As the new student body president, Ezra Hainsworth hopes to make health a priority on Dixie State University's campus.
Hainsworth, a junior communication major from St. George, was announced as DSU's 2017-18 student body president March 9, who beat his opponent Kendall Pitts, a junior communication major from Las Vegas.
Hainsworth said he won the election because he had an aggressive campaign using shirts and pins, social media, and a geofilter on Snapchat. He also said he was able to market himself a lot more this election.
“Being the Stampede president (and) being heavily involved with the PR [public relations] initiatives on campus, I've been able to get myself out there a lot more,” Hainsworth said.
Another aspect Hainsworth focused on during his campaign was the Health and Wellness Center.
During the last cycle of fee allocating, a $4 fee increase was approved for the Health and Wellness Center. This fee increase will take the copay of $20 per visit down to $10 per visit by next year. Hainsworth said the DSU Student Association will be proposing another fee increase.
“We're going to propose another $4 increase, which will eliminate the $10 copay, and it will be a free visit up to four per semester,” Hainsworth said.
The fee increase will depend on how much tuition raises, he said.
Besides the Health and Wellness Center, Weston Zimmerman, new vice president of academics and a junior accounting major from St. George, wants to make mental health a priority on campus by getting students to become a part of the Hope Squad, a program meant to help students with mental health issues like depression and suicide.
“(I want to) make sure people are aware of it, that there are people out there who are students and peers that are able to help others with mental health issues,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve been there myself, and that’s something that I wish I could have had.”
As part of his platform, Hainsworth said he also wants to build off of what current Student Body President Sarah Ramaker started.
“Early in her leadership, it was all about relationships,” Hainsworth said. “I think that’s really important with student body presidents is to build relationships with people.”
Hainsworth said he plans on building and maintaining relationships by working with different advisers from different areas of campus, the Multicultural and Inclusion Center, the ambassadors, and the student senate.
As much as Hainsworth said he values relationships, he also values getting open educational resources for students, which is an online database where teachers can pick their books, and it gives free access to students.
He said this will apply with general education courses and is still in the works because teachers need to be on board with the idea.
“There'’ a few things to work out still, but it's not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’ kind of thing,” Hainsworth said.
Raising school spirit
DSU doesn’t have a fight song, but Hainsworth said the fandom committee, created by President Biff Williams, is working on one as well as creating cheers that are unique to DSU.
“I know in the past we had [fight songs] because of the Rebels, but we don't have one unique to being a Trailblazer,” Hainsworth said.
He said he hopes to have the fight song created by the start of football season.
A mistake Hainsworth said he made last year was trying to guilt people into cheering for DSU’s athletic teams.
“It worked for a little bit, but it didn't last because that's not the right way to do things,” he said. “What I'd like to do is just be genuine, invite them to participate, and if not, don't be upset or mad, just (say) ‘hey, maybe next time.’”
Hainsworth said he hopes students will eventually want to come to athletic games for the experience and not because they’re being incentivized to go.
“Once we get that fight song, once we get those cheers down and coordination between the band, the dancers, the cheerleaders and the stampede, we'll just flow a lot better,” he said. “People will see that this is legit, like ‘I want to be a part of that.’”