It’s that time of year when the weather is warm, we can feel the end of the semester coming and ASCSU presidential candidates invade the plaza. If you are like I was when I was a freshman, before I joined ASCSU, you probably know little — if anything — about the elections process.
To start, elections are always held annually the third week after spring break. The candidates may campaign for election, which is what you have been seeing out on the Plaza recently. The official polling place is any on-campus public computer lab that is supported by student fees and any computer location administered by ASCSU for the express purpose of voting.
The elections committee, headed by the elections manager, is in charge of the crucial election operations. The election committee carries out violation hearings to enforce election guidelines and to give appropriate penalties for violations. The committee also holds orientations to ensure that candidates are well informed on the ASCSU Referenda and Elections Code and determines if a candidate is eligible to be certified to run for office.
If someone is to appeal a ruling by the ASCSU Elections Committee, they must file an appeal with the chief justice of the ASCSU Supreme Court. The appeal must be filed on the basis of a due process violation, inappropriate sanctions, or new information that may alter the outcome of the original hearing. A quorum of eligible ASCSU supreme court justices will render a final a binding decision, with no further appeal available.
A candidate’s campaign can be a deciding factor in any election, and ASCSU is no different. The candidates must submit their weekly donation and expenditure report, which outlines all campaign materials and shipping costs, including donated and discounted goods. The spending limit for the presidential campaign has been decreased from $2000 to $1500 this year, and any campaign that exceeds that limit is immediately expelled. They cannot use any student fees, university logos or the ASCSU logo for any campaign material. There is also a strict drug/alcohol policy during campaigning, for which candidates cannot use alcohol in any way to influence a vote and no illegal drug related activities may be involved in fundraising or campaigning.
Last but not least, voting will occur April 8 through April 10 on RamWeb. Each member of ASCSU may vote for one ticket. Voting is a simple process that would probably take less than a minute of your time. I would encourage students to educate themselves on the candidates as much as possible and vote.
Keith Patton, ASCSU Supreme Court Liaison