In ASUA's upcoming election, only two positions have multiple candidates
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona, UA’s undergraduate student government body, released an official list of Senate and executive candidates for the 2019 general election, which will take place March 25-26.
Only 2 out of the 17 races have more than one candidate vying for the position.
Despite the lack of candidates, current ASUA administrative vice president Kate Rosenstengel encouraged students to vote online at elections.asua.arizona.edu for their next representatives.
“The people that get elected in the ASUA elections do have a lot of say in what happens administratively at UA,” Rosenstengel said. “If students care about how their university is run, which I think they do, then they should vote.”
Rosenstengel is all but guaranteed to retain her administrative vice presidential position, as she is running unopposed.
Before the list of candidates was released Feb. 25, Marlon Freeman, ASUA elections commissioner, announced the cancellation of ASUA’s primary elections at ASUA’s Feb. 20 Senate meeting, foreshadowing the lack of candidates.
“I have decided to cancel the ASUA primary elections due to the fact such elections would not eliminate any candidates,” Freeman said at the time.
The cancelation came after ASUA’s elections, normally held in late February, were already pushed back to late March on Freeman’s recommendation last semester.
ASUA has faced similar problems of low candidate interest and student-voter turnout in the past. Last year, a number of college-specific Senate seats went unfilled following elections where no candidates competed for the seats. Consequently, ASUA appointed students to fill those positions.
Last semester, ASUA increased outreach and campus visibility in an attempt to avoid a similar situation.
“Freeman did a lot of outreach, hosting a number of questions-and-answer sessions for interested students,” Rosenstengel said. “Also, a lot of college senators had events within their colleges to encourage people to run.”
Currently, the College of Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture is the only college which will not immediately have a senator representing it, as no students are running for that position.
The only competitive race most students will vote in is the race to fill ASUA’s three at-large senator positions. Five students are vying for these seats: Rocque Perez, Skyler Kopit, Ana Mendoza, Rodrigo Robles and Mark Jennings.
Two students, Matt Hernandez and Taylor Mackie, are competing for the Senate seat to represent the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the only competitive college senator race on the ballot of 13.
As per ASUA elections codes, students can cast a write-in vote for any student of their choice. Write-in candidates are only allowed in ASUA general elections when primary elections are canceled.
Barring any write-in candidate victories, Sydney Hess, a former ASUA senator and current chief of staff for ASUA President Natalynn Masters, will assume the student body presidency next year.
Bennett Adamson, the current senator for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, will become ASUA’s new executive vice president.
ASUA will host a cultural and resource centers forum for candidates March 13 from 5-7 p.m. in Room 203 of the Nugent Building.
As part of the elections, ASUA will be hosting a questions and answers session for Senate candidates March 20 from 5-7 p.m. in the Kiva Room of the Student Union Memorial Center.
A questions and answers with executive candidates will be held the following day, March 21, in the Sabino Room of the SUMC from 5-7 p.m.
As campaigning continues, Matthew Rein, ASUA executive vice president, and Madeline Melichar, senator for the College of Engineering, recommended Senators reach out to the candidates they know will replace them.
“Since a lot of the at-large and college-specific are running unopposed, please reach out to them to make the transition period so much easier,” Melichar told the Senate during the Feb. 27 meeting. “If they have questions, help them out.”
Check the Daily Wildcat for more coverage of ASUA and upcoming elections.
Priya Jandu contributed to this story.
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