The president and vice president of the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico for the 2018-2019 school year were announced Wednesday evening.
Unopposed candidates Becka Myers, president elect, and Emily Wilks, vice president elect, were met with applause, as they were officially selected for their positions.
Voting started Monday and closed at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Shortly after polls closed, students gathered at the Student Union Building Atrium to see the results and hear from their new leaders.
“It’s incredibly liberating to be supported by my student body and to get to represent them,” Wilks said. “I really do think we have the mindset to change the culture on this campus.”
As the new president, Myers said she wants to focus on making ASUNM more transparent and approachable for students. She said that from the beginning of their campaign, they have focused on outreach and making sure student organizations are included and represented well.
Myers said, “Our work is just beginning.”
She also said she wants to tackle the issues of safety and sexual assault on UNM’s campus.
Noah Brooks, the 2017-2018 president of ASUNM, was in attendance Wednesday night as well, in one of his last events as president.
“Being president has been the best experience I’ve ever had,” Brooks said. “I’ve learned a lot, I had a really great team behind me and I experienced a lot of things that I never thought I’d experience at this age.”
Brooks will soon be graduating from UNM with a degree in economics.
“It’s bittersweet, but I’m excited for President Elect Myers and Vice President Elect Wilks,” he said “I think they’re going to do a great job, and I feel very comfortable leaving ASUNM in their hands.”
ASUNM Sen. Jordan Montoya said she thinks the transition between presidents will be a smooth one.
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“I know Becka and Noah have a good, cohesive relationship, and so I think he can give her a lot of insight and tips to help her excel and kind of pass the baton on,” Montoya said.
Xavier Vallejo and Zachary Lichtie worked with Myers and Wilks on their campaign. Vallejo and Lichtie said Myers and Wilks knew what they wanted to do from the beginning.
“I think they are going to do incredible. Becka and Emily both love ASUNM more than most of the students on this campus — actually more than all of them,” Lichtie said.
Fellow ASUNM Sen. Nadine Oglesby said she has no doubt the new presidency will work hard to accomplish their goals.
“Becka is always in and out of the office, running around doing the nitty-gritty stuff,” Oglesby said. “That goes for Emily as well, in her committees, she answers the tough questions and does the jobs that nobody wants to do.”
“I’ve seen that (Myers and Wilks) really care and want to see a brighter future for UNM students, and so I definitely stand behind them in anything they do,” Lichtie said.
Myers and Wilks stressed that, even in their busy jobs, they are always available and want to get to know the students.
“Our door is always open, and students can always come in and hang out with us,” Wilks said. “Becka and I are undergraduates just like them, and we really do want to start building relationships with the student body...They should stop by and come get to know us.”
Catherine Stringam is a freelance reporter with the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @cathey_stringam.