Known for his outspoken efforts around Bradley’s campus through areas such as the speech team, junior political science major David Daye has a specific image in mind when he thinks about the version of him that stepped onto the Hilltop during his freshman year.
“When I first arrived at Bradley, I was a nervous freshman,” Daye said. “I was a tad bit shy and afraid to reach out and make friends because I was terrified of rejection. But I slowly started to get involved and break out of my shell. Even then, I loved talking with people as I still do today.”
Daye further noted that his experiences with finding discipline in his schooling and structure in his schedule, especially during the past two years, have made him hone in on particular ideas: controlling what you can control and being present and reliable. He cites this as his mentality going into his role as student body president during the 2022-23 school year, which he was elected into on April 1 after running independently.
Joining Student Senate as a freshman, Daye has scaled the ranks over his nearly three years of involvement.
One role Daye held was chairperson of diversity and inclusion, where his noted achievements included passing one of two resolutions to clear Student Senate in early 2020 regarding future accessibility on campus, as well as bringing high-profile guest speakers both on campus (President Stephen Standifird and Provost Walter Zakahi) and off campus (local political candidates in the Peoria area).
While he credits this time with an in-and-out knowledge of how Student Senate operates, Daye was also sure to note that the fundamentals of the work he will do in his new role have not changed. On this note, his biggest goal will be connecting with Greek life and student organizations (one of the pillars of his campaign).
“I am a leader who likes to introduce myself, chat and keep open lines of communication,” Daye said. “I think open, constant and candid communication is the key to success for any leader, and I want it to start with the host of organizations that help make our campus thrive.”
Daye also plans to start the process of changing Student Senate’s biweekly requirements from just constituency reports to include more options, such as bringing friends to Senate events, working office hours or conducting listening sessions with student organizations.
Emma Hoyhtya, current student body president, has seen Daye’s presence in Student Senate since the beginning of his freshman year.
“He was very, very driven to be involved,” Hoyhtya said. “And for me personally, when I walked onto campus, I also was really excited to be part of Student Senate and to make it a goal to become president at some point. And I could just tell from the get-go that David and I were very similar in that way.”
Daye and Hoyhtya respectively served as speaker of the assembly and student body president during the 2020-21 school year, a year marked by fallout from the pandemic, and Hoyhtya credited Daye with helping Senate’s leadership run smoothly.
The two also ran for the inverse roles (Daye as president, Hoyhtya as speaker) for the 2021-22 school year as part of the “Building a Better Bradley” ticket. While Daye ultimately lost the runoff election for his position, he described running again independently as a more unique endeavor.
“Running independently is tough,” Daye said. “It is grueling because you have to do a lot of the work and heavy lifting yourself. However, it is easier in my opinion to brand one person and have consistent messaging than it is with more. Obviously, I’ve run in a ticket two times prior and they are definitely an asset, but specifically, at this moment, I felt it necessary to run solo.”
Daye also pointed to friends of his who helped make campaign materials as a resource that streamlined his campaigning, specifically naming Ginger Batton and Mallory Clark in his video statement following the election results.
Hoyhtya summarized Daye as a strong, people-oriented leader with expertise in the culture of Bradley. She highlighted his primary skill set as not just public speaking but the ability to articulate what students are feeling to the administration, which she believes is a key mission of Student Senate.
“He’s wildly driven, and you can just tell that he not only wants to be in Senate, but he wants to make Bradley a better place,” Hoyhtya said.