ASUU Candidate Filing Deadline Approaches

Students planning to be involved in student government next year must act soon.

The filing deadline for students who wish to run for president or vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Utah is this Friday. Students running for the General Assembly, Student Senate or senior class president need to file by Wednesday, Jan. 16. Both deadlines are at 5 p.m.

The deadlines are two weeks earlier this year than they were last year. Kare Neve, ASUU’s executive secretary, attributes this change to the Olympics and the resulting changes made to the semester schedule.

“That’s just the way this semester has to be,” Neve said.

Neve has only given away 20 elections packets this year, which is fewer than she usually gives away this close to the filing deadline.

“I just don’t think they’re thinking about it,” said Sara Stanley, ASUU’s legislative affairs secretary, when explaining why not as many students have picked up packets. Stanley also said that last year the Elections Committee advertised asking students to run for office. No advertisements have been posted this year.

“We’ll start advertising soon,” said Josh Walker, this year’s elections registrar. Walker said his committee will start advertising for Assembly and Senate positions sometime next week.

The filing deadline is set so much earlier than the elections to give the secretaries a chance to check the students’ information. Students must be admitted into a major within the college they choose to run from, have at least a 2.0 grade point average and be registered students this semester. According to Neve, this process only takes a couple of minutes unless she finds a problem that needs attention.

“It gives us a little bit of lee time,” Neve said.

In order to file for candidacy, students must submit a form that includes their name, contact information, party information and which office they wish to run for. The form also includes a section for signatures granting permission to check the students’ records and stating the student understands elections policies and procedures.

Candidates also need to submit a statement that will be posted on the ASUU Web page. These statements allow candidates to introduce their ideas and platform to the student body before the posting date, which is March 23.

Written statements for the president and vice presidential candidates should be 500 words, the senior class president candidates have a 300 word limit and statements for the assembly and senate candidates can only be 150 words long.

All candidates also pay a $10 non-refundable filing fee, which helps pay for election packets and other office expenses needed to conduct the elections. Fines charged to the candidates for violating elections policy also pay for these expenses.

“We kind of have a projected budget, but we don’t get much from ASUU,” Walker said. According to ASUU’s budget, the elections committee has $2,500 to work with.

Students who miss the filing deadline cannot be placed on the ballot for the primary elections, although they can still run a write-in campaign. If they wish to be on the final ballot, they must file by March 29.

According to Neve, there are usually at least 300 total candidates for the 66 elected positions within ASUU. The Student Senate has 16 members, one representing each of the colleges within the U, and the General Assembly will have 47 members next year. The executive branch has three elected positions, the president, vice president and senior class president.

The seats in the General Assembly were apportioned based on last semester’s enrollment within each college. The University College gained two additional seats this year, and the College of Business gained one.

“It was totally thrown off this year,” Stanley said.

Both Neve and Stanley encourage interested students to run for office.

“It can be a lot of fun,” Neve said. “It’s not as scary as it looks.”

“They really can voice the opinions of their college,” Stanley said. “At the very least, it connects you with other students from your college.”

Students can pick up an elections information packet in the ASUU office in the Union.

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