In the 2022 Associated Student Body spring elections, students voted to increase the Student Activity Fee from $5 per semester to $2 per credit hour per semester.
Sitting Attorney General and senior public policy leadership and economics major Grace Dragna announced the results of the referendum, which passed with 79.42% of the vote. A wave of cheers accompanied Dragna’s announcement.
Current treasurer Alex Mabry, who took a temporary leave of absence from ASB to campaign for the SAF increase, said she’s glad campaigning for the referendum paid off.
“This project has been a passion of mine since July. Honestly, I am so relieved that the campaign is over and overjoyed that the referendum passed after working nonstop to increase awareness and impact of the SAF,” Mabry said. “Mostly, I’m just so grateful that the student body cares enough about the SAF to have advocated for it themselves.”
Mabry now looks to take the proposed increase to the Institutions of Higher Learning’s Board of Trustees yearly meeting for them to approve and accept the changes. If that is passed, students will pay an increased SAF as early as fall 2022, but more likely by fall 2023.
For executive officer positions, every position except attorney general was uncontested. With 58.63% of the vote, sophomore international studies and Chinese major Maddy Ryan won the position.
Ryan said she was at a loss for words.
“If you had asked me a year ago, I would not have believed I would be in this position,” Ryan said.
Ryan acknowledged that her new job is not an easy one. She said she feels grateful for her friends who helped with the campaign and pushed her to step outside of her comfort zone.
“Even though I’m going into a position that I feel like can be isolating, I don’t feel like I got there alone,” Ryan said.
Ryan plans to assemble a team to look over the current student bill of rights, which has not been updated in 20 years. She plans to revise it and put it on a referendum in the fall elections.
Lila Osman, a junior public policy leadership major and ASB president-elect, is ready to take on her new role.
“I am very excited. I’m excited to take on this journey and to experience everything that comes along with being the voice of the student body,” Osman said.
She believes the transition period will be crucial.
“I think that the transition is really going to be the make or break moment,” she said.
Osman is looking forward to getting to know the new executive board as well as learning from the old board.
Alex Nabors, a junior finance and real estate major, is excited to go from her role as a senator to vice president.
“It’s a refreshing moment, and I’m just so excited to serve next year,” Nabors said.
She plans to start her term by getting to know the new senators. The vice president oversees the senate, and Nabors wants to set clear guidelines in order to create an effective senate body. There were several write-ins this year, and Nabors said she wants to focus on making sure everyone knows what the job entails.
“I really want to make sure the passion and the work ethic is there,” Nabors said.
Junior journalism major Kaylynn Steen is the new secretary. She said Tuesday night was the perfect ending to an exciting campaign. She is ready to get to work.
“With the restructuring of the secretary department, there’s a lot of new moving pieces, so I’m really looking forward to getting my applications out there, putting those new people in, and getting all on the same page so we can really embrace student engagement this year,” Steen said.
Junior public policy leadership and economics major Preston Antes was elected judicial chair. He said he was grateful to see that the election process worked well and is focusing on assembling a good team in the weeks to come.
After serving as a comptroller in the treasury department this year, sophomore accounting major Emily Hawes was elected treasurer. She expressed her gratitude for her friends who were there with her in the auditorium. While transitioning into the role, Hawes plans to learn from her predecessor Mabry and lean on the support system of her fellow board members.
Hawes plans to take this momentum and continue to spread awareness about the SAF. According to Hawes, only 30% of Registered Student Organizations use the SAF.
“As I said when I was running in my campaign, my number one priority for next year is going to be increasing awareness of the SAF,” Hawes said.
All of the new ASB executive board members are looking forward to getting to work after some well-deserved celebration.