The closed Associated Students office on March 26. AS has pushed its student officer elections back due to COVID-19. | Photo by Dakota Cox

Associated Students Elections Delayed Due to COVID-19

Associated Students Board of Directors redesigns spring elections
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Associated Students Board of Directors redesigns spring elections

The Associated Students Board of Directors motioned to push their voting period for their upcoming elections back two weeks and expand the period from three to five days, now April 27 through May 1.

The March 27 AS Board meeting held through Zoom included the extension of the filing period for AS candidates to April 16 and several other amendments to the upcoming elections. Elections Commissioner Cassaundra Caudillo said postponing the election could be beneficial.

“It allows for professional staff and the Elections Commission to promote elections a bit longer, so that way we raise our chances of having candidates for each position,” Caudillo said. “Because at the moment, we don’t have a candidate for every position. Not only that, but it also allows students themselves to have an additional two weeks to apply for candidacy.”

“In general, postponing elections for two weeks allows everyone to have a fair and equitable chance at running.”

Cassaundra Caudillo, AS Elections Commissioner and Public Relations Officer

AS Executive Director Jenessa Lund said students expressed interest running in this election who haven’t had the opportunity to take the necessary steps to sign up before the office closed.

“In general, postponing elections for two weeks allows everyone to have a fair and equitable chance at running—keeping in mind the situation we’re all in and how much added stress we’ve all been faced with as students and as human beings,” Caudillo said.

While minimum residency and unit load qualifications are still in place, candidates are no longer required to appear in person to obtain their nomination materials, as the AS office has closed its doors. Students can find everything they need under the “Elections!” tab on the AS website.

Students are also no longer required to supply petitions with 150 student signatures. The candidate quad talk will be replaced with one-minute videos of candidates reading their speeches that will be shared on AS social media. Requirements of wet signatures from candidates will be swapped with a Google forum, and the candidate orientations will now be held over Zoom on April 16 and 17.

The AS Board is willing to review and consider reimbursing any campaign supplies that can no longer be distributed.

AS President Lizbeth Cano-Sanchez described the value of joining AS in a separate interview with The Lumberjack.

“Education is power, and in AS you can put your education to practice, because there’s a lot of things that correlate with it,” Cano-Sanchez said. “It helps you develop yourself, and at the same time, we’re students serving students and that’s really important.”

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