WSU presidential candidates vie for votes

Graphic by Brett Ferrin
Graphic by Brett Ferrin

The Weber State University executive elections started on Monday. Joe Favero and Brady Harris are running for student body president, and both are vying to win students’ votes this week.

“There are three sides to being student body president,” said Kyle Braithwaite, a former student body president at WSU. “First, as president, you act as a representative for the students. Second, as president, you work with the administration in a variety of different ways. Finally, as president, you must maintain unity between the other executive offices.”

Favero, current honors and BIS senator, has been involved with several different clubs and organizations across campus. He was the vice president of community service for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars in 2013. He has been a member of Aletheia since the spring of 2012, a club whose members must maintain a cumulative 3.75 GPA, and he was also a member of the Institute Council for the Latter-day Saint Student Association in the fall of 2013.

“I have made it a goal of mine to associate myself with a lot of different crowds,” Favero said. “I am able to sympathize and empathize with a lot of different crowds due to having been in a similar situation to a lot of different people.”

Harris, current senate president, said he has not participated in as many jobs as Favero, but he has been a member of the student government for all four years he has been at WSU.

“On my first day at WSU, the first place I went, even before I registered for classes, was to ask about getting involved with the student government,” Harris said. “WSUSA is who I am, and it is all that I am. WSUSA is so deeply embedded into who I am, I would not know who I am anymore without it.”

Both Favero and Harris said they are aware of the time they must put into being student body president if elected, and they both believe they are ready to put in the time to help students.

Favero recently married WSU piano major Brienna Smith on Valentine’s Day, and he works at the WSU Bookstore. He said he had to check with his wife before running, because he knows, if elected, he would need to devote a lot of time to being president.

“It is absolutely possible to be a successful husband and president,” Braithwaite said. “I was already married when I ran for president. However, being president is very demanding on your family and yourself.”

Harris said that, in his current position as senate president, he maintains a crazy schedule, but he loves what he does. He said the position does not dictate the hours he puts in, but that he wants to devote himself entirely to helping students.

“Generally, I am on campus from 9 in the morning until midnight that night every school day,” Harris said. “However, if elected to be student body president, I plan to spend even more time than I already do on campus working for the students I represent.”

One similarity between Favero and Harris is that they both have strong feelings about WSU and the role it has played in their lives.

Favero said in his platform that six members of his immediate family have attended WSU. He said WSU is in his blood, and he loves it.

Harris said in his platform that he transferred to WSU from Southern Utah University and could not be happier that life brought him to WSU.

Another similarity between Favero and Harris is that they both said they want to be accessible to students and believe the key to being a successful president is getting feedback from students.

“When I first started here, the idea of approaching a member of the student government (was daunting),” Favero said, “because they have their own offices, and (you don’t know) whether you have to make an appointment with them or not. I really want to be open to students so that they can call or text whenever they need something. That is why I included my phone number (in my platform).”

Braithwaite said that while he was student body president, he tried his best to be a spokesman for every student. However, the two issues preventing him from performing that duty were a lack of communication between students and having to make decisions that not everyone is going to be happy with. He said the key to making those decisions is to try to make the decision that will help the most students in the long run.

Harris also included in his platform his phone number, email, Twitter, Facebook and where his desk is located, in hopes of encouraging students to bring problems to his attention.

“Whatever comes up next year, and whatever the students want, I have no doubt in my mind we can get somewhere on making that happen, due to the relationships I have created with people all across campus,” Harris said.