Voting virtually for your student representatives

Associated Student elections are fast approaching, candidate numbers are remaining slim, and ballot emails are coming
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by Matthew Taylor

Associated Students’ elections are coming fast, yet empty seats and uncontested positions stay plentiful. Fifteen positions stand open for election with only nine candidates on the ballot and write-up so far. Current A.S. members Chase Marcum and Giovanni Guerrero are running for the only contested seat, the presidency. Students have until April 14 to run as a write-in candidate, however.

Four particular candidates bring unique attention from outside the rotation of previous A.S. board members. One such candidate is Sawyer Chrisman, a communications major, seeking out the position of Administrative Vice President. Similar to most eventual members of the A.S, Chrisman was encouraged by a current member to run.

“I’m good friends with Chase,” Chrisman said. “We were talking about A.S because beforehand when I got to Humboldt, I was president of my student government community college.”

Other first-time A.S. members running for positions include Payton Belle, Gerardo Hernandez, and Sebastian Taylor.

Elections will take place between April 18 to April 22 via emails sent to each Cal Poly Humboldt students’ official school email. The election will be done by choice voting, in which students choose candidates from most preferred to least preferred. The candidate who receives the most preferred votes in an amount of 50% plus one wins. Certain positions which represent the university’s specific colleges, such as the College of Natural Resources & Sciences Representative, may only be voted on by students majoring in that particular college. Before elections take place, however, candidates will be expected to participate in a public debate and campaign speech on April 14.

“Candidates will debate against those candidates that are running under the same position,” current A.S. President Lizbeth Cano Sanchez said. “It will be a 20-minute debate [for each position]. These debates will take place via a Zoom webinar and in-person in Nelson Hall East 106.”

Candidates who run uncontested are only expected to give a speech. Prior to and after the debates, candidates are highly encouraged to campaign all across campus after seeking approval at the Office of Student Life located within the SAC. This is especially imperative to late write-in candidates whose names will not explicitly be found on the ballot.

“Do not pressure anyone, do not make anyone feel like they need to vote for you,” Cano Sanchez said. “We do not want to make our students uncomfortable, especially if you’re about to be one of their leaders.”

Final results will be first published on April 25 and the transitional A.S. Board meeting on May 6.

Only 5.6% of students eligible to vote did in last year’s A.S. election cycle. In order for a true majority of student participation, the A.S. must encourage a little under 3,000 students to vote. A lack of time and contesting candidates only serve to prove the difficulty that the association has ahead of itself. For more specific information about the elections, you can email as-staff@humboldt.edu or call (707) 826-5410.

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