Photo courtesy of Theo Meek

Photo courtesy of Theo Meek

Desirae Acosta – President

When Desirae Acosta was growing up, her   mother would tell her, “Leave a place better   than when you found it.”

Her mother was referring to after she would play in her room or leave a friend’s home, but the saying has stuck with Acosta all her life.

“That’s what I’ve really attempted to do here at the University of Nevada with every   organization that I’ve been a part of, is leaving it better than I found it,” Acosta said.

“If I   have the ability to change something for the   better or to help, then I’m going to do that.”   Acosta said that when she first came to the   university, she didn’t know what she wanted   to major in, but she knew she wanted to be   a student ambassador.

After becoming an   ambassador, Acosta became involved in a multitude of organizations before becoming   a part of the Associated Students of the University of Nevada as the director of campus   unity.

“Being director of unity has definitely given   me tougher skin,” Acosta said. “It’s a position   you have to work really hard for and you have  to be really passionate about.

But seeing that   when we do have events, there’s students I   recognize who are coming to unity events,   but don’t attend other events that ASUN puts on, and I realize giving these students a voice   needs to happen more.

Having the platform   of being president can allow me to make   a difference in even more students’ lives,   rather than as just director of unity.”

Acosta said she finds happiness in bettering the student experience, and she wouldn’t want to spend her time at the university any   other way.

Although she doesn’t have much   free time, she said after she sees the effect she’s had on a student, it makes it all worth it.

“There have been times when I’ve held   back, and that bothers me more,” Acosta   said. “Yes maybe at that moment I wasn’t   busy or had free time, but I wasn’t happy. It  others me more knowing that I’m not giving   something my all then giving it my all and   sometimes being tired or overworked. That’s   what I enjoy. That’s what I love is making a   difference and knowing that it’s worth it.”



-Hold at least one volunteer fair annually

-Have clubs and organizations adopt a park

-Partnering up with the service learning club   and service learning office


-Academic college with highest average GPA   receives a brunch


-Create a non-traditional student coalition

-Use the non-traditional student coalition to   start conversations on how to support   non-traditional students

Photo courtesy of Theo Meek

Photo courtesy of Theo Meek

Theo Meek – Vice President

Theo Meek said he wants to be ASUN vice   president for one reason: to give back to the   university.

“I am nowhere near the same person that I was   three years ago when I came to the university   campus,” Meek said. “I really do believe I’m a   better person now.

I feel more well rounded, I   feel more culturally competent, I’ve got a great   group of friends that I want to continue friendships with forever.

The university has really given   me so many experiences in my life, so I just want   to give back to the university, and I want others   to get the same experiences I’ve gotten out of it.”

After graduating in Reno in 2010, Meek attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for   one year before moving back to Reno, where he   immersed himself in student organizations.

Meek became heavily involved in the college   of business as a peer mentor and president of   the management and human resources association, as well as being president of the business   student council.

His involvement in the college of business led   him to become a club commissioner for ASUN, a   position he became very passionate about.

“That’s what has really driven me to run for   ASUN vice president because I see what all of   [the clubs] go through,” Meek said.

“I love that I   have the opportunity to see all of the good, the   bad and the ugly of everything they have to go   through, because then I can take from the good,   the bad and the ugly and try to make it a better   experience for them.”

Meek said he is so passionate about clubs and   organizations because he feels that’s where he found his sense of belonging on campus.

He said   it wasn’t his classes that kept him coming back   to the university, but the organizations he was   involved in.   “I want to give all of our undergraduate students a sense of belonging on campus,”

Meek   said. “All of them need to feel that the University   of Nevada is their campus, and I think one of the   best ways to do that is through clubs and orgs.”



-Have someone available to sit down with club   leaders and work through the funding   application process with them


-Create an ad hoc committee for 365 learning   coalition

-Continue conversations with clubs and   organizations post-election

-Start recruiting for pack mentorship program


-Communicate with tutoring departments to   support upper-division courses

-Hold first generation student conference

-Create ad hoc committee for multi-cultural   students


Photo courtesy of Parachute Center

Photo courtesy of Parachute Center


Jake Pereira- President

 The reason Jake Pereira first set foot onto the University of Nevada, Reno campus was to pursue his   childhood dream to become a professional baseball player.

