Joe Favero, after winning 54 percent of all votes, has been elected to be the 2014-15 Weber State University student body president.
The election results were revealed Friday night during Weber’s Got Talent, an event which gives students the chance to showcase their performance skills.
“It is extremely humbling,” said Favero, minutes after being elected. “In all my weeks preparing for the election and campaigning, I had the opportunity to reach out to thousands of students. I went to 25 different classes to speak with students. So many students gave me great feedback and ideas that really helped me get elected.”
The winning candidates will be inaugurated April 18. Several of them have already started thinking their first goals in office and how to best strengthen the student government team.
Current WSU African-American students senator Jeffrey Henry was elected as 2014-15 legislative vice president against India Nielsen. The two candidates were only separated by 68 votes, the closest race this year.
“It is surreal, being elected to office,” Henry said. “I am excited about carrying on the great tradition of senate that Brady Harris started, and I am excited to lead 22 different individuals towards what is best for students.”
Henry said his first goal as legislative vice president is to build team unity with the 22 different senators. He said he wants decisions made based on what is best for the many, not the few.
Henry also mentioned he may look at changing the time of senate meetings this year, if it would enable more senators to attend the meetings.
Tessa Diamond ran in an uncontested race to become service vice president.
“I am really excited to get started with service next year,” she said. “I have been waiting for this experience a long time. It has been great having so many people there to support me during the election process.”
Diamond said her first goal as service vice president will be to jump in head first and immediately get involved with the different branches of service across campus.
Diamond also said that what she learned from her current role as leadership vice president was how to work within a team to accomplish similar goals.
Other election winners included Courtney Hackett, clubs and organizations vice president; Sarah Arnold, who ran against two opponents, Felix Baca and Richard Campos, for diversity vice president; Marissa Questereit, who won leadership vice president over Bahar Alimadadi; and Natalie Barcelo, Davis campus vice president.
The acts this year at Weber’s Got Talent were mostly musical, including acts from Spencer Stevens, Rosie Gerrish, Stephen Sanchez, Austin Berenyi and Josh Jorgensen, Sophie Stanley, Daniel Pittman, Maeve Buchanan, and Michael Harvey. The only two non-musical talents were Davis campus senator Tyler Hall’s painting and Jaime Heiner’s aerial dance performance.
Heiner said she got interested in learning aerial dance when she was 7 years old. After going to Florida and seeing an aerial dance performance, she decided it was cool and wanted to do it.
Weber’s Got Talent got off to a rocky start, beginning about 15 minutes late, and the feedback from the microphones was distorted, which created high-note screeches.
WSU professional sales professor Tim Border judged the event, and he said he believes the feedback did not affect his or the other judges’ ability to score fairly.
A few of the performances were able to get the audience of over 100 people involved. Audience members started clapping along with the beat during Berenyi and Jorgensen’s performance. Berenyi played the guitar and sang while Jorgensen played percussion. Berenyi said he has had many dreams about that very moment and was excited the audience made them come true.
Border said Stanley’s performance took him back to the ’60s and ’70s with her rendition of classic rock from Queen and The Beatles. Her performance also resulted in dozens of people midway through holding up their cell phones, using them as lights.
Another display of audience participation happened when Pittman played his ukulele. People in the crowd started snapping their fingers to the beat during his performance.
The emcees, Ben McLain and Paul Peglar, were also a highlight for many attendees. The act they called “40 TV Commercials in Under Four Minutes” sounded like a person flipping through all the TV channels and finding nothing on but commercials, said one audience member.
Buchanan sang a song she wrote titled “Winter Birds” and played the guitar. Audience members got so into the performance that they started clapping along to the song.
“I can only make one person happy every day,” said Border to Buchanan. “It is you today, because I loved your style, that voice is sultry, and you are a shining star.”
Buchanan won first place and the grand prize of $500. Hall came in second place, receiving $300, and Harvey came in third place, receiving $200.
“I am surprised and excited that I won,” Buchanan said. “It is my birthday today, so this was like the best birthday present ever. I was nervous to get up on the stage. However, when I get nervous I just channel every emotion I have into my performance.”