E-board establishes elections goals

Though the ASPSU student government elections take place in April, plans are already being made to reach out to students in an effort to increase student voting.

CORRECTION: In the article titled “E-board establishes elections goals,” it should have been reported that voting takes place between April 22 and April 29. Students must register as candidates before April 15, or will otherwise be considered late registrants. For more information, e-mail E-board Chair Ari Wubbold at [email protected].

Though the ASPSU student government elections take place in April, plans are already being made to reach out to students in an effort to increase student voting.

Ari Wubbold is this year’s Elections Board chairman. While he was not here for last year’s controversial election, he brings a fresh perspective to the election process.

The E-board’s main focus this year is not on policing the campaigning process, but rather on increasing voter turnout, which has been dismal in the last few years. Last year, only 700 votes were submitted.

This year, the E-board has set a goal of having 10 percent of the student population turn out for the vote: over 2,700 students.

“We want to create a blanket effect with our advertising for the elections,” Wubbold said. “And we’re working with senators to reach out to constituents.” 

The E-board is planning a “Rock the Vote” type of event for April 26, the week before voting occurs. In a meeting last Friday, its members discussed various marketing ideas, from creating promotional videos to distribute through the PSU network to creating informational pamphlets.

They also hope to create an online presence via social networking. Part of the problem, according to Wubbold, is that people don’t know what ASPSU does.

“We want to publish some literature explaining what they do, what money they control, what things they manage,” he said.

ASPSU has struggled for some time to fill open positions in the Student Senate and other committees. Many have attributed this to student disinterest in student government.

To combat this, ASPSU filled two executive positions earlier this month: the communications director and outreach coordinator. These positions are dedicated solely to bridge the communication gap between students and student government.

Wubbold believes a contributing factor to the low turnout of student voting is confusion about campaigning.

“Candidates can campaign up until the last second on the day of voting,” he said.

This means that candidates have up to two full weeks to get their name out and convince students that their vote is important. Ultimately, it is the candidate’s responsibility to gather votes, according to Wubbold.  

The E-board also wants to curb the kind of bickering that plagued last year’s campaign season.

Last year, a candidate was disqualified after accusing another candidate of improper conduct. The candidate was finally reinstated days before the election by a Judicial Board vote.

According to Wubbold, the E-board has control over a few things, such as candidate eligibility, but it primarily upholds the statutes described in the ASPSU constitution. 

According to the ASPSU constitution, governing members must maintain a GPA of 2.00 for undergraduates and 3.00 for graduates. However, the E-board is seeking to increase this minimum in order to establish a higher standard for student body governance. 

Wubbold is hopeful about this year’s elections. He also said that two interested candidates attended the E-Board meeting last week.

“We are expecting a passionate campaign,” he said.

Campaigns will begin April 11 and PSU students can vote online on April 29 through the MyPSU portal. ?

The E-board is currently accepting applications of candidacy. E-mail [email protected] for information.