Meet SUU's Executive Council for 2020-2021

Posted: October 01, 2020 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 8 minutes

SUUSA Executive CouncilEach year, the Southern Utah University student body has the opportunity to vote for members of the executive council. The executive council takes on various responsibilities and leadership roles throughout the academic year that impact campus life and major university decisions. This year, the student body has elected another strong group of leaders who are excited to tackle this upcoming school year.

“The SUUSA Executive Council has been brilliant at developing and thinking through new ways to reach and connect with students during a non-traditional year,” said Heather Garcia, assistant director of student involvement and leadership. “Their number one goal is to serve, serve, and serve some more. These students are ready to ride the storm and provide a creative and engaging experience for students as they possibly can during such an uncertain time. They have selected and trained a very diverse and driven team, and I am very excited to see what they can accomplish this year.”

Nouman Kante, Student Body President

SUU senior Nouman Kante is thrilled to take on the role of student body president for the 2020-2021 school year. Kante has been heavily involved across campus since his freshman year, and he is honored to be stepping into this new role. In addition to working in the International Affairs Office, Kante has also served as president of the African Union Club and as a resident’s assistant for University Housing. Last year, he also served as an upper-division senator with SUU Student Association (SUUSA).

“I’ve been in several leadership positions, and being president was something I thought I could potentially do well and create a bigger impact,” said Kante. “By working with people who know better than me, I can learn from them and be helpful to as many people as I can.”

Learn more about Nouman and his presidency.

Abbie Jacobsen, VP of Academics

Abbie Jacobsen graduated with a degree in political science and women and gender studies from SUU in 2020, and she is currently earning a master’s degree in public administration. Jacobsen has enjoyed many opportunities at SUU including serving an internship at the Utah State Capitol through the Micheal O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service, working as an Assistant Coach for Excellence & Success (ACE) for two years, and being involved in the Honors Program.

Jacobsen is thrilled to be serving as vice president of academics this school year. Her responsibilities include presiding over the student senate and serving as a non-voting member in the Dean’s Council.

“One of the goals that we have outlined as an executive council and something that is particularly important to me is being intentionally inclusive,” said Jacobsen. “This means getting feedback and responses from every type of SUU student, not just your stereotypical definition of a student. It is important to me that every student's voice be represented in one way or another. When we have created an environment of welcoming and inclusion in student government we will be better equipped to elevate students’ academic experience and ensure that the needs of students are met.”

Dakota Colby, VP of Clubs

Dakota Colby is a senior majoring in biology and triple-minoring in chemistry, psychology, and sustainability studies. After applying and being accepted to SUU on his high school’s free college application day, Colby learned more about the university and decided to attend. He was specifically drawn to SUU’s pre-med and STEM programs, the small class size, and the positive campus vibe.

Last year, Colby had the opportunity to serve as club director and wanted to continue working with the SUU clubs this year. As the vice president of clubs and organizations, Colby will chair the clubs and organizations committee and oversee all clubs and organizations on campus this school year.

“I have some high aspirations for the year to make sure that clubs can accomplish everything they wish, and give students a chance to find a group of friends and peers that share similar interests,” said Colby. “COVID-19 makes it difficult, but my team and I have some ideas in the works to connect as many students as possible and allow clubs to continue to have their activities.”

Alyssa Sutton, VP of Finance

Alyssa Sutton is a senior majoring in accounting and minoring in finance. Sutton began her journey at SUU as a chemistry major but later changed to accounting after discovering a greater passion for mathematics. One of her goals is to use her knowledge to help people manage their money and even lower their taxes. Her previous leadership experiences on campus include serving as a Student Programming Board (SPB) athletic event director and as the VP of public relations on the Honor Council.

Sutton is looking forward to holding a leadership position that relates directly to her major. As the vice president of finance, she will chair the budget and finance committee, oversee the SUU Student Association (SUUSA) budget, recommend student fee expenditures, and appoint controllers to assist in managing SUUSA funds.

