Brigham Young University President Rex Lee's son Mike is a chip off the old presidential block. The BYU student body Thursday elected Mike Lee president of the BYU Student Association.
Lee, a junior in political science, has many things in common with his dad. He wants to be a lawyer and has a knack for leadership.But the diplomatic younger Lee insists his father was neutral throughout the presidential campaign - and says he isn't following in his father's footsteps.
The fact that I', related to the president of the university was not an issue in the campaign. I have my own goals and ideas. I saw a need within the association and a way in which I could make necessary changes," Mike Lee said.
But Lee modestly admitted his dad is delighted. "I suppose he's proud of me. I talked to him Thursday night, and he was pleased," he said.
After days of door-to-door, hard-core campaigning on what other candidates called a "radical" platform of ideas, Lee was glad it was over.
"I talked to students all week. I'm exhausted," he said.
The "radical" platform focused on Lee's desire to get rid of the selections process of BYUSA candidates in favor of more democratic general elections. The nominating committee made up of students and faculty members received harsh criticism this election year for screening who can and cannot run.
The chairman of BYU's Student Advisory Council, Steve Turley, was the only person denied approval to run for BYUSA President. The nominating committee told no one, including Turley, the reasons for the decision.
"The selections process is a suggestion to the students that they're not trusted in making decisions. What happened (with Turley) indicates part of the problem," Lee said.
The same council that Turley chairs - a branch of BYUSA - voted unanimously Thursday for the elimination of the selections committee in favor of a direct student body election. That recommendation will be considered by BYU's Advisory Council, composed of administrators, students and those involved with the election process.
BYUSA is a not a student legislative body, but a student service association that does everything from organizing student dances and activities to service projects like working with senior citizens and helping physically handicapped people, Lee said.
Lee also campaigned for better-quality service activities, more involvement with the Student Advisory Council and elected class officers for the freshmen class. He'd also like to have vice presidents elected rather than selected.
But President Rex Lee won't be helping President Mike Lee accomplish these goals.
"My dad won't have an effect on my position. There is no official contact between the president of BYUSA and the president of the university," he said.