Hair Ticket Forced to Drop Out of ASUU Presidential Election


ASUU office, Friday, March 25th, 2016, Peter Creveling Daily Utah Chronicle

By Andrew Christiansen, Online Managing Editor


Since she was a freshman at the University of Utah, junior Maddie Hair has wanted to run for student body president with endless ideas of how to make the U better. But now, that’s not possible, Hair said.

On Wednesday morning, the Hair ticket — one of four tickets to announce their campaigns for this year’s ASUU executive branch elections — withdrew from the race because another ticket member wanted to pull out of the campaign.

“She basically just said that the whole thing has been very overwhelming, and she felt really disorganized about it, I guess,” Hair said.

Since the member of Hair’s ticket notified Hair so late, it wasn’t an option to replace the ticket member, according to Jacob Jones, the ASUU Elections Registrar. He said there was a window where Hair could have replaced the ticket member, but the specific amount of time is determined on a case-by-case basis because it requires communication between elections staff and the Marketing Board Director Madison Hozdic.

“However, if a candidate changes their running mates before marketing is ordered and headshots are taken, we are usually able to accommodate their request,” Jones said in an email interview.

The voting for the primary elections, which would have narrowed down the number of tickets from four to three, originally was going to take place Feb. 6. With the Hair ticket dropping, a primary election won’t be needed, but otherwise, the election will move forward as originally planned, Jones said.

Jones added that out of the four years he’s served in ASUU on many different boards, he has not heard of any instances where a ticket had to drop out of the race due to an individual candidate not being able to participate.

“I am very disappointed to have had to drop out,” Hair said. “And I think that my ticket would have done the best job. I think that I would have done a really good job as president, I had a lot of good ideas.”

Even though she was forced to drop out of the race, Hair plans to still be involved in the elections as much as she can. She said she has already received requests for endorsement or to share her ideas from two of the remaining tickets and will probably end up endorsing a ticket sometime soon.

“It’s tough to surrender my ideas, but I know that I want the better good for the university,” Hair said. “That’s the reason why I was running. So whichever ticket wins, I want them to work on the issues that I was going to prioritize as well.”

Those issues include improving campus safety, as well as some of the U’s resources such as the counseling center, which she said is understaffed.

“There are huge waits for people to get the mental health help they need,” she said.

Hair also said she thinks the Office of Equal Opportunity is not a helpful resource for students and could be better.

“In fact, they often, in many cases I’ve heard about, made students feel worse or more unsafe,” Hair said. “So I think that there needs to be a serious push for reform in OEO.”

Hair also mentioned as a top-tier research university, she believes the U could be doing more to provide research opportunities for students to go out to the Great Salt Lake.

“And the best way to do that is to offer students incentives, through scholarship opportunities, through community service, through academic means,” Hair said. “And so I wanted to work with professors and scholarship opportunity donors and stuff like that to make sure that this huge issue is being recognized.”

Looking forward to next year’s ASUU election, Hair said she would love to run if she decides to stay at the U for a fifth year, but doesn’t see that happening as she’ll probably be going to law school. She said she’s still interested in working with someone else running to help them with their ideas and get them ready, because a really good student body president is valuable.

“They can do a lot, they have a lot of power,” she said. “And there’s a lot of things at the university that kind of aren’t talked about very much, like with OEO and other programs that really do have a big impact on students and especially when they need those programs the most.”

The ASUU presidential debate will be hosted by the Daily Utah Chronicle and will be held on Feb. 6 from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Hinckley Caucus Room.

On Feb. 21, general election voting will open at 7 a.m. and end at 12 p.m. on Feb. 24.


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