Campaigning for ASW elections began Monday for students to elect the next student government board. There are eight candidates running for the five elected student board and senator positions.
Voting opens Thursday and will be open for a 24-hour period. Students can complete the survey through Canvas, choosing their desired candidates for each position.
Voting closes Friday and winners will be announced by the end of that day.
The Forum talked to each of the candidates to learn more about their platforms. All interviews were done via email because of the short campaign period.
There are two students running for ASW president: Brendan Sudberry and Wyatt Bringhurst. Both are juniors and have previous experience within ASW.
Brendan Sudberry is running a campaign that seeks to prioritize student needs as the campus returns to in-person classes for the Fall 2021 semester.
With previous experience in ASW, serving as the clubs president during the 2019-20 academic year, Sudberry said student government leaders have a habit of making promises during their campaign period — but “have failed to deliver when the student body needed them most.”
“The truth of the matter is not everyone will always agree with me and I will not always agree with others,” Sudberry said. “But we must be willing and able to work together to find consensus to accomplish the work the student body has elected us to do.”
Sudberry said his first actions as president would be to initiate a four-point plan for “post-pandemic recovery.” Through this initiative, Sudberry said he would focus on providing resources and support to students as the campus community re-emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bettering the student experience is something that has been at the forefront of my mind and the foundation of my work during my time here,” Sudberry said. “I look forward to being able to continue this work as the next ASW president, and intend to recommit to it as a core tenet of ASW’s mission.”
Editor’s note: Brendan Sudberry is a previous reporter for The Forum.
Wyatt Bringhurst is a transfer student at Westminster, with campaign promises to break down barriers to getting involved in campus decisions. His campaign focuses on increasing transparency within student government while prioritizing inclusion in leaders’ decisions.
As the non-traditional senator during the 2020-21 academic year, Bringhurst introduced several pieces of legislation designed to remove entry barriers to ASW and increase transparency in regards to internal communication within student government.
“I believe that transparency is the key to being honest and having beneficial communication throughout an institution like Westminster,” Bringhurst said. “It builds trust and ensures that all voices can be included. I believe that students should know what we deserve to know, and I will always have an open-door policy.”
Before that, Bringhurst served as a liaison for the Clubs & Organizations board in the Student Association at Salt Lake Community College — where he was later elected as the clubs & organizations vice president.
If elected, Bringhurst said his first priority would be to analyze the obstacles students face when attempting to get involved with ASW and learning how he can advocate for student needs.
“I have learned that listening to the stories of the people I am serving is the best way to advocate,” Bringhurst said. “I will continue to serve to be a safe space where students can confide in me and feel comfortable to share their unique background, and I will work directly with them to understand and work on what changes need to be made.”
There is one student running for vice president: Deaun Saxby, a junior majoring in finance.
Deaun Saxby is heavily involved on campus, serving as the vice president of the Black Student Union. She also advocates for social justice throughout the community, serving as the events and outreach fellow for the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy working closely with former Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski to create a more inclusive community in the capital city.
“Both roles have exposed me to the issues and injustices BIPOC students and other minority groups face on a day-to-day basis on and off campus,” Saxby said. “If elected, I will not only be a voice for all students but for the underrepresented students.”
ASW Chief Justice
There is one student running for chief justice: Claire Mischel, a sophomore majoring in biology with a minor in dance. She is running unopposed, so students have the option to either vote in favor of Mischel or they can choose to abstain from voting.
Claire Mischel is originally from South Dakota, where she grew up on a farm before moving to Utah. On campus, Mischel works in the Admissions Office as a tour guide as well as a student volunteer with the Great Salt Lake Institute.
When she’s not busy with homework, Mischel said she enjoys hiking, skiing or further exploring the Utah landscape with friends.
“I am looking forward to working with ASW to help revive the campus community and start working with students to create the college experience that brought us all to Westminster!” Mischel said.
ASW Clubs President
There is one student running for clubs president: William Harvey,
a junior with a double major in economics and philosophy. He is running unopposed, so students have the option to either vote in favor of Harvey or they can choose to abstain from voting.
William Harvey is campaigning for clubs president with previous experience on the ASW Clubs Council, as well as directing the Westminster Philosophy Club for three years. With this experience, Harvey said he’s running on a campaign that would ensure clubs remain a priority within student government.
Addison Scanlon – Senator of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Addison Scanlon is a second-semester junior graduating during the Fall 2021 semester. Scanlon has previous experience in ASW serving as the junior senator during the 2020-21 academic year, as well as other leadership positions on campus — including the vice president of the Public Health Action Team.
Scanlon said she’s running for another term on ASW Senate so she can make “beneficial changes” to the student experience.
“I think that being active on campus directly leads to a better college experience for myself, my friends and peers as we have the power to build and pursue positive aspects of our community,” Scanlon said. “My experience will guide my decision-making through providing me with a diverse background that I can use to implement different strategies in problem-solving.”
As Westminster plans to return to mostly in-person classes for the Fall semester, Scanlon said she wants to keep safety at the forefront of her priorities. This includes implementing several health initiatives across campus to avoid any potential COVID-19 outbreaks.
“I want to work with students and other members of ASW to implement a health-conscious campus environment when we are all back this Fall,” Scanlon said. “This could be through reducing the cost of individual visits to Student Health Services, increasing the prevalence of mental health services on campus, and through environmental changes such as deep-cleaning the dorms and air filtration systems.”
Juli Sandhu – School of Business Senator
Juli Sandhu is a sophomore running for the School of Business senator, bringing two years of campus leadership experience to her campaign. Sandhu said she wants to serve on ASW Senate to ensure individual voices are heard, using student feedback as the basis of her decision-making.
Sandhu has experience serving as the Honors College hospitality coordinator, as well as the treasurer for the Student Honors Council.
“I think the biggest things that make me stand out is my dedication to the work I do,” Sandhu said. “No matter what the task is, I have a genuine desire to do the best job I can. This position is more than just a resume piece to me, I really would like to create positive change.”
Henry Pernichele – Sophomore Class Senator
Henry Pernichele is a first-year economics major running as the sophomore senator for the 2021-22 academic year. Pernichele previously ran an unsuccessful campaign for first-year senator during the Fall 2020 semester. However, he’s returning to the virtual ASW ballot in a second Senate campaign.
A Salt Lake native, Pernichele said when he’s not on campus, he enjoys hiking or skiing.
Carla Arancibia – Non-traditional Senator
Carla Arancibia is a Legacy STEPS Scholar at Westminster College running for non-traditional senator for the 2021-22 academic year. As a non-traditional student herself, Arancibia said she is passionate about increasing community engagement through educating on pertinent issues.
Originally from Antofagasta, Chile, Arancibia moved to Salt Lake City in 1993. She attended Salt Lake Community College for two years before transferring to Westminster College to major in public health.
Arancibia is one of the founding members of the Utah Women of Color Council where she seeks to increase awareness surrounding immigration policies and voter mobility.