Liuaki “Liu” Vakapuna won his second consecutive year as Student Body President after last week’s election.
“I kind of have mixed feelings right now. I’m glad I get to represent the students again. Mostly I’m grateful for the students and my campaign for helping me. They are the ones who put in the countless hours,” said Vakapuna.
Vakapuna won by 34 votes, getting 24.3 percent of the overall votes. Part time and full time students were eligible to vote. Yet, only 1684 student voted in last week’s election.
Amber Marie Holmes is a part time student at SLCC. She did not vote in the election saying, ” I plan to go on to a grad school, this is only part time for me, so [I] just chose not to.”
However, other students were excited about the election, and even helped candidates campaign. Cameron Kenney, SLCC student, helped Vakapuna campaign on Thursday, the last day of voting. “Liu was one of the first people I met here at Salt Lake Community College. The reason for that is he is always willing to go out and talk to everybody. No student is ever excluded,” said Kenney.
Vakapuna’s campaign strategy was different from the other candidates. He did not litter the campus with hundreds for flyers.
“The strategy is, and this can go for the campaigners next year, is that you work through students. Your advertisers are students,” said Vakapuna, who also said working with clubs gave him an edge.
Vakapuna plans to continue the work he has been doing into next year. Lowering student fees and also getting in on decisions about tuition earlier are some things on Vakapuna’s agenda for next year. Diversity is what Vakapuna really wants to push for next year. “We do have a wonderful [diversity] program, but there is always room for improvement.”
Some students who work for SLCC were unable to take part in the election. This is because they do not all pay student fees. However, students who work for the college and pay student fees were also unable to vote. Peggy Huffman, Director of Student Activities, is looking into the problem.