Sen. Frank Smith III elected Downtown student government president

(Matt Longdon/DD)
University College Sen. Frank Smith III was elected USGD president, receiving 54.3 percent of the total votes cast. (Matt Longdon/DD)

Current University College Sen. Frank Smith III was elected USGD president Thursday, beating out Barrett, The Honors College Sen. Travis Arbon.

Smith, a freshman, received 358 votes, or 54.3 percent of the total votes cast. Arbon received 301 votes, approximately 47 percent.

“I am blown out of this world right now,” Smith said. “I’m just a general studies student. I didn’t think I had a chance over Travis, a Barrett student.”

Smith received word of his win while headed to Mexico with his scholarship program to help build a home for a family.

Upon hearing the margin of Smith’s win, Arbon only said, “Wow.”

“I want to congratulate my opponent on a hard campaign,” Arbon said. “He really did some awesome stuff, and I hope his administration fulfills its promises to students, and helps student government move forward.”

Arbon said it was still too early to tell whether he’d be pursuing a seat in the Senate next year.

While current two-term President Joseph Grossman didn’t make an official endorsement during the campaigning, Smith said he looks forward to working with Grossman in his final month.

“(Grossman) didn’t endorse anyone, but he was there, continuing to doing his job,” Smith said. “I’m really going to seek out a lot of help from him and pick up where he left off. I’ll be looking for pointers, tips and contacts to help me out with this position.”

As a Universtiy College senator, Smith helped write several bills, including one seeking extended University Center library hours and one looking for an overhaul of the purchasing card system.

Smith’s platform included a plan to make monthly payments available for downtown students looking for parking passes. He also seeks to thoroughly analyze student fees and weed out any “inappropriate” costs.

While Smith didn’t have much experience at the Capitol before his campaign began, he made several trips in the past few weeks, once to testify for Arziona Senate Bill 1208, seeking to allow foster youth to receive a tuition waiver.

Smith ran with Marcus Dudas, who will fill the vice president of services position, and Melber Macainan, who will be the new vice president of policy. Both vice presidents are freshmen, as well.

Frank Vasquez and Monique Hall were elected the senate representatives for the College of Public Programs, replacing Senate President Joey Amonett and Sen. Cy Porras.

Zakeeyah Habeel and Sally Bravo will serve as Senators for the College of Health Solutions, replacing current representatives Dean Thap and Sevance Rusley.

Stephany Caceres was re-elected to her Senate seat for the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

The last Senate meeting of the Grossman administration will be on April 19. Amonett said a special Senate meeting is in the works for the new administration to choose a Senate president.

Voting took place between Wednesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 4, and the results were released at 1:00 p.m. Friday.

Editor’s note: This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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