Associated Students of Oregon State University extends date to file for candidacy

Thomas Kelley News Contributor

Organization extending deadline for application, hoping to see more file

Facing a shortage of candidates and a lack of voter turnout, the Associated Students of Oregon State University are experiencing hurdles for the student election process.

The original deadline to apply for candidacy for the House of Representatives has been extended , according to ASOSU Vice President and Chief Elections Officer Lyndi Petty, because of a lack of candidates. The deadline has been extended to Friday, March 11 at 9 p.m.

“There are only 18 undergraduate students running for 25 open House of Representatives seats, and only one graduate student running for five available graduate seats,” Petty said.

Petty and the ASOSU Elections Committee have set goals to increase voter turnout and provide equal campaigning opportunities for this year’s elections. She said that this year, they want a voter turnout rate of 20 percent, rather than last year’s 9.5 percent and the previous year’s 15 percent. Petty said she is aware many people might not vote, however, her and the Elections Committee hope to start a trend of rising voter turnout this year.

“To prevent voter burnout, we limited the election time this year from two weeks, to three days,” Petty said. “We’re hoping it puts pressure on students to vote, rather than them putting it off and forgetting about it.”

Petty wants everyone to vote. She said that the ASOSU advocates for students, and every student should have an adequate say. Students will be voting for SIFC members, who control $1.2 million of student fees, in April. The SIFC has authority to allocate money as it sees fit to programs like recreational sports, ASOSU Saferide, Student Health Services, Diversity Development and the SIFC administration’s pay, according to Petty.

There have been some big changes to the guidelines for this year’s student elections.

According to Petty, last year’s candidates were allowed a budget of $1000 for campaigning. This year, they have been limited to $500. The reason for the change is because the elections committee noticed that those who spent the most on their campaign almost always won. The committee saw this as unfair and decided to try to do something about it.

“We want to even the playing field for everyone running,” said ASOSU President Cassie Huber.

Candidates will be running for the positions of ASOSU President & Vice President, Speaker of the House, Senators, House of Representatives Members and Student Incidental Fees Committee Members.

Raul Munoz, executive director of promotions and outreach, said that there will be information on campaigns everywhere. There will be voting tables set up across campus providing an opportunity of easy access to busy voters. Social Media will see a lot of promotion and there will be new stickers placed across walkways, intended to catch the eye of walkins voters with their heads down, according to Munoz

According to the Elections Committee’s 2016 Elections Packet, Undergraduate candidates looking to hold office are required to maintain a 2.0 GPA and hold at least six credit hours per term. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and be registered for at least five credit hours.

According to the ASOSU Elections Committee, some important, quickly approaching dates for voters include March 21, the day online campaigning begins starting at 12:01 a.m.; March 28, when on-campus campaigning begins; April 4, from 1 to 3 p.m., the first and only debate between candidates; and the days of voting which are April 6, starting at 12:01 a.m. through April 8 at 10 p.m.

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