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Windy Meet and Greet at Meriam Library

Despite the wind, many students came out to meet with AS candidates, if only for a free lunch.
Image of several students and AS representatives helping AS election candidates set up their tables for the Meet and Greet event. Taken on March 28 by Maki Chapman.

The Associated Students ran a Meet and Greet with Candidates on Thursday, the first of three similar events happening for the AS election.

Situated at the breezeway at Meriam Library, it was an opportunity for candidates to meet with students in a public setting to answer questions, and pitch their platform.

Each candidate was offered a table to be decorated, which many took advantage of with tri-fold displays that offered a visual aid for who they were and why they were running.

As an incentive, students who signed in with CatsConnect, the event site, were given the opportunity to get a free lunch from the Mi Taquito Grill or Harvester food trucks on campus.

One issue that became apparent early on in the event was the wind. Several times, piles of fliers flew away in the wind from Bailey Ham’s — who is running for senator of the College of Agriculture —  table, as well as Aishawarya Gowda, who is running unopposed to become director of social justice and equity. Before long it seemed that most tables abandoned the idea of fliers, with a couple of exceptions.

For much of the event, it seemed like both candidates and students were having a good time, with a steady trickle of students coming in at 11 a.m., all the way to a minor burst of activity at the closing at 2 p.m.

There was a dramatic increase in student engagement at noon, with dozens of students filling the breezeway mere minutes after the clock shifted. Abigalgrace Skinner, the Operations Programmer for Associated Students, said that the timing “was on purpose.”

By setting up during lunchtime, Skinner thought more students would come for the free food, and also meet up with the candidates.

At noon, music was played at both sides of the breezeway, making the event feel far more like a party than a somber meeting with the student government.

It was a change from last year’s meet and greet, Skinner said, though she was studying abroad at the time. This year, she wanted it to be bigger and better, making sure to step up outreach to students by having AS representatives pitch the event to students during class, as well as an email blast to get the word out.

Most tables offered a button that said “VOTE,” while others offered assorted candy to anyone who stopped by their table.

One candidate, Flor Ibarra, who is another candidate for the senator of college of agriculture, offered tiny plants to passersby.

Other candidates also offered personalized bracelets, some being made of beads, others made of rubber.

This was only the first event for the elections. Next week is another Meet and Greet on Wednesday at the Housing Courtyard, and an Election Day Extravaganza next Thursday, which is the same day as the election.

Maki Chapman can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Maki Chapman, Reporter
Maki Chapman is a journalism major with a minor in German and is currently in his final year at Chico State. Having been interested in journalism for a long time now, he looks forward to working on The Orion again. In his free time he plays Dungeons and Dragons on the weekends. After graduation, he hopes to become a freelance journalist and writer.

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