Junior history major Eli Reilly of Las Vegas won the Associated Students of the University of Nevada presidential race March 13, edging opponent Carmen Gilbert by just 11 votes.
The ASUN president represents the undergraduate student body of just more than 13,000 at Nevada.
Reilly described winning the election as surreal. He said the tension was high last week with the culmination of a tight race. The week previous, Gilbert had edged Reilly in the ASUN primary elections.
“We knew it was going to be a close and amazing race,” Reilly said. “When I heard my name, it was pretty unbelievable.”
Reilly said students responded to his campaign platform, and identified campus safety as one of the more important elements. He is working with University administrators on a blue-light phone tower project on campus, which would allow students to quickly call the Campus Escort Service or 911 from numerous locations.
Establishing more self defense workshops for students is another part of Reilly’s plan for campus safety.
He also hopes to find more funding for Campus Escort, a safe transportation service for students who are on campus after regular business hours.
“They can hire more drivers, get more vans and make the program run more efficiently,” Reilly said.
Finding more funding for clubs and campus programming is another goal for Reilly.
He believes that “enhancing the college experience” for students would help work against the temptation for students to become apathetic about the University.
“I want to create a much more dynamic environment around campus, and bigger and better events on campus,” the 20-year-old said.
To accomplish the goal, Reilly wants to create a University guide for students with information about campus history and traditions.
But the cornerstone of Reilly’s platform that received the largest response from students was his plan for a 24-hour campus. His proposal would allow students to use the Joe Crowley Student Union and Lombardi Recreation Center in the wee hours of the night.
“Not every student has a computer, but everyone has deadlines,” Reilly said. “Some students need access to facilities 24 hours a day.”
Apart from keeping to his platforms, Reilly is concerned with keeping motivation and ambition among ASUN officers high throughout the year.
“We all start off with the best of intentions, but people just lose their fire,” Reilly said. “If we can keep that enthusiasm going, the things we can do are limitless.”
Reilly served as vice president of tradition for Student Alumni in the 1457 club and as a member of the Sigma Nu social fraternity. He also was director of programming for the campus’ Flipside Productions, which allowed him to work with both administration and students.