By: Yesenia Luna
With the month of March being ushered in in these next few weeks, so to comes with it the season of elections for the student government on campus.
ASNMSU will hold their spring elections in the first week of April (3-7) to decide a majority of the legislative and executive positions for the 2017-2018 school year, with campaigning and formal announcements occurring primarily in the month of March.
ASNMSU is critical in that it gives students a voice in the way that the University is run from a number of standpoints.
ASNMSU represents the student body and seeks to advocate to defend students’ interests. Although the process to run for office for each position varies the end result is the same: they are elected through votes. Students have the ability to choose who they are going to have in these seats that are crucial for keeping a consistent and effective form of representation for the students.
ASNMSU has two elections, one each semester, says ASNMSU Chief Elections Officer Allison Valdez, “We have two elections per semester that’s the fall senate race and the spring senate race” she says.
Valdez says that, as has been the case for a considerable amount of years, seats in the legislative branch are determined by enrollment, “Each college is assigned a number of seats available based off of enrollment for the university” she says, “For example, the Arts and Sciences college since they are a bigger college they encompass more majors such as language degrees, political degrees and others, they have more senate seats.”
There are various steps and deadlines that need to be met before the election process begins. The work that is done behind the scenes is put into motion much earlier, requiring extensive attention to be able to get to the stage of being announced, a considerable amount of time before campaigning.
Although there are formal steps that need to be taken prior to the official election process beginning, March is the beginning of the process of elections that the general student population is allowed to witness and be involved in.
After the candidates are announced, in the coming weeks, students will be able to meet them through their campaigning and will have the opportunity to ask them what their agenda will be to provide the students with an idea of which of the choices better suits their interests.
The time frame between when campaigns begins and when voting closes is not long thereafter. If students have any questions for the candidates or would like to learn more about them, the candidates will have a considerable presence around campus the week of campaigning.
As can be expected, the amount of work that is placed on behalf of ASNMSU is also significant.
The Election Board acts as the immediate judge for all contests, obtain and maintain uniformity in the application and reasonable interpretation of the Election Code, including interpreting the Election Code as necessary prior to an ASNMSU election.
The board is composed of the Chief Elections Officer, the Deputy Elections Officer and the Vice President of each College Council. The board makes sure that there are no issues before, during and after the election process.
“The election process in itself is open to all students that are ASNMSU fee paying students which are most full-time students and they have the opportunity to petition for themselves” Valdez says, “For senate they are required to have 25 signatures for president and vice president they have to have 100 signatures.”
Many rules apply to the candidates as to what they can and cannot do during their campaigning. Valdez explained that the campaigning is done by the candidates themselves and that they are given specific instructions such as how much money they can spend on campaigning and what areas of the campus they can chalk on and where they cannot.
As elections inch closer, candidates will be announced and The Round Up will go in depth with the major positions that will be up for grabs, including the Presidency and Vice-Presidency.
For election coverage in March, log onto TRU’s website- nmsuroundup.net
Some important dates that students should keep in mind:
at 8:00 a.m.