ASPSU revamps elections process for greater student involvement.

With less than a week left before the candidate application deadline, the Associated Students of Portland State University are working to promote awareness throughout campus.

“We’ve handed out approximately 1,200 [elections] brochures. The information is definitely out there,” said ASPSU President Harris Foster in last week’s executive board meeting.

The ASPSU executive board discussed the elections with a focus on fostering student involvement. Members are using social media promotion, posters, flyers and informational booths to reach out to the PSU student body.

Greater accessibility for students is expected to ensure more candidates and greater voter numbers. Years past have fallen short of expectations for voter turnout and student interest.

“A lot of interest has been expressed. It looks like we’re going to have a better turn out than last year,” said Tia Gomez-Zeller, ASPSU vice president.

Since March 3, when applications opened for candidacy, students have consistently expressed interest in student government involvement. “We’ve been averaging about five students a day coming in to get applications [for government positions],” Gomez-Zeller said.

While all current board members will have to run for reelection if they want to remain in office, prior involvement with ASPSU is not required.

Candace Avalos, coordinator of student-government relations and ASPSU adviser, expressed the importance of new members to each elected term. “Newly elected members provide new perspectives, opinions and approaches to [student government]. New views from new members help them to push and challenge each other.”

After applications close on April 25, the elections board will notify all accepted students who meet the 2.5 GPA and six-credit load requirement of their eligibility. ASPSU Chief of Staff, Shaymaa Taha, along with members of the Judicial Review Board will host several orientations for approved candidates. Candidates will also attend meet-and-greets prior to election debates during the first week of May.

Students can become candidates for student body president, vice president, senator and Student Fee Committee member. New student government positions are elected in May and begin their one-year term on June 1. This timeline allows elected officials to settle into their positions before school begins in the fall.