Associated Students hopes for larger voter turnout this year


Students vote through email and A.S. hopes more students will vote because of how convenient it is. Illustration by William French

The Associated Students elections are happening April 12. Students will receive an email to their campus account with a link prompting them to the simple online poll. For students with a smartphone hooked up with the Chico State email, they can vote in the A.S. elections instead of checking Instagram again.

“Voting literally takes less than three minutes,” said Alexandria Alcantar, the elections and outreach coordinator for Associated Students. “It’s super easy to do.”

The election period remains open for 24 hours. Part-time, graduate and online students are eligible, and administrators urge them to vote.

“Voting is one way students can make sure their student leaders are advocating for them,” said Nan Timmons, the election supervisor for A.S. “Associated Students is supposed to complement and enhance what administrators are doing on the academic side.”

A.S. organizes the entire campus dining system, volunteer programs such as CAVE, CLIC and GSEC, and fitness activities including the WREC and Adventure Outings. A.S. also represents student interests through its student government.

“Students have voices on the boards and councils,” Timmons said. “Members of the administration along with the student officers sit with the board of directors and they make policies and decisions related to budgeting, to staff, changes to policies and procedures, and following the strategic plan.”

In the upcoming election, students will be voting on three issues: Each voter gets to decide where to allocate $15 through revenue sharing. This is tuition money that students get to designate. There are 121 official clubs or organizations that can receive the revenue. The funds will be available for the organizations beginning next school year. The third measure of the ballot involves single-use plastic water bottles, Timmons said.

“We are thinking this year we will get a boost because of the national election,” she said.

A total of 4,625 students voted in last year’s A.S. election. This is up from 3,787 voters in 2014. Alcantar said the voting process is so accessible to students, they can comfortably vote at home while in their pajamas.

“There is no reason not to vote,” she said. “We plan to reach out to the non-regular voters. Usually people that vote are part of an organization or sorority, because of the revenue sharing.”

Timmons stressed the importance of voting because A.S. officials represent the entire student body.

“Because these are the voices of you, they represent all 17,000 of you,” she said. “So people shouldn’t take that lightly.”

As the election nears, The Orion will host a special section dedicated to A.S. candidates.

Voting for the 2016 A.S. elections takes place April 12. A.S. will host free events for students to meet candidates. Infographic courtesy of A.S.

Jeremy Steele can be reached at [email protected] or @jaysteele619 on Twitter.