The Nevada Sagebrush staff is split on the Associated Students of the University of Nevada presidential candidate race and has chosen Alex Bybee as its choice for ASUN vice president.
A native of Las Vegas, Bybee has an established record of involvement at the university and within ASUN in particular: He is the current director of Legislative Affairs and sits on the College of Liberal Arts student advisory board. In running with presidential candidate Jake Pereira, Bybee outlined his goals to make the office of the president more transparent and accountable through reestablishing the presidential advisory council, where clubs and organizations could speak directly with the president, and by establishing further checks and balances.
Additionally, Bybee has expressed an interest in advocating for a state lottery wherein some revenue would go to bolster state financial aid.
The selection of Bybee by the staff was a unanimous decision; however, both Jake Pereira and Desirae Acosta had an equal number of votes. This split is owed to the fact that each presidential candidate brings distinct positive and negative qualities to the table.
Pereira was charismatic and has an established track record with student engagement as the current Director of Traditions for ASUN (his events with Big Sean and Mackay Week have been very successful) and has additional experience in leadership as the former president of Sigma Phi Epsilon.
Unfortunately, he is the most recent in a long line of WASBs (White Anglo-Saxon Business Majors) who have dominated the presidency. While this isn’t a knock on Pereira, ASUN needs to expand the involved student base because of its propensity to alienate non-traditional students with its reputation as an “old boys club.”
Acosta is also heavily involved on campus as the current director of Unity for ASUN, philanthropy chair for Delta Delta Delta and a former president of the Student Ambassadors.
This background could lead to a more diverse presidency. She was also more personable than Pereira, and such approachability is crucial for candidates looking to increase student involvement. However, her plan for the office was not as concrete as Pereira and Bybee’s. Additionally, her relative inexperience with budgets compared to the competition is also a concern.
While the presidential and vice presidential candidates have run joint campaigns during the election, there is a possibility that one candidate from either camp could win.
Such a split decision may result in the two best candidates being chosen, but in prior elections, this has led to animosity between the two elected. The current ASUN administration is just such an example: President Rashdan and Vice President Malin have been unable to see eye-to-eye on multiple occasions this year.
Beyond such difficulties, electing two candidates that not only have experience working together, but have also spent considerable time formulating a cohesive plan for their administration during this election could be beneficial. Because of this potential boon, and because Bybee was such a standout candidate, The Nevada Sagebrush considers the ticket of Pereira and Bybee preferential.
As a team they have a more solidified plan for what they want to accomplish, better campaign execution and the drive to incorporate quantitative data into their strategy for increasing involvement from a wide array of students.
Every candidate expressed their desire to engage more students, but in the grand scheme of things the ideas presented by Pereira and Bybee have a higher potential to benefit the university. While Acosta and running mate Theo Meek have a platform that contains more accomplishable goals, they weren’t as impactful.
Finally, Pereira and Bybee are looking to incorporate the former’s background as a business major to bring internships en masse to the student body. Combining with Bybee’s past record of student advocacy at the Nevada Legislature, these two candidates would bring a diverse array of perspectives to the office of the president.
The Nevada Sagebrush editorial staff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.