Feb 232009
Authors: Shelley Woll

No applications have been received so far for next year’s student government leadership positions, officials said Monday, which was the first day the Associated Students of CSU started accepting them.

Phillip Camillo, the director of marketing for ASCSU, said the organization didn’t expect to have applicants this early because word regarding the openings won’t get out until later this week when, he said, student heads will start beefing up advertising and meeting with college leaders across campus.

But Camillo said he hopes the turnout for positions accelerates, as only 25 out of 35 Senate seats are currently filled, and only one out of the three positions for graduate students are filled.

And the turnover at ASCSU is expected to be substantial, with most of the integral figures in the organization moving on to graduate school or minimizing their roles to focus on school next year.

Camillo said duties of senators in the organization are largely ambiguous, which leads to misunderstandings between the Senate and individual colleges at CSU.

“We wanted to revamp the senate recruitment this year to create competition within the election and to fill every seat we can,” Camillo said. “I don’t think most students realize how important the Senate is and how much stuff they do.”

Zane Guilfoyle, the chair of the student government Elections Committee this year, said no information about applicants will be released until March 13 when the application process is over.

Last year’s elections saw heavy controversy, when, for the first time in its 102-year history, Taylor Smoot and Quinn Girrens’ election to top executive positions was appealed under what a former chief justice called “gross violations” of campaign policy.

Edward Modec, the student who filed the appeal, said then-Elections Committee Chair Emily Laue had given preferential treatment to the Smoot/Girrens ticket when the committee allowed them to hold a campaign concert in the Lory Student Center Plaza that could have placed them over their campaign’s spending limit.

The appeal was overturned after a long series of spats between student leaders, which Smoot said hurt core relationships in the organization.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced last year was just mending the relationships that were broken,” Smoot said. “. That’s something that Quinn really had to face, and she has done an absolutely phenomenal job with it.”

Camillo said each year, ASCSU members can take up office in one of two ways: One, by getting the individual’s name on the ballot by applying for a position, and the other, by being appointed by a college council member if the desired seat remains open by the time fall semester begins.

Student government’s marketing department, Camillo said, will run numerous campaigns to bolster voter turnout in coming weeks, including advertising Senate accomplishments in the Collegian ads and distributing posters around campus.

ASCSU hopes to let college council members know what senators have authority to do at their Senate meeting Wednesday at 5 p.m. to clear confusion about the positions.

Candidates for president and vice president must have completed 60 or more credits by the time they take office and maintain a 2.25 GPA for their entire term while taking a minimum of six credits. Senators must have a 2.0 and take six credits as well.

ASCSU beat writer Shelley Woll can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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