New Utah State University Student Association President-elect Lucas Stevens wants students to know that he loves them.
“I’m here for you and I’m here to help you with all the challenges that you’re going through as a student,” Stevens said in an interview with the Statesman. “I’m so excited for the future of serving Utah State students for the next year.”
Final election results for USUSA Logan campus positions were announced Friday morning after a week of Instagram ads, text messages, A-frames and debates. Stevens won his election by a margin of 311 votes, 2,248 to 1,937, against fellow candidate Erik Fogth.
“My heart is just so full for the support and love that’s been shown to me, for my peers and for my friends and family,” Stevens said. “And that’s the main feeling right now is just relief.”
The current executive vice president, Stevens’ platform included promoting an inclusive campus culture and streamlining USUSA organizations.
Stevens’ first priority is revitalizing the college experience following a slew of canceled events and altered traditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. He hopes to use the relationships he’s developed with administrators to advocate for students’ needs while also clearly communicating to student organizations what precautions need to be taken.
“I think that would be my first priority: helping to bring back events and traditions that we all love,” he said.
Campaigning looked a bit different this year, according to Stevens. He said there were fewer people on campus to talk to, and those who were either really wanted to talk or were very apprehensive to do so. Stevens attributes this to the social isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions. He also noticed a lot more social media use by candidates in their campaigns.
More than 30 students ran for office in the Logan campus elections this year, with 18 students losing in the primary or final elections.
Despite these students not receiving their desired positions, Stevens said he hopes to include the ideas and platforms of these and other students through the president’s cabinet, which he will head. He would like to have 30 students in his cabinet.
“I would encourage students to apply for a director’s spot with an initiative in mind, or several initiatives in mind,” Stevens said.
If these students received a director position, they would then have access to USUSA advisors, a budget, and subcommittees to put their ideas into action, according to Stevens.
His message for those who didn’t vote for him is that he supports them just as much as students who did.
“I would say to them that, ‘Let’s work together to improve our college experience,'” Stevens said. “And when we’re united, we can accomplish a lot more.”
Despite some weariness from a week full of high emotions, stress and lack of sleep, Stevens said he is optimistic for what the future holds.
“I just feel so much excitement for the future in this role,” Stevens said. “I feel like we can help a lot of people. So I’m just so excited.”