What to do and expect during AS general election season


Courtesy Associated Students

The beginning of the spring semester means the start of classes and the ending of some university careers. It also means that it’s time for the Associated Students general election, a time to elect student officials for the following academic year.

“Over the last few years, we have seen a range from 12% to 20% voter turnout,” Election Supervisor Eliza Miller said. 

Though Miller says this statistic is relatively high within the CSU system, the AS views these statistics as an area to improve.

“Voting provides a valuable opportunity for the student body to not only select their representation for the upcoming year, but also directly allocate some of their student fee dollars to recognized student organizations through revenue sharing,” Miller said. ”We want to have as many students participating as possible!” 

When students vote they are given the opportunity to allocate up to $15 of their activity fee, which is rolled into tuition costs, to student organizations.

There are 17 available positions, including AS president, three vice presidents, two directors, four commissioners and seven senators, such as for the College of Agriculture and College of Natural Sciences. Full descriptions of each position can be found on the AS website.

“Develop a campaign platform, strategy and outreach,” and know the AS. These are bits of advice that the AS, on a presentation via their website, suggest that potential candidates think about.

The deadline to submit the online “Run for Office” application is March 1, he AS says that if you do not submit the form by this date you will not be considered an official candidate on the official ballot. However, efforts to fill the positions do not end there. There are multiple events and deadlines between March 1 and the AS Election Day on April 4.

After a candidate has submitted their initial application and has had a one-on-one meeting with Miller, their eligibility must be verified. A potential candidate must meet criteria set out by the Chancellor’s Office and AS bylaws. To check the bylaws, go here. If a candidate is approved, then the fun begins.

Candidates must submit an official declaration of candidacy by noon on March 9. From there, candidates must attend an orientation and begin planning their personal campaigns.

The AS aids in certain aspects of the campaign, such as hosting a Meet the Candidates BBQ on March 22, a “Quiz the Candidates” event on March 29 and the Election Extravaganza on Election Day.

Miller says that the BBQ is an opportunity for students to talk with candidates on the Trinity Lawn. This will benefit candidates and the student population by starting a conversation. Attendees will also benefit from this because if they talk to at least five candidates, students will receive a free meal ticket.

The “Quiz the Candidates” event promotes two-way communication between candidates and their constituents through a Q&A session.

The Election Extravaganza is an event designed to encourage students to vote, as well as give the candidates another opportunity to promote their platform. There will be tabling, games and food trucks.

According to the AS website, running for office can help with personal and professional development, provide mentorship opportunities, allow students to get a peek behind-the-scenes of higher education and business processes, participate in shared governance and allow officers to represent their fellow students when campus decisions are being made.

Events like these are a way for the AS to encourage the student population to vote.

If you have questions about the AS elections, email Miller at [email protected], or call her at 530-898-4988. She can also be found at the Wildcat Leadership Center in BMU 220.

Ariana Powell can be reached at [email protected].