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Photo of Dawson Deal and Liesel Kemmelmeier
Zoe Malen / Nevada Sagebrush
Dawson Deal and Liesel Kemmelmeier pose on the south end of the Quad. The two are running under the campaign name Impact Nevada during the ASUN 2024 election season.

Election season for the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, Reno has returned for 2024. This year, two presidential and vice presidential candidate teams are running — Fayza Salah and Isabella Valdivieso, and Dawson Deal and Liesel Kemmelmeier.

General election debates will take place on March 12, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Joe Crowley Student Union’s theater. The general election will occur from March 13 to 14.

Read about Dawson Deal and Liesel Kemmelmeier’s campaign below:

Dawson Deal, presidential candidate

Photo of Dawson Deal
Zoe Malen / Nevada Sagebrush
Dawson Deal, ASUN presidential candidate, poses on the south end of the quad. Currently, Deal serves as the director of Government Affairs.

Deal is a junior studying political science and was born and raised in Sparks, Nev. Deal started as a business major and then switched to poly-sci due to his interest in national politics at the time of the pandemic.

“Student government was something I had been really passionate about,” Deal said. “The whole philosophy behind servant leadership I’ve kind of just been raised on.”

As for his ASUN tenure, Deal started as a senate intern before switching to his position as advocacy director for the department of Government Affairs, which is where he felt he could contribute the most to the student body. In 2023, Deal became the director for the department, where he tries to bring all opportunities of politicians coming to UNR to get students involved in local government, he explains.

“One of our favorites was the Wolf Pack talks with Mayor Schieve. There was really great engagement from the students that attended there, and that got us really excited to keep continuing the work that we were doing,” Deal said. “Even if [our work] impacts just one student on campus, I think [we’ve] done [our] job.”

Liesel Kemmelmeier, vice presidential candidate

Zoe Malen / Nevada Sagebrush
Liesel Kemmelmeier poses on the south end of the quad. Currently, Kemmelmeier serves as the assistant director of Government Affairs.

Kemmelmeier is a junior studying social research analytics under sociology, political science and international affairs, minoring in Holocaust, Genocide and Peace studies and political communication advocacy. She was also born and raised in Reno, Nev. and said the university has always been seen as a “pillar of the community.”

Additionally, Kemmelmeier has dual citizenship in Germany and before her time at UNR she studied abroad for a year in Germany, received her translator credentials and was an au pair for some time.

When Kemmelmeier started feeling homesick for her family and Reno, she came back in May 2022 and “hit the ground running” when she became part of the Nevada Student Ambassadors program and was a director of student elections and democratic education. After a stressful election season, Kemmelmeier didn’t know if she was going to go back.

“It was something that I took a while to kind of sit on,” Kemmelmeier said. “Even I saw a lot of ASUN imperfections and their flaws and I realized that the idea behind it and the mission and continuing to do it was more important to me than just leaving. [It was about] helping to build it towards something better.”

From there she met Deal and became the assistant director of Government Affairs.

Impact Nevada 2024 Campaign

“We really wanted to emphasize the impact,” Deal said. “This year, we really want to focus on what we keep calling for tangible change.”

The team wants to set up goals, but they want to make sure they have the capacity to actually implement their ideas and the university is willing to accept their changes. However, Deal adds that they want to be transparent with them and make sure 

It ultimately comes down to what the needs of the students are, not what the needs of ASUN are

The three pillars are inclusivity, unity and impactful leadership. 

Under the inclusivity pillar, their goal is to bring together groups on campus who may be missing from the conversation. Under the unity pillar, they discuss collaboration with the university working with other departments to provide students with the best possible resources and help them take advantage of opportunities they’re offered. Under the impactful leadership pillar, they want to create an environment in which ASUN can be synonymous with progress.

“I think that’s what we’ve struggled with throughout the years is through every administration [in ASUN], it can sometimes be hard to see the differences in the change in administration over administration,” Deal said. “We don’t just want to be in a stagnant area.”

Deal and Kemmelmeier discussed their 2023 priorities and issues assessment survey they discussed at the Dec. 13 senate meeting which they put out so they could hear student voices on their priority issues of concern.

“When we look at what students are telling us, we need to sit down, have those conversations and take that action,” Deal said.

They are also putting a focus of their campaign on accountability and making sure all the people in ASUN are doing what their positions require of them and that nothing is getting “overlooked.”

Transparency is another big goal amongst their campaign which includes making sure the students know what ASUN does behind the scenes and showing them what opportunities they have as students that ASUN and other programs provide them.

“So communication is a big thing as well,” Deal said. “Overall, we want the students to be involved in every process. And that should start at the very beginning.”

Kemmelmeier added that promoting public meetings that are regulated by Nevada open meeting law to discuss “vital problems” on campus, including power-based violence, affordable housing and career readiness with students could be a key way to implement this accountability and transparency.

“I really want students to be proud of ASUN. I think that is what drives [us] to get involved in these conversations and talk with students about what issues they’re facing,” Deal said. “And that’s a huge basis of what our campaign is built on: these conversations that we’ve had with students and what problems we’ve heard come up and what solutions we think will fix them.”

To learn more about the Deal-Kemmelmeier campaign or contact the candidates, click here for their Instagram and website links.

Jaedyn Young can be reached at or on Twitter @jaedyn_young3.

Correction 8:51 a.m. Kemmelmeier’s minor is “Holocaust, genocide and peace studies.”

Correction 8:51 a.m. Kemmelmeier was a “director of student elections and democratic education.

Correction 8:51 a.m. “Kemmelmeier” spelling fix.

Correction 10:57 a.m. There will be no primary presidential debates or elections.

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