On Friday, March 9, Victor Mweu and Liam Crays waited to hear the news of whether or not they would be serving as AU’s student body president and vice president during the 2018-19 academic year. The results came in with Mweu and Crays receiving 80 percent of students electing them as the new campus leaders.
For Mweu and Crays, running for office was something they took very seriously. “Many efforts were put into place for campaigning this year,” says Mweu. “Even though we didn’t run against other candidates, we still put in the work to campaign.”
“It wasn’t easy by any means because we still needed the majority to vote for us,” says Crays.
Having previously worked together in SGA, Mweu and Crays are familiar with one another in the professional realm. Mweu has served as vice president and Crays as chief of staff.
Additionally, Crays worked closely with current president Hamilton Smith and Mweu by helping to align their schedules for meetings, make sure they would attend events and create their agendas.
In serving as this year’s vice president, Mweu believes he has the experience and the capabilities to lead as next year’s president. “For me, it was really good to help support Hamilton as his vice president because I saw what it looked like to be a great leader,” says Mweu. “Of course, no matter what, I will keep moving forward to improve as a leader.”
Mweu and Crays saw that they had the opportunity to instill changes that students have voiced complaints about. They already have many plans and changes in mind to start fostering on campus for the 2018-19 school year.
“I would like to see the Student Center refurbished in many ways,” says Mweu. “Anywhere from Mocha Joe’s to the Haven is where we are looking to implement some changes.”
Mweu is an international student and would like to create more opportunities for the cultural students to come together. Crays desires as well to work hard to make sure that all of AU’s students, no matter what culture they come from, feel that they are a part of a united community.
One change Crays has been rigorously working on this past year is improving AU food services. “This year started off slow for food services, but after the first semester, we’ve made significant progress with the staff to aid students’ requests,” says Crays. He assures that the food services staff have been working closely with SGA to hear students’ concerns.
“We have sent out surveys and Google forms to specific departments to hear all different types of concerns from students who utilize dining services,” says Crays.
Although Mweu and Crays can’t fix everything, what they plan to do is hear the concerns from students and then work to make those changes little by little.
“I think that what makes this place great is we have the capability to fix the little things,” says Mweu. “When we gather little wins, it makes the whole AU experience better.”
Their leadership will reflect how they will set the tone for incoming and current students.
“We want to be stronger together,” says Mweu. “I have said this before, I only think I’m a vessel for this campus and believe I’m not above anyone.”
Several current SGA members, including President Hamilton Smith, Social Service Club Coordinator Saige Royer and Senate Chair Zach Van Duyn, fully support Mweu and Crays’ leadership for the upcoming term.
“I really have loved working with Victor and Liam this past year,” says Royer. “I believe both of them will do great in the office together by providing leadership, discipline, structure, enthusiasm and of course a lot of jokes.”
In working closely with Mweu in the past year, Smith wishes both of them only the best in their new positions. “Victor and Liam are both excellent leaders, both in unique and diverse ways. I have full faith in the direction they aspire to take the student body,” says Smith.
“They will really tackle the problems that the campus faces,” says Van Duyn. “I genuinely have a lot of faith in them to hit the ground running for the future and from their past experiences.”
Mweu and Crays recognize that, while hard work can go a long way, they desire to leave behind strong legacies as leaders at AU.
“I want to be known as a leader who has that personal connection with people,” says Crays. “As the vice president, I want to listen to people intently and not let what people say go in one ear and out the other.”
As the new leaders charge forward into the future, Mweu and Crays strive to bring together their passions in order to serve students in the best ways possible.
“I am very honored and eager to work with many people who are just as passionate about this campus as I am,” says Mweu.