Reach Out and Vote For Someone
SF State students unaware of ASI election
March 14, 2006 11:17 AM
Not many SF State students know that they will have a newly elected student government in two days.
There were no massive banners publicizing the Associated Students Inc. (ASI) election, which began March 13 through March 15. Some students blame the current student government and the two campaigning parties for not publicizing the election.
Candidates should be more proactive in promoting their stand, said 21-year old junior Karla Valencia.
“If you’re really running for something, you should let everybody know,” said Valencia, who was setting up the voting station at the Cesar Chavez Student Center. “I think it’s really bad because not everyone knows about the election.
Guy Halperin, a candidate for Vice President of External Affairs, said the current ASI board was responsible for the lack of election publicity.
“The present (student) administration does not market the elections,” said Halperin, adding that he would not be surprised if few students voted in the next two days.
While the election was poorly publicized, it is too early to determine whether there would be a low voter turnout, said current ASI President Christopher Jackson.
He also said ASI was not to blame for the number of students heading to the voting stations.
“The success or failure of this election is truly reflected on the election commissioner and the leadership development coach,” he said.
ASI election attracts an average of 2,000 voters, Jackson said.
But last year, roughly 5,000 SF State students voted, making the 2005 campus election turnout “one of the biggest in the state” compared to other universities, Jackson said.
In fall 2005, 28,950 students attended SF State, according to the SF State Web site. There were no figures for the spring semester.
Some students are unconvinced that the election is important.
At the Student Center, SF State junior Jose Cruz walked past the voting tables and headed straight to the SF State bookstore. The history major said he will never vote in student elections.
Cruz added that the candidates were not interested in the well being of the campus population.
“I find that these (candidates) are trying to gain power so they can put it in their resume,” he said. “Whatever they do really has no effect on me.”
The voting trend at SF State is a reflection of citizen participation in national elections, said Penny Saffold, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.
However, she said more students have voted ever since the university placed extra voting stations on campus in 2004. In addition to the Student Center, SF State students can cast their ballots in front of the Humanities building and in the Business building.
“People need to take that kind of responsibility and use their votes to have a say in the life on campus,” Saffold said.
Students Fighting 4 U (SF4U) presidential candidate, Maire Fowler, said students should vote and take interest in how their $42 student body association semester fee was being spent.
“People who don’t vote, don’t care where their money is going,” said Fowler, adding that students should be aware that ASI acts as a liaison between students and the administration.
But some students say voting does not improve their campus life especially when it comes to tuition hikes.
Clinical science major Ozelle Sigua said she voted during her first year at SF State. She does not, however, intend to vote in this election.
“It’s like a popularity contest,” said Sigua, 24, adding that no student president could accomplish much in a one-year term.
At the voting table on Centennial Drive in front of the Humanities building, Nanette Davy was helping students cast their ballots.
Office of Student Affairs staff member, Davy, said working on election day was like having a break from her job as a receptionist for the university. She does not expect a massive turnout.
Davy said this year’s election campaign was more mellow compared to the one last year.
Industrial art student Dionne Long-Mosley said she did not hear much about the election, other than via an e-mail sent by the Office of Student Affairs.
But the 25-year-old student said those who know about the election had no excuse for not voting, as ASI’s actions affected them.
“If we are not going to voice our opinion either for ourselves, or have someone do it for us by voting for them, then we can’t complain,” she said.
Election Period: March 13 - 15
Students can vote at the following locations from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Student ID or social security number is required.
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