New student leaders want to show the love
By Mike Kilen
GCU News Bureau
Dylan Mahoney didn’t have to wear out shoe leather on the Promenade while campaigning for Grand Canyon University’s student body president. He and his Vice President running mate, Noah Logan, were unopposed in last week’s election.
But he and Logan were busy working hard during election week anyway.
“We still wanted to go out there and make sure people feel seen, loved and heard,” Mahoney said. “Our message goes out the same way as if someone was running against us. This was a really good opportunity; we’ll never have a platform to reach out to so many students in one week.
“So we just wanted to go out there and make sure students know what we want to do with campus and we have a heart to serve.”
Said Logan: “It’s been a great opportunity just to show love. That was always the intention — to show God’s love, regardless if we have an opponent or not. That’s our platform: Meeting people we’ve never met and showing them love.”
Mahoney, 19, who is studying government at GCU and hopes to later enter law school, decided to run for student body president after he discovered he couldn’t wait any longer because he will graduate in three years instead of four. He and Logan will serve during the 2020-21 academic year as leaders of the Associated Students of Grand Canyon University (ASGCU), as a liaison with administration and students.
“I really like to fix problems. I see a lot of good opportunities to serve the student body and make an impact on this campus,” he said.
One idea as they prepare for their new roles in the 2020-21 academic year is to launch a food and clothing bank for students.
“We have people from all economic backgrounds attending this school, and we want to make sure they have food and clothes,” Mahoney said.
He also wants to work on a method to collect and distribute food waste from campus to the community around GCU, especially the refugee population.
“Anything we can do as a university, we want to further that and boost the area around us and make sure it’s growing,” he said.
Another major push is “whole campus integration,” Logan said. “We can do a better job of connecting people to other people they didn’t even know existed.”
One way is to strengthen the relationship between student leaders, such as resident advisors and life leaders, which would help broaden the diversity of a unified community, said Logan, a sophomore life leader who is in Christian Studies.
“There are so many people that live in these dorm buildings and a lot of time you will just see the outgoing ones and the social ones, and we will call it good. But there are people who don’t feel as valued as the rest because they are just not as social,” he said.
“We really need to go out of our way — with campus integration — to meet people where they are at. “’Hey, I’m here. Let’s do life, let’s talk and how are you?’”
In conversations with students and during a question-and-answer session last week, the new leaders learned that students were passionate about sustainability on campus, a platform pushed by this year’s president, Sam Yonan.
He said Yonan also did a good job expanding the representation of clubs in student government and they want to continue to do that, including widening the interest in clubs to those not currently involved.
Because prior administrations worked hard at bringing student government more out in the open and making it fun and engaging, a record 93 applicants filed for positions with the government. The will interview those students in the coming weeks, Mahoney said.
“There was a stigma of student government as a place where smart kids lock themselves in,” he said. “The mindset has changed. We want to continue to build on that.”
Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.