“I’ve been working on improving how student funding requests are handled, and I also want to expand the finance position to include more collaboration with the financial wellness center,” said Sutton. “I'm beyond excited to serve the students through my position this year, and hope to be someone people can feel comfortable reaching out to. Mostly, though, I just want to do what I can to help students get through what's looking to be an insane year.”

Megan Baker, SPB President

Megan Baker is a senior majoring in communication and minoring in event planning. Originally a dance education major, Baker changed her course of study after getting involved with the SPB as a director her sophomore year. The efforts of SPB helped Baker get involved and enjoy a positive experience on campus. As president, she’s looking forward to creating similar experiences for the rest of the SUU student body.

SPB works to enhance student life and increase student retention. As SPB president, Baker will work with her team of directors and the student government to create memorable college experiences that increase school spirit and positivity across the campus and community.

“My goal is to cater to the needs of the student body during this difficult time,” said Baker. “I am very well aware of the situations going on in our world, and I want our SPB team to create a safe space for everyone on campus while still accomplishing our goal of planning events that will create lasting memories and connect students. It can be hard making connections in college in a normal situation without being six feet apart, so we want to give opportunities for students to accomplish that while in Cedar City. I also want to get as much student feedback as possible. My goal is to make it a top priority to give the students what they want. My job as SPB President is to oversee the events for students, not for me.”

Izabell Slade, Executive Marketing Director

Izabell Slade is a senior majoring in English. She originally began her journey at SUU as a business management major, but later changed her major to better align with her passions. Slade was involved with SPB for three years serving as an assistant, an event director, and the entertainment director prior to earning this position. She’s looking forward to continuing to serve her fellow students this year in her new position.

As executive marketing director, Slade will oversee social media, print marketing, photography, and videography for the Student Involvement & Leadership (STIL) office. The executive marketing director is the only position on the executive council that is not elected by the student body.

“The marketing team’s goal for the year is to keep students feeling connected to campus,” said Slade. “We know that this year is not a typical year, but we want students to know that SUU and the STIL office care about them whether they are here in Cedar City or anywhere around the world.”

Colton Smith, Chief Justice

Colton Smith is a senior majoring in economics and political science and minoring in finance. He came to SUU for the opportunities outdoors and the university’s personalized touch. As a freshman, he enjoyed all of his professors learning his name and getting to know him personally.

Smith has been involved with SUUSA since his freshman year, and is looking forward to serving as chief justice. As chief justice, Smith will preside as the chair of the SUUSA Judiciary Committee, and as both the Parliamentarian of the Student Senate and as a student representative on the University Appeals board.

“Largely my goals are to work on fixing flaws that have become apparent in the SUUSA governing documents,” said Smith. “Our constitution is very much a living document and has flaws that I wish to fix. My goal is that the revisions will allow for a smoother process of governing in the future for students. Beyond that, I also wish to revise our election process to foster a more free and fair system of elections that offer an equal opportunity to all students, not just those with resources and connections.”

Samuel Stewart, Chief of Staff

Samuel Stewart is a senior majoring in biology and chemistry, but he originally came to SUU for the biology and theatre programs. Before joining SUUSA, he was involved with the Rural Health Scholars and the Thin Line Comedy Club. Stewart joined student government to connect with more students across campus, and because he admires the leadership of the university under President Scott L Wyatt.

Stewart is looking forward to stepping into the role of chief of staff. As chief of staff, he will assist the student body president in managing all SUUSA Officers and Staff, head special projects, and assist in any other assignment, role, or committee under the discretion of the student body president.

“My goals consist of helping each member of the executive council meet their goals,” said Stewart. “I often keep track of action items and goals that team members set so that I can help them in my capacity as chief of staff. This especially applies to our student body president, Nouman Kante, because in a way I'm his assistant. Under my office, I am able to help him balance his activities and appearances so that he can focus on being the face of the university for the students.”

Contact the members of the executive council.

Tags: Student Life

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