Though baseball camp was what brought   Pereira to Reno, baseball wasn’t what would entice   him back to the university a semester later.

One year before his trip to Reno, Pereira broke his neck, both of his legs and his back in a snowboarding accident.

After spending three months in a   wheelchair, and gradually re-learning how to walk,   Pereira was dead-set on continuing with baseball   and making it onto a college baseball team.

“So, I worked my ass off for the next couple of   years, and I had the opportunity to continue playing in college,” Pereira said.

“But, I think having life   taken away like that gave me such a zest for other   things. I was still so passionate about being in the   outdoors and so passionate about being involved   in leadership that I decided if I just played baseball   I wouldn’t be able to do all these other things.”

His senior year of high school, Pereira decided   other things in life were more important to him   than baseball, and the Idaho native chose to attend   school at UNR.

“When I came down to Nevada, I knew that I had   a chance to start over new,” Pereira said.

“I didn’t   know anybody, and I knew that the opportunities   were going to present themselves, and I was going   to take advantage of every opportunity that was   presented to me.”

Pereira joined the social fraternity Sigma Phi   Epsilon his freshman year, but said he really began   to see the results of leadership when he became   the fraternity’s president his sophomore year.

His   leadership roles in his fraternity led him to roles   in the ASUN department of traditions, where he   became the director of traditions.

“I remember driving into Reno seeing the Reno   skyline and this big university, and it was so intimidating, and I didn’t know anyone,” Pereira said.   “Now to have the opportunity to hold the office of   the president, it really is a humbling experience. ”



-Create an overarching vision for ASUN to follow   the course of the year

-Analyze past ASUN expenditures and realign   with overarching vision


-Analyze past metrics on events held by ASUN   and create more events that students are excited   about

-Hold more large-scale events that will leave lasting memories for students


-Hold the executive board accountable

-Utilize the director of public relations

-Reach out to academic colleges, alumni and   athletics

-Form strategic partnerships with community   members


Photo courtesy of Matt Lush

Photo courtesy of Matt Lush

Alex Bybee – Vice President

Since first grade, native Nevadan Alex Bybee   has been a part of student government.

“I think there’s so much more to life in those   25 years, that one fourth of your life, then just   sitting in the classroom,” Bybee said.

“Part   of it was probably that it was just fun. I don’t   think I had this profound realization at the   age of seven that there’s more to life than this   classroom. I think that I saw what student   government did in elementary school had   an impact on people, and I just think that I   wanted to be a part of that, and I still continue   to want to be a part of that.”

Growing up in a community of people with   strong leadership skills, Bybee said he was   instilled with their values and continues to   empower people with the same abilities.

“Once you are armed with a skill set to lead   people and you understand how to administrate, you understand how to manage a team   and really create substantive outcomes for   a population, you really want to share those   skills with the world,” Bybee said.

After becoming a student at the University   of Nevada, Reno, Bybee persisted in participating in experiences outside of the classroom   by becoming the ASUN director of legislative   affairs.

He believes the vice president position   will allow him to further improve the student   experience at UNR.

“There is no feeling like that of community,”   Bybee said. “I mean, we’re a wolf pack, and   there are policies that stand in the way of that.   Ultimately the office of the vice president   gives you a platform to eliminate the policies and the barriers that stand in the way of   building our community and strengthening   our pack.”



-Resuscitate president’s advisory council

-Increasing frequency of town hall meetings

-Increasing ASUN online presence


-Increase the number of opportunities students   have post-graduation and during their time at   Nevada

-Increase opportunities by establishing an   internship subsidy program

-Continue strategic partnerships with the   Nevada career studio and office of service   learning and civic engagement


-Connecting administrators, legislators and   policy makers with the on the ground student   perspective






Alex Mosher can be reached at amosher@sage-