Applications were due Monday for Downtown student government elections, and Downtown students may see three candidates gunning for the presidency in several weeks.
“This year when students are asked to vote … they’re still going to see there’s three parties on (the ballot),” Director of Administration Rudy Rivas said. “It’s going to be a really competitive and healthy election season.”
Of the 19 students signed up to run, 17 submitted their applications on Monday, including all nine students on executive board tickets.
Rivas said last week he thought most students would turn in their applications on the last day, but he didn’t know how many there would be.
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” Rivas said. “I was just hoping for it to be competitive.”
The specific seats students applied to run for will be released Monday with their names, Rivas said.
The ticket of President Joseph Grossman and Vice President of Services David Bakardjiev was the only pair on the ballot last year, and only four senators were on the ballot. The rest of the candidates, including the two other executive tickets, were write-ins.
The election committee and ASU administrators at the Downtown campus will review all the applications for eligibility over the next week. The students who are approved will be announced Monday, and campaigning can begin the week after spring break.
The time between Monday’s announcement and the beginning of the election on March 26 will be a dangerous time for candidates, USGD members said. The election code states candidates cannot campaign before the prescribed date, even though their names will be released.
“As long as (the candidates) aren’t actively campaigning, they should be fine,” Senate Leader Zack Lindsay said.
Grossman and College of Public Programs Sen. Cecilio Porras already announced they would be running earlier this semester.
These announcements, which came during Senate meetings on Feb. 6 and Friday, could be considered a violation because they came before the official announcement.
But Rivas said the election committee would only review potential violations when a formal complaint is filed. Those documents can be filled out by Downtown students and are found on the USGD website.
“Unless there is a complaint, the election committee won’t be talking about it,” Rivas said.
With more students running, USGD members said this campaign season should be much different than last year’s.
Last year, then-candidate Grossman spent hours on Taylor Mall talking to students who walked by, while Cano and Inzunza were out there only a fraction of the time.
With three candidates possibly on the ballot, Lindsay said this election could involve the campaigns blanketing public areas to gather support.
“Hopefully you’ll see more people out there on Taylor Mall and in Taylor Place lobbying students on a personal basis,” said Lindsay, the only sitting senator who was on the ballot last year. “I would like to see a lot more of the spirit of the campaign season.”
The increase in participation may be due to the emphasis that was put on increasing publicity of the elections this year. Last year, senators criticized how poorly election informational sessions were advertised. This year, USGD public relations used flyers, email lists, posters and advertising to inform students about the upcoming application deadline.
“We tried really hard to spread the word about this,” USGD Public Relations Director Danielle Chavez said. “Students wanted to get involved and they saw this as a way they could.”
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