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ASCSU discusses changes to election code, new executive position

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that campaigns for president, vice president and senate do not have a financial limit for their campaigns. However, each of these positions do have financial limits: for president and vice president, it is $1,500; for senators, it is $200.

The Associated Students of Colorado State University discussed changes to the election code and ratified new members during a brief meeting Wednesday night.

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The resolution, which proposed new changes to the ASCSU Election Code due to the addition of the Speaker of the Senate position, was read on the floor. A majority of the changes to the resolution were to add and clarify the Speaker of the Senate position.

The Speaker of the Senate is a new position to be created this year as a result of past issues. Currently, the Vice President chairs senate in addition to their other responsibility as the chair of the Student Fee Review Board. Current and past vice presidents voiced the need to break the position into two due to time commitments of each job.

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ASCSU Vice President Mike Lensky address the Senate during a meeting on Feb. 8. (Elliott Jerge | Collegian)

Elections Manager Sam Barthel said the bill aims to clarify things before the start of the upcoming 2017 election cycle.

One of the changes proposed to the senate was the use of the ASCSU name in campaigns. Barthel explained that in the past, campaigns have not been allowed to tell students that they are running for an ASCSU office.

“Instead, they’ve had to use the terminology ‘student body president,'” Barthel said. “This can create a disconnect between the students who are hearing people on the plaza talk about ‘student body president’ rather than being asked to vote for ASCSU president.”

The new wording of the section of the new election code would allow candidates to unofficially use the ASCSU name when campaigning, but candidates will not be able to use ASCSU memorabilia. The use of the ASCSU materials in a campaign will be considered a major violation, according to the election code.

“Candidates can refer to their campaigns by it’s proper name (such as saying), ‘I’m running for ASCSU president,'” Barthel said. “The wording in this rule will still not allow anyone to use the ASCSU logo, name tag, (or) polo while they are campaigning in their current position to gain favor with voters for future positions.”

The proposed change to the section would also prohibit candidates from using their current ASCSU position as a means to win the presidency.

“On the Plaza, you still will not be able to say ‘I’m the Director of (this organization) within ASCSU, and I’m running for ASCSU President,'” Barthel said. “You will only be able to say ‘I’m running for ASCSU President’ because that’s not using your current office to run for a future office.”

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Other changes to the bill include orientation sessions and financial limits for Speaker of the Senate candidates.

Candidates for Speaker of the Senate have a finance limit for their campaigns. 

“The total amount spent on or by any candidate running for Speaker of the Senate, whether personal, donated, contributed, or imposed, shall not exceed $750,” the resolution reads.

Campaigns for President and Vice President have a financial limit of $1,500 and candidates running for senator have a limit of $200.

Before candidates can run, senators are required to attend three orientation sessions, and candidates for President and Vice President are required to attend two orientation sessions. Sessions, according to the resolution, familiarize each candidate with the ASCSU Referenda and Elections Code, as well as the process and timeline of the general election.

The bill will move to committee before being voted on by the senate.

Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.

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