Three top student government positions were vacated last semester after students stepped down following a public controversy, leaving the succeeding senate president to fix the damage.
“The main task that I have is to repair our image,” said student body president, Kevin Leon-Martinez.
Last semester, the previous student body president, Issac Hernadez, student body vice president, Dyana Melchor and senate president, Jesse Welch, stepped down from their positions halfway through the school year.
According to their new interim advisor, Marni Dow, the bylaws and constitution of the organization states that if the president, vice president and senate president step down, the third person in line is the senate president pro tempore. Leon-Matrinez held this position last semester and jumped right up to the top seat in student government this semester.
“When the [unity ticket] was elected, he already said he was going to resign from the position,” Leon-Martinez said about his prior knowledge of Welch’s plan to leave nearly a year ago. “The moment I got senate president pro tempore, I already worked under two people for the senate president, and I had the whole summer to train myself for [senate president].”
But when Welch stepped down and Leon-Martinez became senate president, he would only hold his new position for a week before Hernandez and Melchor would resign from their elected roles.
“I was not prepared for this,” Leon-Martinez said after only being senate president for a week and then moving up to student body president.
He used his winter break to prepare for his new title, which has required a lot of catching up.
Hernandez sent an email that defended himself to all undergraduate students after a petition was created that asked to have the student body president and vice president removed. Leon-Martinez believes Hernandez’s actions gave a negative image of student government. He asserts that student government members are students with shortcomings, and he wants to focus on repairing the image internally.
According to Leon-Martinez, his goal this semester is to repair the image of UNLV’s student government in preparation for the incoming elected executive branch. As of Jan. 21, there is a vacancy for the student body vice president that may be sworn in on Monday, Jan. 23. There are multiple open paid positions in the organization for students to apply.