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President, Vice President Races Thinned to Two Candidates Each

Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013

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The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Café or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

President, Vice President Races Thinned to Two Candidates Each

By Tmera Bradley, news staff writer, published in The Utah Statesman, Thursday, February 28, 2013

The ASUSU primary elections are over and two candidates from each division remain in the running.

Douglas Fiefia and Luke Ensign are in the final running for student body president. Fiefia is in the lead with 1551 votes, while Ensign has 702. Fiefia had thirty votes deducted from his total in the primaries because of an infraction.

“I’ve had five grievances against me,” Fiefia said. “All of them have been dropped because we’ve been running a clean and tight ship.”

The grievances are confidential at this point and have been handled by the hearing board. One of the penalties Fiefia received was removal of the electronic device from his A-frame. Because of problems with the infractions, Fiefia said he wasn’t able to find out the primary results until two hours after everyone else.

“There was a lot of butterflies,” Fiefia said. “My heart kind of skipped a beat but I came out on top and was one of the finalists.”

He said the grievances haven’t discouraged his campaigning at all.

“I feel that people see things that are new and different and creative. I think people jump to conclusions about us cheating,” Fiefia said. “There’s always got to be somebody to hate. The Lakers, The Patriots, Utah, BYU, everyone’s got to hate them. You’ve just got to put your head down, keep working hard and don’t let those things affect you.”

Ensign said he feels students are beginning to understand his platform more. He said the elections have been difficult for everyone.

“At first it’s kind of hard. It’s kind of like a popularity thing,” Ensign said. “I’m hoping now that students are kind of digging deeper into the platforms now. I hope that they’ll find I have really good plans for the university. I’m excited.”

Current Student Body President Christian Thrapp said even with lower enrollment, voting participation is up by about 300 this year. A total of 3,163 students voted in the primary elections, according to the results sheet posted on the SILC office door on the third floor of the Taggart Student Center.

Fiefia said even though he is ahead in the primaries, he doesn’t want to slow down for the final elections.

“I think the only way that the polls are changed here at ASUSU is getting out and working hard, out-campaigning the other person,” Fiefia said. “Votes can sway either way. I was up by a bunch but those numbers mean nothing to me. It’s zero-zero and we’re going to work as hard as we did in the finals as we did in the primaries.”

Ensign said he’s tried to be involved with the students through his campaigning.

“I’m the kind of candidate that’s not going to knock on your door and throw an iPad at you,” Ensign said. “I’m going to make sure I understand the student’s voice.”

Ensign said he thinks one of the reasons he made it to the finals is his passion for the school.

“I have really good ideas,” Ensign said. “When I get an idea in my brain that I think will actually make a difference, I follow it through. I feel like I would do a really good job as president.”

All of the campaign experiences have been new and exciting, Ensign said.

“Win or lose, I’ve had those good experiences just talking with people and making friends,” Ensign said. “I’m just pushing through with the attitude that we’re going to win, and if we don’t win, I’ve made some really good friends along the way. I’m just passionate about it.”

The final polls close at 3 p.m. Thursday. Winners will be announced at 5 p.m. in the TSC Sunburst Lounge.

Twitter: @tmerabradley

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