Starting in the fall semester of 2021, the student government at the University of Maine will have a new president and vice president. On Monday, March 22, UMaine elected Zack Wyles as their new president and Elizabeth Davis as their vice president of the student body. Both have been impactful forces in the campus community, doing exceptional work within the student government. Given these new roles, the two hope to accomplish even more.
The candidates in this election cycle ran in pairs. Wyles ran for the presidency, choosing Peter Alexander as his running mate. In the other corner, Harrison Ransley ran as the incumbent for the president positionseat, with Davis as his vice president pick. While the results aren’t exactly what the two winners may have expected, they are both determined that they will work well together this fall.
“While I felt bad that the original plan wasn’t working out, I do think that working with Zack will be very exciting,” Davis said.
“I can’t wait to work with Elizabeth, I think we are gonna make a great team,” Wyles said.
Wyles is currently the vice president of the student government. He is charged with running the weekly student senate meetings while pursuing projects to help the student body. He ran on the platform of lowering textbook pricing and trying to get Mainestreet to give a preview of the class syllabus so students can have a better idea of what classes entail, rather than going in blind at the beginning of the semester. The current senate administration helped re-establish last semester’s pass/fail protocol for classes, which has been greatly appreciated by students since its reintroduction.
Davis is a member of the student senate and is the current vice president of the UMaine Pre-Law Society, where she has made great strides in the campus community. She ran on a platform advocating for better mental health services and student rights on campus. She also wants to try and expand the menu options for dining halls around campus. She is hoping that these efforts will lead to an overall more sustainable and healthy campus environment.
While the two ran on different platforms, they both have agreed that all the issues they brought up during the campaign are important. Since the election, both have already come up with plans for how to implement policy ideas next semester, with a big issue being student mental health.
“We 100% want to make sure that student mental health is in a sound place. We should be coming back in full next semester, and we want students to be ready for that change,” Wyles said.
“We want to be supporting mental health at all times. We will be supporting 24/7 call lines, and having student voices heard in planning committees. We want to establish a strong connection between faculty, senate and the student body,” Davis said.
The fall semester is looking to have some fresh faces and new leadership. After this week, the student senate will also have its various committee officer positions filled, meaning that the full student government team will be assembled.