ASU: A few Monarchs usually determine the student government.
By Sara Almalla, Staff Writer
Today was the last day to apply to run for office in the Associated Student Union, but it is not too late to get involved. On April 16, a candidates’ debate will be held. Campaigners will speak, followed by an open forum Q&A session for the audience.
ASU Commissioner of Public Relations Janet Simitian said, “After their speech, they’ll be asked the basic questions – why they want the position, how they will represent the students on campus, and so on. Then questions are open to the public.”
According to Commissioner of Political Affairs Austin Smith, the average voter turnout is usually just under a thousand students. That’s roughly 5.3 percent of Valley’s 19,000-strong student body deciding who will be in charge of ASU’s budget. The budget in question was not disclosed to the Valley Star despite numerous requests. That budget is drawn from the $1 automatic deductions from Monarchs’ student fees (the “student representative fee”) as well as an optional $10 fee paid at the same time. The $10 fee gives students access to ASU member rights such as a discount card to local businesses, but all students may vote in the ASU election.
At the time of this writing, there was an unusually low number of applicants this semester and majority of the student government positions will remain vacant. Smith explained that it is possible to apply for vacant positions later on in the year, but in the meantime, the positions will be appointed by the ASU members, rather than elected by the student body.
“That’s what we did for my position- nobody ran for it, so I came in during the middle of the term and got appointed,” admitted Smith.
The ASU student government elections will take place on April 21 and 22 from 9 am to 2pm and 4pm to 7pm in the Monarch Hall.