| 03.20.2018

ASUI elections on the way — ASUI elections coordinators prepare to begin fall election cycle


The next assembly of ASUI senators will be elected and announced on Nov. 20 — but there is work that needs to be done before the seven open seats are filled.

Elections Coordinators Pilar Alfaro and Tanner Beymer have been preparing for the election by promoting the positions, scheduling open forums and solidifying plans for the election turnout to be one of the largest in University of Idaho history.

Beymer said the election process begins Wednesday — the same day the candidate’s packets are due. The coordinators will meet with the candidates at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the ASUI office to discuss election and campaign procedures.

“Sen. Grady Hepworth is going to be giving all of the candidates a rundown of the responsibilities and expectations of a senator,” Beymer said. “We want to give them an overview of what ASUI is, why it’s important and the structure
of it.”

Beymer said the meeting is also meant to relay information and tools candidates need to begin campaigning the following Monday,
Nov.  4.

“There is a long, long list of rules and regulations in ASUI regarding campaigning, the elections process, the appeals process and what I will be presenting that night is kind of putting those rules in layman’s terms so the candidates understand what they can do, what they can’t do, where they can and can’t hang campaign material,” Beymer said.

Beymer said candidates will also be given a list of dates for open forums, meetings and events that will require their attendance throughout the elections process.

“After the candidates meeting on Wednesday, we’ll have election things going on all the time,” Alfaro said. “As far as open forums go, helping the candidates with whatever publicity needs they have and then we also have to be promoting voting just as much as promoting the senators.”

Alfaro said she, Tanner and a few ASUI senators have given presentations in ISEM classes with hopes to increase the number of candidates —
particularly freshmen.

“I’m actually surprised about how many ended up turning (application packets) in,” Alfaro said. “Usually freshmen think ASUI is an upperclassmen thing, but we want first-year students to be involved and we want their input. So, although it’s surprising, it’s a good thing because once they’re involved freshman or sophomore year they’re more likely to contribute to ASUI for more years
to come.”


Beymer said the improved outreach efforts will definitely have an effect on the number of qualified candidates who run in
the election.

“We are currently predicting anywhere from 15 to 20 candidates for this election cycle,” Beymer said. “Since there are only seven positions open, at least half of them by that estimate will not get a position. So, we are also going to be giving presentations and giving out materials on Wednesday of other ways they can get involved with ASUI should they not be elected.”

The student body will have a chance to hear from each senate candidate at open forums where the candidates will introduce themselves and answer questions from the audience.

“There is still one place we have yet to figure out, because we want there to be four open forums for the candidates to choose from,” Alfaro said. “Two are going to be in the commons food court and the other one is going to be in Bob’s quiet room. The third one we are going to book it somewhere to appeal to Greek students and possibly
off-campus students.”

When Alfaro and Beymer announced their three-point plan to improve elections, it included a mission to incentivize voters to get to
the polls.

The coordinators declined to comment on their plan, but said it’s for good reason.

“It’s going to be great, people are going to be really excited,” Beymer said. “But it’s not set in stone so we can’t officially announce what’s going on. But things are looking extremely promising and people will know within the next
two weeks.”

Amber Emery can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu 


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