Editorâ€™s note: Associated Students of CSU presidential candidate Regina Martel is a current Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation board member.
Justin Thimgan lined up alongside 15 other CSU students Monday to cast his vote for the universityâ€™s next student body president and vice president, wondering not only which campaign deserves to be elected, but also which t-shirt size he should ask for after he casts his ballot.
â€œYou got to have a voice on your campus, and youâ€™ve got to vote for who will give you the best voice on the campus,â€ said the senior applied computing technology major.
Thimgan and other students queued throughout the day in front of an Associated Students of CSU voting kiosk beside Sweet Sinsations coffee shop in the Lory Student Center. In exchange for voting in this yearâ€™s student body presidential election, ASCSU gave students a university t-shirt and an Otter Box protective case. As of 4 p.m. Monday, 2,170 students had voted.
Itâ€™s a get-out-the-vote tactic that the ASCSU Elections Committee is using to drive students to their RAMWeb accounts, where they can vote for one of two presidential tickets until April 4.
â€œThis is one of the first years that Iâ€™ve seen a line as substantial as the one thatâ€™s standing out there right now,â€ said Andrew Ives, the ASCSU elections manager. â€œItâ€™s really showing that students are invested in this process and really want to influence ASCSUâ€™s election this year.â€
Approximately 22.8 percent of the CSU campusâ€™ 26,000 students voted in the 2011-2012 student body presidential race, up from the average 20 percent turnout.
â€œWe found that our voter turnouts were actually substantially higher than any of the peer institutions we could actually find,â€ Ives said.
And it may not be without reason. Between this yearâ€™s two tickets â€“â€“ John Dietrickâ€“Max Muller and Regina Martelâ€“Joe Eden â€“â€“ months of preparation and $4,000 have gone into campaigning for some of the most powerful campus positions a CSU student can hold.
â€œIt is chilly outside, but we are still excited and amped that students are getting out here, even though itâ€™s cold, and putting their vote and making their voices heard,â€ Dietrick said, braving Mondayâ€™s bad weather to pass out campaign flyers to passer-bys on the LSC Plaza. â€œI feel like the students realize how important the process is, and they want to take part in this. And I think thatâ€™s pretty cool.â€
His sentiments were echoed by his rival campaign, Martelâ€“Eden.
â€œWeâ€™re feeling very good. Very hopeful, and excited about Wednesday,â€ Eden said. â€œItâ€™s just one of those things where weâ€™re going to do everything in our power we can possibly do and hope for the best. â€¦ The rest is up to students.â€
Voting ends Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2011 Student Body Presidential Electionâ€™s Voting Demographics
Freshmen who voted: 182
Sophomores who voted: 1,560
Juniors who voted: 1,484
Seniors who voted: 1,188
This yearâ€™s election progress by the numbers
As of Monday at 4 p.m.
2,170 voters so far
8.9 percent voter turnout
2,4359 eligible voters