Thirty-nine student candidates signed contracts to begin the campaigning process for the upcoming UCSU elections for the fall of 2010, according to UCSU’s media release.
The candidates, who signed the contracts Wednesday, will be campaigning for 17 positions with two different tickets: the Empower Ticket and the Veritas Ticket, as well as seven independent candidates, according to the media release.
Positions include tri-executives, representatives-at-large and general members of the Arts and Sciences Student Government and the University of Colorado Engineering College, according to the media advisory.
Alexander Schnell, UCSU’s election commissioner and a 22-year-old senior political science major, said the contract signed by the candidates is typical regulation.
“The contracts say they will abide by UCSU rules so they have a firm understanding of their position in details,” Schnell said. “They are basic formalities to solidify the candidates so they will be held accountable to our guidelines.”
Schnell says the two tickets, Empower and Veritas, share some common ground, but also have their own unique characteristics.
“Tickets are created when a group of students get together and decide what they want to run for and they have similar platforms,” Schnell said. “But there are some significant differences.”
Carly Robinson, a 24-year-old, third-year doctoral candidate in atmospheric chemistry and candidate for representative-at-large, said one of the biggest platforms for the Empower ticket is to work to keep student fees down.
“One of our biggest issues is trying to keep student fees low, trying to make sure we still have the same quality, but trying to keep student fees as low as possible,” Robinson said.
Nicole McAllister, a 21-year-old junior integrated physiology major with a neuroscience certificate who is running for a tri-executive position said her ticket, Veritas, has a lot of ideas if they get elected.
“I guess the major ones that we have are higher education and getting more funding in regards to aid for students,” McAllister said. “Another thing is we’re very pro-student groups, so we want to ensure that funding is available for students. We also really encourage collaboration for the community.”
Not all candidates are running with one of the two tickets.
Teddy Chavez, a 19-year-old freshman finance major, said that he chose to run as an independent representative-at-large.
“I just didn’t want to be part of a whole ticket and have to listen, accept and kind of go with one ticket and their ideas,” Chavez said. “I kind of wanted to have my own agenda and listen to different people in the community and the school instead of listening to a few people. I wanted an overall perspective, so I wanted to listen to both sides.”
Schnell said the number of students running for positions has increased dramatically from previous years.
“There’s over double the amount the people running this year, we have two very full tickets, there are even a number of independent candidates as well,” Schnell said.
Will Taylor, a 22-year-old senior political science major and candidate for tri-executive for the Empower Ticket, said he feels well qualified for the position.
“I have the most experience of everyone running,” Taylor said. “I feel as if this position will enable me to have the largest and most positive impact at CU.”
Taylor also said he is confident that by elected to a tri-executive position, he could help CU be more successful overall.
“I would also like to give back to the community and make sure CU reaches its full potential,” Taylor said. “I know it hasn’t reached its full potential and I know I could help it reach its full potential.”
Other candidates see being elected to a UCSU position as an opportunity to bridge the gap between student groups and UCSU.
“One of the major reasons I want to run is because I’m in CoPIRG and we’re having a tough time getting funding while a lot of other students groups are,” said Sam John, a 20-year-old junior economics and political science major and candidate for representative-at-large for the Empower Ticket. “I feel like I could do a good job mediating between student groups and what benefits the student body as whole.”
According to the UCSU Spring Election Timeline, the official election ballot will be released at 5 p.m. March 22 and will be followed by a candidate debate on Tuesday, March 30 from 7 to 10 p.m.
The elections will be from 12:01 a.m. on April 5 through 8 p.m. on April 9, according to the UCSU Spring Election Timeline.
Schnell says students will be able to vote at home or at computers set up by UCSU around campus via their CUConnect accounts.
“We’ll have computers set-up, we try not to do hand-ballots for sustainability and all students have access to CUConnect,” Schnell said. “Computers will be in the UMC, recreation center and in dining halls.”
Some candidates said the voting process is important for students because it enables them to have better control over who’s in charge of the money they pay in student fees.
“It’s their money,” John said. “They should have some say in how get used and who’s controlling it.”