Our view: ASI makes better effort informing students on elections

Staff Editorial

The Runner applauds CSU Bakersfield’s Associated Students, Inc. for announcing that candidate applications are open nearly two months before the elections.

An email was sent out to students earlier this month with detailed election information attached.

Last year, ASI did not do enough on their end to promote their 2018 elections and it seems that they have learned from last year’s experience to fully and properly promote this year’s 2019 elections.

The Runner wrote a staff editorial during last year’s elections addressing that all contestants had run unopposed because they waited two weeks before elections to announce that applications were open.

For the 2018 elections, ASI sent out an email to campus students on Feb. 23 announcing that the candidate filing period was open from Feb. 22 to March 7. The email letting students know that applications were open was already sent out a day late.

Campaigning was then held from March 8 to 22 and election voting was held March 21 and 22.   

This resulted in the entire executive board to run unopposed. Elections were still held but there was no election experience if students only had one candidate choice for each position.

In the 2017 ASI elections, seats for president, executive vice president, and vice president of university affairs all ran unopposed. The voter turnout for that year was 7.5 percent.

This year, ASI has created a full month of events and information sessions to inform students about elections and this is exactly what the entire CSUB student body deserves.

Candidate filing period for this year’s elections began Feb. 6 and ends March 22. That is almost two months for students to get familiar with ASI positions and make a decision on whether they want to run or not.

Along with extending the time to fill out an application, ASI is being very informative and providing information to those interested. Sub-committee meetings are held throughout the week and students can be a part of them to learn what the positions are and what projects ASI is working on.

Those interested in running for president can meet with the current president on Feb. 28 to get a behind the scenes of what the ASI president’s day is like.

Information on how to run a successful campaign is scheduled for March 11 through 15. Students can meet with the current ASI Board and all new candidates for an elections ice cream social on March 21.

Candidates will be able to campaign from March 25 to April 4 and be a part of a candidate debate on April 2 to convince their peers to vote for them on April 3 and 4.

This year, students cannot say they did not know they could run for an ASI Board position when ASI has nearly two months of election information sessions planned. There is no excuse to say you were not aware of the days you could vote.

It is crucial for students to know who their student government representatives are because hey are the voice of the students in front of the university’s administration and at a state-wide level at the CSU Board of Trustees. They are also in office to provide resources for all students to engage them in political, educational, and social issues.

While it is ASI’s job to fully represent every student equally, it is also the student body’s job to speak out when they are unsatisfied with something affecting their time at CSUB.

Be involved and know and understand what goes on at the university you are spending your money on. Inform yourself on who your elected student government is and what they can do for you. Be aware of who your university administration is and what they are doing to ensure you achieve your academic goals.

In The Runner, we make it our responsibility and our duty to inform the campus community on issues that affect them.

Keep everyone in check. If they promised you to do something for this university, follow up with them and ask questions to make sure they are keeping their word.