With the 2015-16 academic year ending, a new batch of students finds themselves preparing to campaign and take part in the Associated Students election. With the Friday filing deadline fast approaching, Associated Students is working to ensure that applications are plentiful as to make the election process more competitive.
“I have seen some elections through the past few years, and every year I would always like to see more people running for positions,” said Daniel Gil, senior electrical engineering major at Sonoma State University. “The more people that run for positions leads to more discussion, which inevitably leads to better solutions.”
Associated Students is focusing on spreading the word about the upcoming elections, as well as pushing to make sure that every position has a possible candidate. The organization is trying to avoid having vacant seats at the start of the fall 2016 semester did in the fall 2015 semester when the vice president position was vacantwere left vacant.
“This year, the AS Senate has made the commitment that each and every Senator will recruit at least two students to run for their position,” said President of Associated Students Brandon Mercer.
Recruiting for each position is very dependent upon holding each officer accountable, which Mercer and Student Government Coordinator Asha Nettles have been doing to keep track of each officer’s progress.
On top of trying to personally find people suitable for a position in AS, the group is also making a big push on social media.
“While we can use the official Associated Students accounts, the real success is when our officers take it upon themselves to spread the word through their own personal accounts,” said Mercer.
Once the candidates are announced, a tough month lies ahead of them as campaigning will begin. According to Mercer, the campaign process is tough and full of emotion, but there are some keys to remember during this time.
“While confidence is key, mapping out exactly what a candidate wants to get done helps,” said Mercer. “Coordinating the logistics and surrounding themselves with a great team is paramount. I was lucky enough to have an incredible group of friends to keep my spirits up and keep my message out there in front of the students.”
Students also take notice of campaigns and the candidates who go above and beyond to ensure that their face and name becomes known.
With every seat up for grabs, student leaders want student to remember what can be gained by holding an Associated Students position. Students who take the opportunity to apply and run for a seat can benefit personally and professionally by being the direct link between administration and students.
Associated Students may seem small, but the organization includes Student Government, Associated Student Productions, Join Us Making Progress (JUMP) and the Children’s School.
“My time in Associated Students has been without a doubt the greatest learning experience of my life,” said Mercer, “Although tough, I wouldn’t trade my time as president for anything.”
If students would like the chance to represent your fellow students, the application can be found online at the Associated Students OrgSync page and must be turned in by 5 p.m. on Feb 26.