrier that ‘I’m so busy, I can only come in one or two hours a week,’” Lozada said. “We still appreciate anything.”

Minh Vuong, a freshman at the U studying informational systems, said the event helped him learn more about ASUU, meet people on different boards and piqued his interest in joining student government.

“I’m glad they are holding [this event] because I had no idea how to get in touch with them until there was this event,” Vuong said. “I got to know two other people at the campus events board and I got her email in case I have some questions.”

Applications for students interested in joining ASUU close on Nov. 28, and students can apply for several positions in the Executive, Judicial or Legislative branches.


[email protected]