Rules limit candidates

By By Rita Totten, Staff Writer

By Rita Totten, Staff Writer

A handful of student government presidential hopefuls met for an informal meet-and-greet Monday, starting speculation of who might be running for ASUU offices in the spring.

Although students cannot officially file for candidacy until Jan. 12, interested individuals met to discuss issues facing students and to meet other students with similar political interests.

The potential candidates included Quentin Hodges, a junior in exercise physiology; Pace Johnson, ASUU deputy chief of staff; and Clint Hugie, an orientation leader.

Oakley Gordon, president of the College Democrats, said he thought it would be fun for his organization to host a preseason event before the official start of the Associated Students of the University of Utah elections.

No candidate could officially say he or she was interested in running for office, but there were a lot of hypothetical air quotations going on in the conversations in the Hinckley Caucus Room, where the event was held. The potential student leaders were told they could not officially campaign or discuss details of their potential race to comply with ASUU election rules.

Kariann Hibbard, ASUU elections registrar, said because no one has filed yet, students at the social event were not allowed to talk about their platforms or give any specifics of their campaigns. She said not everyone interested in running for ASUU office could come to the event and she was there to make sure everyone had a fair chance.

Hibbard said all potential candidates should know the rules and know what is and is not allowed to be discussed before filing. Any discussion of a potential candidate’s plans for his or her campaign is considered pre-active campaigning and could result in a grievance being filed against the violating party. Unofficially, at least four parties have shown interest in becoming involved in next spring’s elections, Hibbard said.

Hodges said he is looking to get involved on campus but declined to comment further to prevent breaking any pre-campaign rules.

Hodges did say he sees ASUU as a different way to help people and that was his biggest motivation for getting involved.

Hugie, a junior in philosophy and business management, said he is interested in running for ASUU president because he wants to share his outside experience with the incoming students at the U.

“I got involved in as many activities as possible,” said Hugie, who has also been involved in the Bennion Community Service Center. Hugie said his work with the Bennion Center has directed his life goals into working for non-profit organizations and feels that an ASUU leadership position would build on those goals.

To tie up the end of the College Democrat semester, Gordon called this fall “the best semester to be a Democrat” and praised the group’s effort during the presidential elections, highlighting the 41 students who traveled to Colorado during Fall Break in support of President-elect Barack Obama.

Dallas Hamilton, co-director of the ASUU Sustainability Board, used the forum to plug his sustainability initiative, which has been renamed in honor of his former adviser, Craig Forster, who passed away this weekend.

Hamilton’s initiative would increase student fees by $5 to create the financial backing to implement large-scale sustainability changes on campus.

“There is potential to do some incredible things on campus,” Hamilton said.

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Kate Kelly

Katie Ericson, a junior in mass communication and sociology, signs the petition for sustainability fees during an event that featured potential ASUU presidential candidates. No one could officially talk about their platforms or campaigns yet because of ASUU rules.

Kate Kelly

A student reads the petition for the sustainability fees before signing it. The petition has been renamed for Craig Forster the director of sustainability who died this weekend.