Assembly leaders give campaigning advice

Elliot Scruggs, an undeclared sophomore, decided three weeks ago he wanted to run for office in the Associated Students of the University of Utah Assembly.

“I’m still filling out the paper work,” Scruggs said.

Each candidate must review the election regulations outlined in the elections packet. “There is a big packet to read, then you just sign it, then turn it in,” Scruggs said.

Scruggs made his decision to run after weighing out the cost and benefits.

“I wanted to get more involved and have a say on what goes on and where the money goes,” Scruggs said.

For those considering running, the deadline for applications are due Friday Feb. 4.

“Students should talk to an Assembly member and know what they are getting into before they actually start doing it,” Assembly Vice Chairperson Raven Clissold said.

Scruggs recommends that potential candidates should listen to the different platforms before deciding to run.

“Listen to both parties’ platforms. Weigh out the cost and the benefits and see if it’s for you,” Scruggs said.

Since there are 48 available seats in the ASUU Assembly, each of the three political parties ideally would have 48 candidates running.

The primary role of the Assembly is to appropriate funds to the various student groups and organizations on campus.

“It’s a great way to get involved and actually stand up and do something for something you believe in. It’s a great way to get your voice heard,” Clissold said.

Candidates may affiliate themselves with a party, but there are both advantages and disadvantages in doing so, Clissold said. Joining a party is an easy way to get involved and creates potential to meet people. However, when a person affiliates with a party, he or she also takes on the stereotypes that the party is known for.

“Just because you belong to a specific party, people automatically won’t talk to you. They hear the stereotypes or different prejudices against the party and they won’t actually come and talk to you about it, but just assume so,” Clissold said.

Scruggs decided to run under the political party Student First, after being invited to hear its platform. “I was hooked,” Scruggs said.

According to election rules, distribution of any campaign materials is absolutely prohibited before Saturday, Feb. 19. Candidates can still do many things to better prepare themselves before the campaigning begins.

“It would be great if they could come to a General Assembly meeting and sit in and maybe even proxy for someone who is missing. It’s such a good way to see how you’ll be spending your last Tuesday of every month,” Clissold said. “Also talk to students on campus to see what they want out of student government.”

For all election information students can call the ASUU offices at 581-2788 or go to room 234 in the Union.

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