Cote, Pritchard sworn in as student body leaders

New student body president Ashley Cote is sworn in by outgoing president Jagaar Halverson during the ASGCU Inauguration at the Colangelo College of Business lobby.

Photos by Ralph Freso / Slideshow

A personable pair of leaders was sworn in Monday at the Associated Students of Grand Canyon University Inauguration, along with student body senators and legislative directors.

Ashley Cote, the new student body president, said afterward that she was real nervous, no hiding it. That openness was promised during her speech to those assembled in the Colangelo College of Business lobby – with vice president David Pritchard at her side.

“Our campaign promised one thing, for David and I to serve a term full of transparency,” she told them. “I will not have all the answers. I’m ready to live and breathe this position to make GCU better for all students, you can be assured, to the best of my abilities.”

New student body president Ashley Cote addresses students and guests after being sworn in.

She was asked afterward what transparency meant in the role as a liaison between students and University leadership in 2024-25.

“I think students hear something that we want to get done, and then when it doesn’t happen, they are like, ‘Why didn’t you do it?’ We are going to try to do it, but if we can’t get a certain thing on campus, we want to just let the students know why,” said Cote, a sophomore from San Diego majoring in sports and entertainment management.

Her openness to communication was apparent in her speech after she and Pritchard were sworn in by outgoing president Jagaar Halverson and vice president Amaya De La Cruz.

“A few months back Amaya asked me, ‘What are you passionate about?’ I thought about it.

“I am Ashley, and I’m passionate about loving others and making Jesus' name known. These past three months (since her election) I have found myself praying the same prayer, that God would work through me.”

She wants to give thanks and show gratitude, not something you often hear from someone in a political role.

“My hope is that we will find joy in these small moments and in our conversations,” she said.

New student body vice president David Pritchard is sworn in by outgoing vice president Amaya De La Cruz during the ASGCU Inauguration at the Colangelo College of Business lobby.

Pritchard also shared his warmth, matching perfectly with Cote’s purple blouse and black pantsuit with his black suit and purple tie.

“My mom was looking for a purple tie for a long time,” he said before flipping it over after being asked where she got it and squinting to read the label. “David something. That’s my name.

“I’m ecstatic. It is everything I would ask for. It’s finally hit: I’m no longer student body vice president-elect, I’m student body vice president.”

During the campaign, Pritchard shared that one of his last conversations with his pilot father before he died was an encouragement to run for student government. This summer he wants to continue to work on his flight hours to get his own pilot license. But there’s also much work to do on campus.

Ashley Cote was sworn in as study body president during the Associated Students of GCU Inauguration on Monday at Colangelo College of Business lobby, along with vice president David Pritchard. They promised a transparent leadership style in 2024-25, and their openness showed at the ceremony.
Outgoing president Jagaar Halverson high fives new student body president Ashley Cote during the ASGCU Inauguration.

Cote and Pritchard already have begun meeting with University leaders and had their first face-to-face with President Brian Mueller.

“The big thing for us is emphasizing safety because the campus is growing,” Cote said afterward. “Everything, such as fixing potholes, signage, parking lot lighting.”

She wants to make sure students have the resources they need on campus.

But she also said she is filling big shoes. Halverson said in his speech that he was grateful to be helped by many in his term, which continued to show him that “GCU is a special place.” And outgoing vice president De La Cruz told him, “When you run for president of the United States one day, you have my vote.”

It was De La Cruz who set an example of female leadership to Cote, when she broke a streak of nearly a decade without a woman in one of the top two positions at ASGCU.

“This whole process has taught me that no matter where you come from and what positions you have been in previously, your hard work and effort will pay off,” Cote said. “I hope this inspires other girls to want to step up in higher leadership positions.”

She said that because both she and Pritchard rose from lower positions within ASGCU in one year could set them apart.

“Normally you have some transition between, but that will allow us to be more willing to learn and maybe try some things differently,” she said. “We are just ready to learn.”

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected]

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Related content:

GCU News: Student government candidates' pitch to lead is personal

GCU News: Student body leaders wrap up term with glowing review

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GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when He appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel — I will celebrate before the Lord. (2 Samuel 6:21)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/