As the voting for student government representatives kicks off today, candidates, their supporters and campaign managers are working double time to mobilized the student vote, which in past years, has had a disappointing turnout.
When students log into RAMweb this week, they will find a ballot to vote for one of four presidential tickets, senators to represent the college from their primary major and, for the first time ever, their favorite student-designed Forever Green T-shirt for next year.
“It’s literally a 30-second process from start to finish,” said Emily Laue, the elections manager for Associated Students of CSU.
The quick and convenient voting process, ASCSU hopes, will draw students to vote.
In past elections, students typically voted between two presidential candidates. This year, RAMweb had to be tweaked to accommodated the crowded race and a write-in candidate, which students can nominate on the ballot if they are not satisfied with the other candidates.
“Having four candidates really changes the whole game,” Laue said. “There has been countless, countless, changes for the four candidates.”
Laue said stricter regulations have been implemented this year to ensure all four presidential candidates have an equal opportunity to campaign.
Dividing plaza space, coordinating last Wednesday’s debate, and scheduling for candidates to meet with student organizations are a few of the challenges ASCSU has had to overcome, Laue said.
The added interest in running for president and vice president this year has also made filling senator positions a challenge, but Laue said the trade-off of senators for presidential candidates is an exciting change for the face of leadership on campus.
“I am very excited there are four candidates,” Laue said. “I think it shows that CSU is growing by leaps and bounds in their leadership . Students feel like they can be a leader as opposed to sitting on the sidelines.”
Laue and ASCSU hope to bring 25 percent — or 6,000 — of the student body to RAMweb, a lofty goal considering last year’s turnout hovered just below 19 percent.
“We need to push to get to 25 percent,” said Katie Gleeson, the current president of ASCSU. Gleeson encourages seniors to vote as well, even though they are graduating.
“You should be invested in the future of your university,” she said. With four presidential candidates this year, Gleeson said she hopes students will take the time to do a little research.
Students can watch the ASCSU presidential debates on the campus TV station’s Web site, ctv11.com.
Senior Reporter Kaeli West can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.