Associated Students of Oregon State University election process underway

Sarah Weaver News Contributor

Information sessions mandatory for those interested in running

Prospective candidates for the 2016-2017 Associated Students of Oregon State University student government are learning about changes to campaign rules and how to run for office.

The informational meetings which will be held in the Memorial Union on several weekday afternoons throughout the next few weeks are the first step that all potential candidates must take in order to be considered eligible to run for a seat in student government.

This year, the President and Vice President ticket, Speaker of the House, seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives and the Student Incidental Fees Committee are all positions students can run for.

According to ASOSU Vice President Lyndi Petty, along with the traditional rules of ASOSU elections, there are new rules that all candidates must follow throughout the campaign to maintain eligibility for office.

Up until this year students running for office have had a $1,000 spending limit for the entirety of their campaign. Now, according to Petty, candidates for all tickets, including president and vice president, have a spending limit of $500.

Petty said that this change was designed to increase creativity and strategy amongst the candidates as well as make the elections more accessible to students. Traditionally, the students who spend the most money wind up winning the election which is unfair to other students, according to Petty.

“Cutting that in half is going to be more challenging but I truly believe it will make it more accessible for all students,” Petty said.

At the meeting Petty and the election committee emphasized that parties, the formation of groups of candidates pooling financial resources to gain traction in the race, is not allowed.

Voters can also expect to see changes on their end of the election as well. After years of having a two week window to cast their votes, ASOSU and the election committee has made it so students have 72 hours to make their choices.

Petty got the idea for a smaller voting window after attending a regional student government conference earlier this year and she learned that many other schools in surrounding states have voting windows as small as a single day.

“We have a very ambitious goal of reaching 20 percent voter turnout and that is going up from a 9.5 percent voter turnout last year,” Petty said. “In doing that we’re trying to make it a bigger deal from the beginning.”

After attending one of the information sessions, potential candidates must officially file for candidacy, prove their eligibility, and turn in a platform statement as well as a photo of the candidate(s) with an optional bio by Friday, March 18 at 5 p.m. Candidates will be certified by 10 p.m. that night.

From there candidates will be able to launch online campaigning at 12:01 a.m. on March 21, the first day of spring break.

On March 28 at 12:01 a.m. candidates will be allowed to begin on-campus and in-person campaigning which includes, but is not limited to, talking to student organizations, distributing posters and sending out emails through listservs.

After campaigning begins, a debate will be hosted in the Student Experience Center Plaza from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday April 4.

ASOSU and the election committee act as a support system for the candidates during the electoral and campaigning processes, specifically as a point of contact for any questions or concerns the candidates or any students may have about the election.

“We want to make sure that the election is accessible to everybody including students,” Petty said.

Freshman mechanical engineering major Alex Radcliffe and freshman biology pre-med major Kevin Nguyen are both ready for elections to be underway.

Radcliffe, a member of ASOSU’s house of representatives is looking to run for a seat in the senate while Nguyen is thinking about running for a seat in the house.

“I’m already in the house, so I’m just trying to keep that going,” Radcliffe said.

The next step for both Nguyen and Radcliffe is to file for candidacy and start preparing their respective social media campaigns.

The next information sessions for ASOSU elections are on March 1 in MU 221: American Indian Room at 3:00 pm and March 3 in MU 208: La Plaza Room at 3:00 pm. More information can be found at the ASOSU web page.

[email protected]

Was this article helpful?