ASUU changes rules, makes elections more inclusive

Several new changes in election procedures aim to make this year’s student government elections more inclusive by lowering financial expenditures and including more student groups.

The new rules will create a 20 percent reduction in the total funds candidates can spend and lower the overall party spending caps from $11,500 to $9,800, said Rick Pehrson, attorney general for the Associated Students of the University of Utah.

“(We hope) limiting spending will make elections more available to all students and decrease the financial burden,” Jeffrey Mathis, elections registrar for ASUU, said.

The major cuts were made in the amount candidates can spend on the General Assembly and Senate races.

The problem was that tables were set up with the premise of campaigning for individual races, but they were really being used to campaign for the party-a violation of campaign rules, Pehrson said.

“Money was being labeled for areas that it wasn’t being spent,” he said. “Hopefully these spending decreases will cut back on some of the fluff candidates spend money on and teach them to be more responsible with their money?.If they’re going to be in charge of a $1 million budget for ASUU, they had better know how to keep a budget.”

Jake Kirkham, a potential presidential candidate, said he agrees that the new rules are a good change because too much money was wasted in past campaigns.

“In the end, I don’t feel bagels are going to decide the race?.It’s going to be more about the issues,” he said.

ASUU officials are also pointing to the change in the election committee selection process as an effort to make the elections more inclusive.

In the past, committee members were usually undergraduates who had been heavily involved in ASUU and applied for the position, Mathis said.

“This year, I appointed people from all over campus to be on the committee because I wanted it to be more diverse,” he said.

An elections premier meeting will be held Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. in Union Room 323 to provide information to students interested in participating in the election process.

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